Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 3:40 PM
This past Sunday I surprised many people by taking the Baltimore Ravens as a 100-Unit blockbuster in the AFC Championship game. You regulars know that most of my 100-Unit and 200-Unit plays in college and pro football come on favorites who have significant talent and motivational edges that can’t be properly captured in the Vegas line. In this instance, it was an underdog of more than a touchdown who had those advantages!
PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS
The more I studied this game, the more I realized that the ABSENCE of a PLAYMAKER was going to be crucial. I’m referring of course to the injury to Rob Gronkowski. He’s not just a playmaker, but he’s the heart and soul of that New England offense when everything is on the line. His presence makes their fast-break offense difficult to stop. His absence limits the weaponry and the spirit. You could see that Tom Brady was down in the dumps from the get-go because he knew he couldn’t run his offense the way he wanted to.
As great as Brady is, he needs a variety of weapons to abuse a defense. Gronkowski is a linchpin player. New England would still have a chance to eke out a close win without him. Their blowout potential vs. a quality opponent largely disappeared.
Baltimore, of course, still had its full arsenal of GAMEBREAKERS. They had a strong-armed quarterback (vital when it turned out to be a very windy day), they had receivers who could get open. And, they had Ray Rice in the backfield. It’s not often you see the more talented team getting more than a touchdown!
THE MOTIVATION FACTOR
Pick one. Baltimore had revenge from last season, finding themselves in a same-site rematch to avenge a game they believe they should have won. Ray Lewis had announced his impending retirement. Nothing creates a “rally ‘round the flag” attitude more than a warrior going to battle for what may be the last time. Joe Flacco was tired of hearing how he’s not an elite quarterback. It couldn’t hurt that the Ravens believed they were going to win while everyone was calling them a big underdog.
Did New England have motivation? Well, teams are always trying to get to the Super Bowl. I’d say it this way. New England didn’t have any extra motivation. There was no reason to have a chip on their shoulder. This wasn’t a revenge spot. Tom Brady hadn’t said he was about to retire. The Patriots get to the Super Bowl on a regular basis. Both teams wanted to go to the Super Bowl. Only one was breathing fire. THE MOTIVATION FACTOR clearly favored Baltimore in my view.
Did I expect a three-touchdown cover? I believed very strongly that Baltimore was the value side, and I’m not surprised at all that they covered by three touchdowns given the dynamics in play. I’ve won a lot of big plays this year and through my career by that much. I would have taken Baltimore losing by four points because my clients and I would have still cashed our tickets. I’m not surprised they covered easily.
I’m looking forward to the Super Bowl. We’ll talk more about that next week here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting. Our next few reports will focus on basketball as we continue down the road to March Madness.
If you’d like some help picking daily basketball winners, my top plays can be purchased right here at this website with your credit card. I know many of you are now getting interested in both college and pro basketball storylines because football is out of the way. The worst thing you can do as a sports bettor is to play a bunch of half-hearted leans because you’re handicapping isn’t up to speed. So, either get up to speed or find a man who is!
Keep up the hard work. See you again soon.