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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 3:30 PM

New Year’s Day provides one of the most exciting betting events on the sports calendar, and has for decades. Unfortunately, I see way too many sad faces in Las Vegas sportsbooks during this annual extravaganza because gamblers don’t know how to bet intelligently. They get caught up in the excitement of the moment…which is the worst thing you can do if you’re trying to beat a market that’s thick with “dumb” money.

I will not tell you who I’m betting on New Year’s Day and Night here in this article. That information is for my paying clients. I will happily provide those of you who have been following the coursework in my College of Advanced Sports Betting all season with some keys to consider as you handicap the games yourself.

*First, the biggest key to any New Year’s analysis is getting a proper read on the Big 10. The power brokers of college football have allowed that league to run roughshod over the bowl process, which has resulted in FIVE teams from the Big 10 playing in the first five games on the schedule. Some years, the Big 10 is overrated, which makes profit very easy. Occasionally, the league is underrated…which has a chance of happening this year because of all the negative media coverage. If you’re flying blind in the Big 10, you have little chance of purposely doing well on New Year’s. Maybe you’ll get lucky and win anyway. Advanced Handicapping and Sports Betting means betting SMART and letting luck take care of itself.

*Second, you need to pay very close attention to game conditions. Are teams playing in the earliest kickoffs disciplined enough to execute consistently that early in the day? What’s the weather like in Florida? Has it been raining in California this year? Have the field surfaces in Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, and Miami been torn up by recent college, NFL, or even high school playoff games? Probably the single biggest cause of bad public betting (and all of those sad faces in sportsbooks) is the lack of understanding about game conditions. Squares are consistently stunned when highly regarded offenses can’t score on bad turf or in wet or windy conditions.

*Third, you must develop the ability to recognize when oddsmakers have stacked a line against public perceptions. I will admit that this takes several years to master. You might as well start now! Do you see any lines Tuesday that look to be shaded against how the public is most likely to bet? Even on days with heavy action like New Year’s, sportsbooks are typically unable to “balance” the action. They will have taken positions against the public. If you can figure out who the sportsbooks are rooting for, that’s usually a good indication of who YOU should be rooting for.

Best of luck to you on the first day of 2013 if you’re a do-it-yourself sports bettor. If you’d like some help finalizing your decisions, my full New Year’s Day card is available for purchase with your major credit card right here at this website. You can also sign up for the rest of the college postseason, which would include New Year’s, the BCS bowls played Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday Nights, as well as next week’s championship game matching Notre Dame and Alabama.

2012 was a year that will go down in the history books for Kelso Sturgeon’s performance on big college football plays. I can assure you that I’m planning on starting off 2013 in similarly dramatic fashion Tuesday and through the next week. Thanks again to all of you who studied the coursework week-by-week through 2012 here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting. I hope you’re looking forward to the new year as much as the Dean of Sports Handicapping is!

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