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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, November 19, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Rivalry week in college football has arrived, and sports bettors will have plenty of opportunities to find great plays Friday and Saturday in matchups where you can often “throw out the statistics” because the motivation factor is so strong.

Here are the keys you need to study when trying to determine which team in a rivalry game will be bringing the most intensity.


*Who has revenge from last season? Revenge is often overrated by the media and sports bettors alike. But, in RIVALRY games, it can be the single biggest factor in determining who’s going to cover a pointspread. Personally, I like using revenge as a “kicker” with other key factors. I won’t place a big bet at a Vegas sportsbook solely because of revenge. I can assure you that I know who has revenge in every single game before I even think about reaching for my wallet.

*Who has no other distractions? There are quite a few rivalry games every season where on team is looking ahead to a conference championship, or is coming off a game that just clinched something important. You don’t want to lay points with teams that have other things on their minds! You want to bet on teams who are focused THIS WEEK because the result matters to them.

*Who is playing a virtual “bowl” game this week because they won’t qualify for the postseason? This can get tricky because you don’t want to invest in a team that threw in the towel on the season three weeks ago. But, if you have a young coach and a young team that’s still playing with enthusiasm, then they will be in position to play their best game of the year in their rivalry game. You’ll hear players saying “this is our bowl.” They mean it.

*Who’s already thrown in the towel on their season? Building off the last point. If you’re confident that a team is about to fire its head coach…or if they’ve already fired their head coach, you don’t want to invest in them in a rivalry game. The players know it’s a lost season, and they’re just going to play out the string. Avoid these teams at all costs. Bet AGAINST them if their opponents have revenge or other factors that will inspire enthusiasm.

In rivalry games…you need to study but the “bet ON” possibilities and the “bet AGAINST” possibilities in terms of the motivation factor. You regular students of my advanced sports betting coursework know that I still want you to look at PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS. Ideally, you can find a few games where the team with the most weaponry also has the most motivation. That’s where you really want to make a stand.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. If you’d like some help finding the best games on the board this week, my annual Turkey Shoot will feature a 75-Unit Turkey Day Parlay, a 50-Unit Rivalry Parlay on Friday, and a 100-Unit TV Grand Slam on Saturday…among other highlights. Have a great and profitable holiday!

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