Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 11:00 AM
I promised you I would provide “read and react” commentary as the bowl season progressed here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting. Two games are in the books…and the schedule is about to get very heavy later this week when the bowls resume. Let’s go over some lessons from Arizona’s lucky win over Nevada, and Utah State’s wear down of Toledo.
*The first lesson that jumps out at me is that you want teams who can go the full 60 minutes. That was most obvious in the ridiculous collapse of Nevada in the final moments against Arizona. But, even the later game brought the point home too. Toledo lost a couple of key players to injury early in the contest with Utah State, and just didn’t have enough in the tank to hang tough for four quarters. College teams can score quickly when an opponent loses focus or runs out of gas. Don’t pick a team, dog or favorite, unless you’re confident they can go the distance. Talent and DEPTH matter in bowls.
*The second lesson involves THE MOTIVATION FACTOR that we talk about so much. A few times a year, bowl teams will come out as flat as Arizona did this past Saturday. It’s amazing to see a team that’s favored by 7-10 points fall behind 21-0! That can only happen if the team took the field flat. Given the early starting time, the relative obscurity of the bowl for a major conference squad, and an opponent that didn’t get the juices flowing, this was a potential danger spot for the favorite. I strongly encourage you to go through the next 20 games on the bowl schedule and look for potential potholes for unmotivated favorites. Be sure you’re paying attention to local kickoff times.
*Finally today, renew your respect for defense. The following will make it clear why you should:
Utah State ranked 15th nationally in defense, and allowed 15 points
Nevada ranked 89th nationally in defense, and allowed 49 points
Toledo ranked 108th nationally in defense, and allowed 41 points
Arizona ranked 120th nationally in defense, and allowed 48 points
Perhaps the most important early warning sign of the first weekend is that bad defenses are going to be in big trouble this year in the bowls. Remember, both of these games had chilly conditions and some breeze to them. What's going to happen in cities with nice weather or in domes? Modern college offenses know how to abuse bad defenses. If you constantly invest in bad defenses, you deserve the ulcers you’re going to get! Look to bet on offenses with PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBEAKERS who can abuse bad defenses they’re matched up against.
We’ll continue to read and react on these pages to bowl results as they come in. The bowl schedule resumes Thursday Night with the Poinsettia Bowl matching BYU and San Diego State. There will be three additional bowls before the NFL weekend gets under way Saturday Night. Then, things get really busy next week.
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See you again soon. I know that the hard work you’ve been applying to our coursework is about to pay off in dramatic fashion.