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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Sports bettors have a lot to consider as they decide who they’re going to bet on in this Sunday’s NFC and AFC Championship games. I’m here today to give you more food for thought as you make your final decisions.

My first point of emphasis would be to evaluate how each defense is positioned to stop their opponent’s PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS. By now, there are no mysteries about how each of the four remaining contenders scores their points. Can those high impact players be stopped?

*Can Baltimore’s defense, potentially worn down from playing a very long game at altitude last week, keep Tom Brady from having a huge passing performance?

*Can New England’s defense, that’s been vulnerable to good passing quarterbacks over the years, prevent Joe Flacco from going deep for long touchdowns?

*Can Atlanta slow down the multiple facets of speedster Colin Kaepernick who continues to gain confidence with each passing week?

*Can San Francisco keep Matt Ryan from putting points on the scoreboard in a stadium where he’s historically been very tough to stop?

I will not address what I personally think about those questions here in this article. My answers have played a huge role in determining my selections for clients (including my 100-Unit Championship Game of the Year). I’m trying to guide Advanced Sports Bettors and handicappers in the right direction. There’s a lot of industry buzz this week about line movements, and which sectors of the market are betting which teams. Did everyone forget to sit down and HANDICAP the game?! This Sunday’s pointspread winners will be determined ON THE FIELD.

The second key I want you to focus on today involves the turnover category. You always hear head coaches talk about the importance of “avoiding” turnovers on offense and “forcing” them on defense. I’ve seen way too many handicappers in my lifetime attribute turnovers to luck. Knowing how to perform at your very best under the spotlight is not luck. Maintaining peak intensity and concentration when a championship is on the line is not luck. The team that wins the turnover category usually covers a championship game. Advanced sports bettors need to be thinking very seriously about that as they make their final choices.

*Which of Tom Brady and Joe Flacco are more likely to make mistakes vs. the defenses they are facing in Foxboro? Which running back or kick returner is most likely to cough up the ball after a hard hit?

*Which of Matt Ryan or Colin Kaepernick is more likely to make bad choices under pressure? Can you trust the relatively inexperienced Kaepernick to execute? Has Ryan established that he folds under pressure during his playoff career?

I’m known as The Dean of Sports Handicapping because I actually handicap the games! I don’t care what this Wise Guy is doing, or about that “hot” name from the past few weeks. I prefer not to be aligned with public sentiment, but sometimes public sentiment is right! The point is to pick the winner using proven methods.

If you’d like some help doing that in these high profile NFL clashes, you can purchase my big football weekend right here at this website with your major credit card. If you’re going into battle on your own, I wish you the best of luck…and I hope my tips to you through the NFL postseason have been of assistance.

We’ll pick up again with more basketball early next week here in the coursework. We’ll obviously have at least one more football report for the Super Bowl in the next fortnight. If developments warrant, we’ll have multiple Super Bowl discussions. I hope you’ve been printing out every edition so you can create a virtual textbook you can refer to year-round in the future.

I greatly appreciate the hard work all of you are putting into my College of Advanced Sports Handicapping. I look forward to our next visit. Best of luck to you this weekend in the conference championships!

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