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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Normally I wouldn’t talk about “revenge” this early in a college football season. That topic is better suited to “rivalry” games and conference showdowns that populate the schedule in October and November. But, I’ve already heard the word 100 times from media types talking about the Alabama-Texas A&M showdown this Saturday. And, you’re also hearing it for UCLA-Nebraska, Ole Miss-Texas, Purdue-Notre Dame, and a few early season conference games.

How much weight should students of my Advanced College of Sports Betting and Handicapping put on “revenge” in a college football game? Let’s go over some keys to remember. Be sure to print today’s coursework out so you can refer to it later this season and in the future.



A lot of bad teams have revenge almost every time they take the field. You know what? They’ll have revenge again next year in the same games! Don’t bet on a bad team just because they technically qualify for the revenge role. This is not an angle that has any meaning beyond the caliber of team that can actually DO SOMETHING about having revenge.

I definitely pay attention when a top 10 or top 20 caliber team has revenge. I definitely pay attention when a bowl caliber team has revenge against a rival. You know…if a team only loses one, two, or three games in a season, they REMEMBER those for years to come. They will do what they can to avenge those losses if given a chance.

The ideal revenge team has a strong defense, an offense that can move the ball and score points…and doesn’t have other distractions on their mind from the prior week or the upcoming week. Only bet on revenge teams who have the PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS to extract it, and make sure nothing else is getting in the way of THE MOTIVATION FACTOR.



This tip is probably most important to remember in same-season college basketball rematches, in short term turnarounds in the NBA, and in NFL divisional games. But, it applies to college football too when there are a lot of returning starters for a quality team that lost.

This is a further amplification of the first point. You have to have the ability to extract revenge. Being the superior team on the field gives you the opportunity to fully express your emotions on the scoreboard.

Let me explain this simply. If you have a B-grade team with revenge…they may offer some value when trying to get revenge against an A-grade team…but they will be in position to really RUN UP THE SCORE against a C-grade team that upset them the prior year. A team that is capable of extracting revenge with their talent while ALSO being the superior team is a potent force.



Revenge can turn into a real fury when applied to the biggest rivalries. There are times where it’s worth a touchdown or more when the avenging team takes the field breathing fire while last year’s winner comes in overconfident or otherwise distracted.

I don’t think any of the games on this upcoming Saturday schedule truly qualify as a “juicy” rivalry. Maybe Texas A&M and Alabama will become one. True hatred hasn’t had time to foster. Alabama is mad about losing to Texas A&M. They’d be even madder about losing to Auburn. Texas A&M still hates Texas much more than they hate Alabama, or anyone else in the SEC right now.

Revenge may be worth 1-3 points in handicapping value this weekend…but 4-7 points (occasionally even more) much deeper in the season in those blood rivalry games.



I have a question for you. If everyone’s talking about Alabama having revenge vs. Texas A&M, don’t you think that’s already factored into the line?! The Crimson Tide is laying more than a touchdown on the road for goodness sake. The oddsmakers aren’t oblivious to revenge. They remember last year’s scores.

I can assure you that part of the current Tide/Aggies spread reflects the revenge angle. Handicappers must determine if oddsmakers have truly incorporated “full” value for how it’s in play in the matchup. Is this a spot where it’s worth 4-7 points instead of 1-3? Personally, I prefer attacking revenge in off-the-radar games that aren’t getting discussed much on TV. You may recall that was a nice hidden kicker in some of my 100-star and 200-star college football blowouts in recent seasons.

Best of luck to all of you do-it-yourselfers this weekend. If you’d like assistance determining your final portfolio, you can purchase my top game day selections right here at this very website with your major credit card. If you’re reading this before Saturday, I hope you’ll consider building your bankrolls with my Thursday and Friday plays in football and baseball.

Coursework continues in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping early next week, as we continue to read and react to developments through the college and pro football seasons. The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your attendance and hard work.

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