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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, September 6, 2013 at 5:30 PM

As promised, I’m back with additional suggestions for opening week handicapping strategies in the NFL. Baltimore/Denver is in the books, but we still have 15 more games to ponder on Sunday (13) and Monday Night (2). If you missed that earlier edition of my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping, the discussed keys were:

*Realize there are many “go against” teams
*Know your playmakers and gamebreakers

*Bet early if you can

It’s too late to “bet early,” which brings me to more general themes that you can still use as you handicap the first Sunday and Monday of the new season.

 

*THINK ABOUT MOTIVATION

I’m always emphasizing THE MOTIVATION FACTOR to you on these pages. It can be a bit tricky in the first week of a new season. You’d think that EVERYONE was motivated to play well in their season opener. Who could be flat when they first take the field for a new campaign?

I’ll tell you who. Teams who are playing non-divisional games this week…but divisional games NEXT week. Here’s a not-so- short list:

NY Jets host Tampa Bay Sunday, but then visit NEW ENGLAND on Thursday

Tampa Bay visits the NY Jets Sunday, but then hosts NEW ORLEANS next Sunday

Cleveland hosts Miami Sunday, but then visits BALTIMORE next Sunday

Tennessee visits Pittsburgh Sunday, but then hosts HOUSTON next Sunday

Chicago hosts Cincinnati Sunday, but then hosts MINNESOTA next Sunday

San Francisco hosts Green Bay Sunday, but then visits SEATTLE next Sunday Night

Seattle visits Carolina Sunday, but then hosts SAN FRANCISCO next Sunday Night

Houston visits San Diego Monday, but then visits TENNESSEE next Sunday

Pittsburgh hosts Tennessee Sunday, but then visits CINCINNATI next Monday

Cincinnati visits Chicago Sunday, but then hosts PITTSBURGH next Monday

Don’t tell me none of those teams will get caught looking ahead to a big divisional game. Be sure you’ve fully thought through the motivation angle before finalizing your weekend selections.

 

*STUDY COACHING HISTORIES

Even though we have a lot of new head coaches this season, there are still several veterans with established track records. Do you know who has a history of starting out a season quickly? Do you know who prefers to start conservatively before opening things up deeper in the season? Do you know which head coaches have had the recent edge in this weekend’s divisional battles (there are six of them).

I don’t use trends as much as some of the other guys in the industry. I think it’s nonsensical to look at something like “coaching records in Week 7.” But, coaches do tend to get into patterns with how they start a season. And that’s true even after they’ve switched franchises. I believe you’ll find at least one or two hidden gems this week if you pursue this line of inquiry.

 

*CORRELATE DEFENSIVE QUALITY WITH GAME TIME TEMPERATURES

If you’ve watched a lot of football on TV the past several days, you’ve probably noticed all the college players going down with leg cramps. It’s usually not that bad at the pro level, because professional athletes try to keep themselves in condition year round. But, I will tell you this…

BAD DEFENSES will struggle in THE FOURTH QUARTER this week in the HOTTEST TEMPERATURES!

Be sure you know the weather forecasts at all the outdoor sites. Be sure you know which teams are entering 2013 with the most vulnerable and least deep defenses. A lot of pointspreads will be covered in the fourth quarter this week. And, they’ll be covered by PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS lined up against fading defenses who are running out of gas in summer-like conditions (or indoors on fast tracks).

If you need additional assistance finding the best plays on the board Saturday in the colleges and Sunday in the NFL, you can always purchase my top releases here at this very website with your major credit card. I have great rates for the full season as well. The goal of my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping is to make YOU a do-it-yourself winner. If you’re not there yet, assistance from The Dean of Sports Handicapping is always just a few clicks away.

Back with you early next week to talk more football. We’ll have a mix of college and pro discussions going forward. I generally use a “read and react” approach to breaking stories at this time the season…whether those are on-the-field developments, or in-the-market bulletins. I will try to fit in some baseball when the playoffs get here. If you’re new to our coursework, please check the archives at this website for some of our summer baseball material.

Best of luck to you this weekend. Your hard work will be rewarded!

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