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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 9:09 AM

One of the keys to successful sports betting is knowing how to avoid potholes when they're coming up in the road ahead. Far too many handicappers study football by looking only at the speedometer. YOU need to know the numbers, but you ALSO need to be focused on what's coming up so you can swerve and miss the danger spots.

This is particularly true right now in college football where the BCS rankings race has gamblers thinking about betting on undefeated teams because the power programs "need to keep winning." This is a hard lesson learned every year by the general public. Many of the best teams in the country play their WORST games of the year when under BCS pressure!

Even though the top teams have great records...and great stats...and great results so far this year vs. quality opposition...most if not all of them will run into serious trouble at least once in the second half of the season. Among the reasons:

  • They get distracted by the increased media responsibilities that come with the attention

  • They get complacent after reading and hearing all the time about how great they are

  • Good luck turns to bad in terms of turnovers and injuries

  • Opponents get fired up for the chance to score a huge upset

  • Football, by its nature, has highs and lows...and nobody's immune to the lows!

You don't want to be making a huge bet on a big name team just as they're about to hit a pothole. And, even making small or medium bets across the spectrum of contenders is likely to lose you money from here on out.

Advanced Handicappers are looking through the windshield to see what hazards are ahead. Losing handicappers are looking at the speedometer assuming the engine's running fine.

Here are the danger spots ahead in my view for the top five teams currently in the BCS, all of whom are 7-0 entering this weekend:


Saturday: vs. Mississippi State
November 3: at LSU
November 10: vs. Texas A&M
December 1: SEC Championship (if they make it)

Auburn is so bad that I'm leaving them out as an upset threat right now in the season finale...though the Tigers are surely a threat to cover a big spread if Alabama comes in flat. The Crimson Tide is about to face a killer three-game schedule that leaves very little margin for error. Texas A&M loom particularly large to me because 'Bama will be tempted to breathe a sigh of relief at just the wrong time if they survive LSU's tough defense.


Saturday: vs. Georgia (in Jacksonville)
November 24: at Florida State
December 1: SEC Championship (if they make it)

Florida will win the SEC East if they knock off Georgia this week. That's already a danger spot because of letdown potential off the South Carolina game. Can the Gators be focused for Florida State if the SEC title tilt is starting them in the face?


Saturday: vs. Texas Tech
November 3: at Oklahoma State
November 10: at TCU
November 17: at Baylor
December 1: vs. Texas

There are few gifts in the Big 12 this year outside of Kansas. Bill Snyder's Wildcats have already survived road games at Oklahoma and West Virginia. If they decide the worst is behind them, they'll find out the worst is still ahead of them! Any of those five teams can knock off a flat or tired Kansas State team. The road trip to TCU in particular looks scary in what will be a brutal fatigue spot.


November 3: at USC
November 10: at California
November 17: vs. Stanford
November 24: at Oregon State
November 30: Pac 12 Championship (if they make it)

I heard some media types the other day complaining about Oregon's strength of schedule. Let me tell you, their schedule will rank up with anybody's once that season closing salvo is in the books. The coach has been resting his starters in blowouts all year to get them ready. Will the players be mentally ready to go 60 full minutes week after week vs. that slate?


Saturday: at Oklahoma
November 24: at Southern Cal

The Irish are unlikely to have trouble getting focused for those two games given how their schedule shapes up. They will be betting underdogs in both...and college teams aren't flat when they're underdogs against powerhouses! The danger here will involve physical preparation. Will the Irish be ready for the challenge at hand in terms of opposing playmakers and gamebreakers?

I'm not going to tell you here in today's classwork if any of these games are already locked in for major release status for my clients. You regulars know my 100-unit and 200-unit games generally involve MISMATCH scenarios where a talented team is likely to obliterate a helpless foe in a game Vegas has mis-lined. But, many of my games rated 10-15-20-25-50 units do involve high profile teams like those mentioned above. And, if conditions warrant, I could step out with an "Upset of the Year" call fading a vulnerable BCS contender.

The point today is that Advanced Handicapping means "having your head on a swivel" as football coaches like to call it. Know what's behind you...know what's ahead of you...and STAY ALERT! The general public often does horribly in the second half of college football seasons because they bet on teams who are about to hit a pothole. You need to see those potholes and bet accordingly.

I'll be back with you again Friday for our class. These articles run every Tuesday and Friday at this website. Thanks again to all of you who have been so diligent in attending regularly and applying the coursework to your personal sports betting approach. It's gratifying to hear so many success stories about situations you're finding...and situations you're learning to avoid!

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