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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 7:00 AM

A very tricky week has arrived in the NFL Preseason as teams get ready for their so called “dress rehearsal” performances. These are games that teams treat as “real” for at least a half and often three quarters because they want to make sure their offenses and defenses are truly ready for the regular season to begin.

Why don’t they do that in the FOURTH full week instead of the third? They want to give their starters extra time to rest up for the first game that counts…as well as giving their coaching staff extra time to prepare for the first regular season opponent. That fourth week amounts to a bunch of glorified scrimmages involving backups. It’s this upcoming week that will be treated with utmost seriousness by most NFL head coaches and on-field leaders.

Here are some tools from my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping you should be using this weekend.

*First, you should look at dress rehearsal COACHING HISTORIES for all the head coaches. We have a few rookies of course. Obviously, they won’t have a history. But, any head man who’s coached a dress rehearsal before has left a trail of bread crumbs you should be studying very closely.

*Who wins and covers?

*Who plays a good first half but then loses?

*Who emphasizes offense, which means their games go OVER?

*Who emphasizes defense, which means their games go UNDER?

*Who goes for a big result in front of the hometown fans, but slacks off in the second half if he’s on the road?

It’s true that this is a top priority week. But, there are a few head coaches who just flat don’t care about the scoreboard. They want to see execution and sharpness from their most important players. They don’t care about the final result. Other head coaches believe that treating the game like it’s real means trying to WIN it by a meaningful margin. Find a few “prioritization” mismatches like that and you’re going to have a very good weekend.

*Second, you want to review your summer work on PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS because those are the guys who will want to put points on the scoreboard to show they’re ready. Quarterbacks will want to lead at least two touchdown drives. Receivers will want to catch a TD Pass and do their end zone celebration. Running backs will want to break off at least one or two long runs.

If there’s a mismatch in the area of GAMEBREAKERS between two NFL teams, the only time that’s going to matter during the Preseason is dress rehearsal weekend. You can actually get some Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks at affordable prices…in games where they’re focused on scoring multiple touchdowns. Do your best to take advantage of that this weekend.

*Third, you want to make sure you spend some time studying DEFENSES. Far too many Preseason handicappers focus on “fantasy football” stars and not on the units who are fired up to stop people. Teams who pride themselves on playing aggressive, attacking defense will be at peak intensity for two or three quarters this week. This is not at all a situation where all the defenses cancel out, and only offense matters. You want to invest in the best defenses as a general rule, and fade the worst defenses.

Ideally, you can put all of those together to find some truly fantastic situations. Some old-timers will tell you that betting the Preseason is a waste of time and money. How could that be possible if you’re getting a coach who cares at a cheap price, backed up by advantages on both sides of the ball? Some of the best bets OF ANY TYPE you can make over THE WHOLE CALENDAR YEAR come during NFL Preseason dress rehearsal games.

Coaching Histories

Playmakers and Gamebreakers

Defensive Attitude

Combinations of those will be at the heart of my top picks this weekend. That should be true as well for all students in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping.

If you’d like some help making the right choices in the next few days, and all through the coming pro and college football seasons, you can always purchase my top plays right here at this very website with your major credit card. Be sure to check out my very low seasonal rates.

I’m planning an additional report on dress rehearsal handicapping later this week. Next week we’ll transition to some college football notes to get you ready for the first big weekend of the regular season. The Dean of Sports Handicapping is excited that important games have now become a part of the busy sports schedule. I know you are too. You’ve spent the summer doing your homework. It’s time for all that work to pay off!

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