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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Sports bettors have heard a lot of talk this week about NFL teams who “need to win” because of the playoff picture. Before making your final selections for this last Sunday of the regular season, I want you to think about which teams are TRULY motivated to win. It’s not always as obvious as looking at the standings. In fact, the standings can often give you a false read.

Let’s take the NY Giants for example. They’re in a “must-win” situation if they want to make the playoffs. Does this team really want to make the playoffs? They sure didn’t play like that two weeks ago in Atlanta, or last Sunday in Baltimore. This looks more like a team that ran out of gas and knows they can’t compete any more. Maybe they’re “motivated” to get their season over with.

I’m not going to go game-by-game through the Sunday card because I have to protect my releases for all of my paying clients. I do want to outline these keys to remember for those of you who have been studying my College of Advanced Handicapping this season.

*Every game this Sunday is a divisional game, and REVENGE can be important in these games even if a playoff berth isn’t at stake. Run through the card to see if you can figure out which off-the-radar teams may be showing up with a big edge in THE MOTIVATION FACTOR because of bad blood.

*Young teams are more motivated than veteran teams to finish a season well. New coaches are thinking about building for next year. Young skill position players know they haven’t earned the right to coast. Can you find any non-contenders who will still see reasonably high intensity levels even though they aren’t going to the playoffs?

*For every team that’s motivated by a potential playoff berth, there are about half as many who are motivated by the chance to play spoiler against a divisional rival. Which Sunday underdogs are known to be chippy teams? Who is least likely to roll over and play dead? The wagering public is stunned almost every year by an upset or two when a team with “nothing to play for” has one of its best defensive games of the year against a “must-win” opponent.

*Believe it or not, some NFL teams are motivated to LOSE on the final Sunday of the regular season. The obvious one is Kansas City, who’s trying to lock down the #1 draft pick for next year. But, that’s no secret and the pointspread is very high. I want you to think about teams whose players wouldn’t mind if the head coach got fired in the offseason I want you to think about offensive lines who are sick about blocking for a bad quarterback. I want you to think about beleaguered pass defenses who are tired of getting blamed for everything. They’re ready for the season to end, and they’ve stopped caring about wins and losses. Some of my best season finale bombshells over my long career have come in “bet against” situations rather than “bet on” situations.

At the very least, you should use what you’ve learned today to scout out potential potholes you don’t want to step into. If you’re like most Las Vegas bettors…you’re instinct is to bet all the “must-win” teams figuring you’ll win more than you lose. Maybe that will work out, and maybe it won’t. I can tell you that the public is typically disappointed on the final Sunday of the regular season. And, the best plays on the board in terms of TRUE value are often in places nobody but Kelso Sturgeon and his followers are looking!

You can purchase my NFL slate right here at the website with your major credit card. I hope you’ve been visiting daily through the bowl campaign and will continue to do so. I’ve provided plenty of tips about beating the number in our football coursework the past several months for you do-it-yourselfers. Additional help is always just a few clicks away from the Dean of Sports Handicapping.

Back again soon for more Advanced Sports Betting advisories as the most exciting time of the football season continues!

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