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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, July 25, 2014 at 1:00 PM

I haven’t had any time yet this month to talk about the NFL here in our College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. With the opening of training camps across the nation this week, today felt like a good time to review some keys for smart analysis during this onslaught of media hype.

The first thing to remember is that Preseason coverage of all 32 teams is generally optimistic. You need to see through this and keep your head on straight! I even read an article on ESPN’s website about how great Geno Smith is going to be this year. Hey, he might be better this year than he was during a fairly disastrous rookie campaign. If he’s not, he’ll be out of a job! But, the tone of that article, and many like it, was completely detached from reality.

Consider:

*About 10 teams think they’ll be the one that wins the Super Bowl

*About 24 teams think they have a legitimate shot to be among the 12 that make the playoffs

*All teams think they’ll be as good or better than last year if they can stay healthy

*All teams are trying to sell tickets and/or merchandise

*Most media is dependent on money from the league (or local teams for local media) to survive

It all conspires to create a bunch of feel-good stories presented by happy talking heads who are focused on how great everything is going to be. Do you think the NFL Network is going to tell you which teams will stink this year? As much money as ESPN spends for game rights, and as much as they make from TV commercials, do you think they would focus on anything negative? (Keith Olbermann was pretty harsh on the league’s light suspension of Ray Rice. Late at night on ESPN2 when hardly anyone watches.)

Now, I’m not saying you should completely block out all the coverage. Smart handicappers can learn a lot regarding personnel moves and changes in offensive or defensive schematics. Those of you who are serious about winning this year MUST be aware of those. Focus on the following:

*Personnel battles for key positions (particularly for Preseason betting)

*Changes in offensive schematics or pace

*Changes in defensive schematics

*Notes on “new faces in new places” regarding free agency or trades

*Discussions on suspensions that will keep certain players out for a month or longer

For example, if you hear an announcer say that “so-and-so is changing from a 4-3 defensive alignment to a 3-4, and it’s going to work out great,” make note of the change and then DO YOUR OWN ANALYSIS on whether or not it’s going to work out great. A lot of defensive adjustments like that solve old problems but create new ones.

I have to admit, I’ve picked up some great “bet against” edges listening to interviews with general managers and owners too. They’re not all geniuses! The worst from both of those categories often expose their ignorance about what it really takes to build winning franchises during the kinds of PR interviews you see at this time of year.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of tuning out the hype. Everyone is pushing product. You’re trying to pick winners! Many of your smartest Preseason and early season Las Vegas bets will involve games where you were smart enough to see through the media hype and go AGAINST “flavor of the month” clubs that ESPN and the NFL Network won’t stop hyping until mid-October when it’s clear that they’ve made a mistake.

There may have been as many as six or seven of those teams last season! I have my eye right now on at least four for 2014. I may soon be adding to that list.

A great way to add to your BANKROLL in these days leading up to the pro and college football seasons is to bet my daily baseball. You can purchase my BEST BETS right here at this very website with your major credit card. If you have any questions about early-bird football or extended summer baseball packages, please talk to one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155.

We’ll continue to hop between pro football, college football, and the baseball pennant races through the rest of the summer. It’s amazing that the NFL Exhibition slate is so close on the calendar! Are you ready? Or, have you been dragging your heels because it’s “only” July. Well, July is almost over. The Dean of Sports Handicapping doesn’t want to rap your knuckles with a ruler to get your attention. Get to work so you’re ready to win!

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