Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 10:00 AM
College football has always been one of my favorite sports to bet. I believe that if you charted the average “size of cover” on my biggest releases in all sports…you’d see that college football was where I beat the line most handily. I have a long track record of success in all sports. But, I’m more likely to truly embarrass oddsmakers by exposing a horrible line in college football than in any other sport.
Why is that? Because there are more bad lines to expose in college football than any other sport!
As we’ve talked about a lot in recent years on these pages in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping…oddsmakers just haven’t grasped the on-field impact that PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS have in college football. And, they’ll often miss the point-value of THE MOTIVATION FACTOR by more than a touchdown. It’s not an exaggeration to say that there are some “pick-em” games where one of the teams should actually be favored by 10-14 points based on the matchup dynamics and intangibles in play that day. How often have I shown you in recent seasons a favorite of 2-3 touchdowns who was destined to win by 40 points or more?
Week One can be tricky for handicappers because of the following:
*You don’t know for sure which new starters will truly be PLAYMAKERS
*Motivation usually isn’t a big deal because EVERYBODY is sky high for their first game
*There are many new head coaches who are preparing for a season opener for the very first time
This doesn’t mean I step back and pass the week. Far from it. I’ve been doing this for a very long time. And I’ve learned to take advantage of situations that are only available in this first week of action. I’m going to be fairly general here to protect the plays for my clients. But, these general themes should be part of your handicapping process this weekend.
*Look for blowout scenarios where very talented teams with A HISTORY OF RUNNING UP THE SCORE are hosting a nobody who’s only on the field to earn a paycheck for their program. Many of the lesser schools have learned that discretion is the better part of valor in these matchups. They can’t afford to have a star player suffer a serious injury because it kills the rest of their season. And, losing badly actually helps them earn invitations from other powers in future seasons! I’m not suggesting that any group of youngsters would go out and lose on purpose. I’m saying there’s a point where the fight goes out of the dog (particularly on the sidelines)…and that talented veteran superpowers can name the score against a bad team that’s given up. Smart head coaches name scores that cover spreads when they’re big favorites in games like this.
*Look for COACHING HISTORIES that showcase head men who have a proven record of covering September numbers. There’s a real dichotomy here. Some coaches only care about the win, and don’t worry about alumni who are losing their bets. But, other coaches understand that alumni and the fan base love cashing tickets in early season games. They will leave their best players on the field until the Vegas spread is covered. It pays to know who these coaches are! And, that’s particularly true in Week One when there’s less pure tangible information to go on.
*Look to BET AGAINST teams who can’t figure out who the quarterback should be. You’ve probably heard the saying, “If you have two starting quarterbacks, you don’t have any starting quarterbacks.” This is VERY true for the first week of college football action. If a team has been splitting its practice snaps between two candidates, then neither candidate has spent enough time with the first unit to get everyone’s timing down. Put that team on the field against a good defense, and it’s going to get nasty. Bet against teams who still aren’t sure who their quarterback should be…particularly if local media reports are talking about how shaky each of the candidates has been.
Best of luck to all of you do-it-yourselfers who have been working so hard this summer to get ready for the football season. If you’d like more specific assistance this weekend, you can sign up for my personal service on this website with your major credit card. Daily plays are available on game days…and I have great rates for full season service.
The Dean of Sports Handicapping will be back in a few days with further discussion here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. That will be before the first weekend officially kicks off this Thursday Night. If you’ve been with us all summer, I’d wager that you’re better prepared for the start of the 2013 season than you’ve been in any other year. Great job! Get ready to reap the rewards!