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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 11:30 PM

This is my final lesson for this year’s bowl preparation series for sports bettors. I’ll still be talking a lot more about the bowls in the coming days and weeks. But, that will be a “read and react” approach that will help us stay on top of developing stories as they unfold.

Today, on the heels of our discussions about counting up PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS, riding the coaching carousel, studying all elements of THE MOTIVATION FACTOR, and evaluating on-field “chess” in terms of team strengths and weaknesses, we need to focus on something that often looms very large in determining who wins and covers college bowl games.

I’m talking about game conditions.

GAME CONDITION FACTORS

Temperature

Wind

Precipitation

Playing Surface

Let’s take those one at a time.

TEMPERATURE: I don’t like asking warm-weather teams to play well in cold weather. I don’t like asking teams from the Northeast or Midwest to play well in humid conditions in Florida or California. I don’t like asking passing teams to have huge games in temperatures below 45. I don’t mean to suggest that game time temperature by itself would overrule the other issues we’ve discussed. Ideally, you’re not swimming upstream with your intended selections. This can certainly influence the number of betting units I place on a game even it doesn’t cause or cancel a release.

WIND: I’ve talked about this a few times already this season. There are several stadiums that have challenging wind patterns in December. I don’t want to ask passing teams to do well if wind forecasts are over 10-12 mph…and certainly not in stadium that are known for swirling winds. It’s amazing how stadiums that are relatively benign in September and October can wreak havoc on offenses in late December. Be sure you check the game day forecast for every outdoor bowl.

PRECIPITATION: I’ll deal with this quickly because of prior discussions. Don’t ask for big offense in the rain or snow. Sometimes teams will score anyway. In bowls, it’s probably 60/40 that drizzle, rain, or snow will decrease scoring. Respect those percentages

PLAYING SURFACE: This factor has become HUGE in recent seasons with the increase in bowl games. There are now stadiums that don’t host much football (like the Major League Baseball stadiums in New York and San Francisco), and stadiums that host a lot of high school playoff games that tear up the turf. Don’t ask for offense on bad turf! There’s nothing more demoralizing than having a big play on a team or a total because of an offense’s PLAYMAKERS…only to find out that they can’t get any traction because big clods of grass keep coming unhinged from the dirt. Bad playing surfaces are kryptonite to my PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS approach! You’d better know the difference between grass stadiums and artificial surface stadiums. Remember to use your assessment of turf in combination with the weather forecast. A drizzly day in a baseball stadium is an awful time to be rooting for a high powered offense or an Over.

The bowls start Saturday. I trust you’ve completed most of your prep work and are now ready for the fun to get underway. If you’d like some assistance, you can purchase game day bowl releases from me here at the website with your major credit card. Obviously signing up for the entire bowl package right at the outset offers the best value.

I’m confident that what you’ve learned about Advanced Sports Handicapping and Advanced Sports Betting this season from the Dean of Sports Handicappers will put you in good stead this bowl season. Let the games begin!

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