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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Last week I outlined my very best general principles for handicapping the NFL Preseason. Those were the hallmark of Advanced Handicapping for exhibition action. This week, I’m going to write up a list of what NOT to do in the Preseason. An important part of the Advanced approach is to avoid the mistakes that will cost you big money over the course of a month, or over the course of a lifetime of betting.

Doing the right things can get you into the 55-60% range that professional wagerers in Las Vegas aim for, and higher on the subset of your very best plays. But, doing the wrong thing can trim that down to barely above break-even. And, if you’re like most public bettors who make the mistakes without doing the right stuff…then you’re going to lose!

I don’t want you to lose. I want you to make as much money as possible in this great endeavor I’ve been blessed to spend my whole life involved with.

If you missed last week’s outline of proper Advanced strategies, please check the archives of this website. Hopefully you printed it out at the time, and you’ve been doing that with every posting here in our coursework. Here’s what NOT to do in the NFL Preseason.

*DON’T play a lot of action. This is always a big problem for avid football fans because they have so much pent up betting energy after the long layoff. They miss football. They’re excited to have it back. And, they want to have action all through the weekend just like it’s the regular season. Listen, there are some big edges every week…but oddsmakers and the market don’t miss every single game! They miss a few, and it’s your job to find those few and profit from them.

Don’t bet a game just because it’s on TV. Don’t bet a game just because your favorite team is playing. Don’t bet a game because your buddy told you about a system he heard about somewhere. Do the work. Find the biggest edges. Focus on those.

*DON’T overbet your bankroll. There’s nothing dumber than blowing most of your 2012 bankroll betting on Preseason games. I’ve seen this happen so often over the years that it boggles the mind. Have RESPECT for your bankroll! Set aside money that you plan on betting through the full college and pro seasons. Then, risk no more than 20-25% of that amount in August. Hopefully you’ll win your early bets with a picky strategy and that 20-25% will represent larger amounts as the month progresses. There’s nothing sadder than seeing a bettor virtually tapped out before the regular season even gets here. That happens way too often because the excitement and enthusiasm of football’s return. Say disciplined!

*DON’T let your expectations for the regular season determine who you’re going to bet in the Preseason. These are two different animals. Maybe you’ve picked out a darkhorse who’s going to rise up from the parity pack to make the playoffs. If you’re really enthusiastic about that team, you’ll naturally be tempted to bet them right away. Well, the head coach may be as optimistic as you about September, so he’s going to pull back and play vanilla football in August. You could turn out to be right, but be 0-1 or 0-2 betting that team because being a darkhorse in September often has little to do with August results.

On the other side of the coin, if you think a team is going to be terrible during the 2012 season, don’t bet against them in August in brain dead fashion. History is full of bad teams who covered three or even all four of their exhibition games before struggling badly once all 32 teams were going at full speed.

You know those guys I was talking about earlier who tapped out too early? They often spend September and October shouting “I knew that was going to happen!” And, they did! They actually had a good read on the regular season but screwed things up so badly in the Preseason that they couldn’t take advantage of their insights.

Focus on what WORKS in the NFL Preseason (as outlined last week). Be smart. Be disciplined. Build your bankrolls by attacking the softest spots so that you’re well-positioned to attack even harder once college football joins the scene and creates a more vulnerable volume. Sunday Night brings the start of the NFL Preseason…and the start of what truly separates Advanced Handicappers from the multitude of losers who can’t beat the market. Be sure you’re on the right side of the equation.

If you’d like some help with that through the month of August, you can purchase my Preseason package right here at the website with your major credit card. Or, sign up for the full football program which includes the Preseason.

My next lecture in the College of Advanced Handicapping will be on Friday. That is likely to be a baseball report that will outline overall strategies for the stretch run. Once football really gets rolling, the majority of our coursework will concern America’s #1 betting sport. We may not have much room for baseball through the rest of August and September on these pages, so I’ll talk about the big picture for you this weekend.

Remember to print out all of the coursework so you can have a textbook that can be referred to regularly on a year-round basis. Such a textbook would be very expensive in Las Vegas book stores (and would be well worth the price!). You’ve been getting the fundamentals of Advanced Handicapping for free just by visiting this website twice a week and listening to the Dean of Sports Analysis. It’s my honor to serve so many avid and enthusiastic learners. See you again Friday.

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