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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 1:00 PM

As a general rule, I shy away from using what are commonly called “trends” or “angles” when handicapping sports. You longtime students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping know that I emphasize PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS on the field, and THE EMOTION FACTOR as an intangible that can magnify advantages at the point of attack.

But, the NFL Preseason arguably provides the best opportunity to use “trends” and “angles” in your handicapping. I’m not going to list any that I’m currently using myself because those will be influencing client selections over the next few weeks. But, I’ll be happy to tell YOU why you should be considering them within your process.

First, in the NFL Preseason, most PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS are on the sidelines! They see limited minutes…and they play conservatively within those limited minutes. There’s no upside for an established starter making a superstar play in August. Get your timing down, get in shape, stay healthy. Those are the priorities. In regular season action, many past trends get trumped when PLAYMAKERS determine the outcomes of games. In August, there’s less that will trump the trends.

Second, most “trends and “angels” that have stood the test of time in this sport involve common sense logic that’s likely to continue holding true. Teams who play way over their heads one week fall back to earth with a thud more than 52.5% of the time. Coaches who have established that they want to get results in August will continue getting results. Coaches who have established that results are meaningless to them will continue to miss pointspread targets. If you can find the handful of super-solid tendencies from certain coaches, then picking the NFL Preseason actually becomes very easy. No sure things…but a high likelihood of profit.

Third, oddsmakers use a very condensed range when making August pointspreads. That prevents them from “defending themselves” to the degree needed against a winning angle. It’s not like a Preseason home team will be priced at -11, even if history shows the head coach wants results and the visitor is very likely to lay down just to get the game over with. Maybe a two-point favorite will move to -3 or -3.5. Maybe, in extreme cases, a 5-point favorite will move to -6. The reality being captured in proven trends is worth a lot more than that.

Let me use a real world example. In Week One of the coming regular season, Philadelphia was -11 over Jacksonville the last time I looked. That’s a division-winning playoff team from last year hosting the worst team in the league. In the Preseason, “trends” and “angles” will help you find the equivalent of Philadelphia hosting Jacksonville in terms of actual level of play…but the price is going to be half as high or even lower. You’ve already seen a few “Jacksonville-type” performances in Week One (I talked about Houston’s dismal showing the last time we were together).

So, as you prepare for Weeks Two, Three, and Four of the 2014 Preseason, I do encourage you to study and research historical trends. This particularly true for head coaches (remember to study their FULL career history at various spots, not just last year with this current team), and for extreme situations like teams coming off very good or very bad scoreboard results. If I say any more than that…my clients will be furious!

If you’d like to become a client, you can purchase my daily BEST BETS right here at this very website with your major credit card. I do have big plays planned for this weekend…and here’s an early heads up that a likely “Game of the Year” has been circled for the very near future. If you’re wondering about seasonal rates, please talk to one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155. Those serious about maximizing profit know that building your bankrolls in August is vital for showing dramatic year-end returns.

Back again early next week with more coursework and discussion. I’ll almost certainly be talking about keys for handicapping the dress rehearsal games. Those begin Thursday August 21 with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and continue through Sunday August 24. I’ll have at least one more college football-themed piece before that season begins on Thursday August 28.

Aren’t you glad you did so much preparation work this summer? The engine is revving on the 2014 football season. The Dean of Sports Handicapping wants you at the wheel ready for the green flag!

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