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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 1:03 PM

We’ve reached what is clearly the most exciting week of NFL Preseason football with the “dress rehearsal” games that begin Thursday Night and go all through Sunday Night. This is where all of your Advanced Handicapping preparation really pays off because you have the best of all worlds.

*If you’ve been isolating on the PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS across the league, you’ll have a very good sense of how the first halves are going to play out. Teams, most of them anyway, will be TRYING. The players who matter most will have the ball in their hands and will be determining outcomes. Some teams will keep their starters in well into the third quarter. It’s the closest thing to regular season football you’re going to see in August…and my Advanced Principals are longtime proven winners in the regular season.

*Because offenses are more prone than defenses to go all out in these dress rehearsals, one could argue that understanding the dynamics of PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS is even more important. I wouldn’t say that defenses stay vanilla in the dress rehearsals. They bring more aggression…but they don’t show everything they’ve got. This allows the most dynamic offensive threats more leeway to break free and get on the scoreboard. I can tell you right now that you’re going to see some very explosive first halves this week…the type that will go Over the full game Vegas total in just 30 minutes.

*If you’ve been working hard tracking down coaching priorities as I recommended, then you will have a very good sense of how all 32 coaches are handling this week’s action. Not all of them are in dress rehearsal mode. Others are focused on the first half but could care less about the second half. Hopefully you’ve been studying coaching histories for these Week Three games. I can’t emphasize enough that veteran coaches tend to coach to their tendencies in this unique schedule spot. Veteran coaches like to do things a certain way…and that certain way is just sitting there in the history books waiting for YOU to look it up.

*This year we’re once again blessed (as handicappers) to have coaches publicly stating their plans because they’re trying to keep their fan bases up to speed on personnel moves. Miami has announced that Ryan Tannehill will be their first team quarterback. Tennessee has done the same with Jake Locker. Seattle is trying to trade Tarvaris Jackson. Cleveland may be doing the same with Colt McCoy. When coaches go public with their QB plans in the dress rehearsals in a way that can be trusted, those of us trying to find edges are much better off. Information is POWER.

*I’m not normally a big proponent of stat handicapping in the Preseason. If the final scores are meaningless, that often makes the statistics meaningless. But, I can tell you that…THIS SEASON…I have found some very important indicators for TROUBLE in the dress rehearsals for certain quarterbacks. I’m not going to be specific here because I need to protect that information for my clients. I strongly encourage you do-it-yourselfers to go through the first two weeks of boxscores with an eye toward finding quarterbacks who are struggling to move the ball in first quarters vs. vanilla defenses. A big part of winning dress rehearsal money is knowing who to bet AGAINST. A handful of quarterbacks are going to be in trouble this weekend when intensity picks up…and that handful is scattered across the schedule very nicely for Las Vegas betting purposes.

*Don’t forget about totals! It may be a little harder to win Over bets this week because the lines have moved up after so many Overs cashed last week. The market is adjusting to what may be a trend involving how the replacement refs are calling games. Still, remember that any game you find where both teams have PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS has a good chance of blowing up so much in the first two quarters that the Vegas number doesn’t matter. Your read of key players may require you to pass either team side option in a game. Don’t miss the obvious Over staring you in the face. And, if you find a game where both offenses strike you as questionable…don’t be afraid to consider the Under at this week’s newly inflated totals.

Between this week and next, I will still be releasing my Preseason Upset of the Year, my Preseason Over/Under of the Year, and my Preseason Game of the Year. It would not be a surprise at all for two of those three to go this week. And, it’s possible given my early run-throughs that all three could go this week! That’s how big the edges are in the dress rehearsal games if you know where to find them. If you, personally, are having trouble finding the biggest edges within your own study process, you can always purchase my releases right here at the website with your major credit card.

I’ll be back with you on Friday for our next class. We’ll either talk more about the NFL Preseason or we’ll check in again on the colleges as the one-week countdown begins for the start of the regular season. Thanks again to all of you who keep checking in regularly for my Advanced Handicapping coursework. It doesn’t cost you anything to read. If you pick one extra winner, it’s worth your time. I’ve heard from countless readers who have literally turned their performance around from disappointed loser to big-time winner just by applying these principles.

Your hard work WILL pay off!

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