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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, August 18, 2014 at 7:00 PM

It’s been months since we’ve had some real football to handicap. By real…I mean teams going all out to execute at acceptable levels. We’re still several days away of REAL football where wins and losses count in the standings. But, at least this coming weekend in the NFL dress rehearsals, offenses are trying to get to the end zone rather than just working on timing…and defenses are trying to stop them rather than just clarifying work assignments on the fly.

With that in mind, it’s the perfect time for a refresher course on how KELSO STURGEON handicaps football. If you’re new to our work here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping, this is your starting point for the new season. If you’re a longtime student, these will remind you of the main framework you’ll need when analyzing this week’s dress rehearsal games, and then all the matchups that count in pro and college football through the rest of 2014.

 

PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS

Make a list of the high impact players on every team. Most of these will be on offense (quarterbacks, wide receivers, and a few running backs). A handful will be on defense. They are at the heart of who covers spreads in football (and basketball). If an offense has GAMEBREAKERS that cannot be stopped by the opposing defense, they are going to name the score in blowouts. And, even in tight games vs. quality opposition, it’s those GAMEBREAKERS who will likely make the key play that earns the straight up win and the cover.

You need to have a working list of healthy PLAYMAKERS on every team. Then you need to analyze the opposing defense’s ability to contain them. I can already tell you now (because it’s been true for me every season for decades) that your biggest winning bets this season will come on high octane teams lined up against subpar defenses. And, given the impact of rules interpretations in NFL defensive backfields thus far…this could become even more true than ever. PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS now have even more free reign!

 

THE MOTIVATION FACTOR

This is arguably a bigger factor in college football than in the pro’s…but it’s certainly relevant in both sports. Teams get fired up for certain games on their schedule, but are flat as a pancake for others. If you’re an avid fan, it’s very simple for you to make these determinations. No, you won’t be write every single tie. But, you’ll be right much more than 52.5% of the time, which is what it takes to break even.

Once you’ve evaluated the high impact players on both teams, you must evaluate their mindset for that particular game. Will you see fire in the belly and peak intensity? Will you see a workmanlike effort that may still be good enough to get the job done? Or, will you see a lack of interest because the team is coming off a big game last week, or has a high profile game up next on the schedule?

What does all of this mean for dress rehearsal week in the NFL Preseason?

*PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS will be putting points on the board this week. They’ve already been doing that for many teams at three-quarter speed. We’re going to see an EXPLOSION of first-half scoring for several offensive powers this week. Look to back them and the Over.

*MOTIVATION will matter in a few places because there are still some head coaches who don’t take the dress rehearsals all that seriously. Find matchups where one team is emphasizing peak play and getting a result…against an opponent that’s already confident about September and trying to stay healthy…and you will bet the Vegas spread by at least two touchdowns.

I won’t talk about specific teams here in the coursework because I have to protect that information for my paying clients. There will be GAME OF THE YEAR caliber releases this week. If you’re having trouble finding them on your own, you can purchase my daily BEST BETS right here at this very website with your major credit card. 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.

Many of you are “football only” in terms of your Las Vegas betting mindset. I would like to encourage you to open that mind up a bit for August baseball because it gives you a chance to build additional bankroll in this very crucial month. Every dollar you earn this week and next will multiply itself over several times between now and the Super Bowl. I won’t get a chance to talk about baseball on these pages until the playoffs arrive because of readership priorities.  The Dean of Sports Handicapping would like to remind you that smart BETTING priorities do not exclude baseball.

I’ll talk more about the dress rehearsals when our class next meets again later this week. Then, early next week we’ll move to college football. The season begins Thursday August 28 with Texas A&M at South Carolina and a few other important matchups leading into the first full football weekend of 2014.

Thanks again for all of your hard work. I hope you have THE MOTIVATION FACTOR to be a GAMEBREAKER and PLAYMAKER in football betting this year!

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