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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 4:00 PM

College Football was hoping the announcement would make a bigger splash than it did. The first “rankings” from the Final Four selection committee were announced this past Tuesday Night to a collective national yawn. Tough to go against the World Series, opening night of the NBA, and new episodes of NCIS!

But, I can tell you this. College football COACHES and PLAYERS will be paying very close attention to those from this point forward. Teams currently in the top four will want to protect their spot. Those just on the outside will be trying to get inside. How should all of this affect YOUR handicapping through these final weeks of the season?

*You should generally PASS or FADE top four teams who are trying to protect their spot against quality opposition. They’re going to play too conservatively. They may succumb to nerves. They may have been running lucky to get here and are about to see their luck turn. And, you know their opponents are going to be fired up with a chance to score a major upset in front of a big TV audience.

*It’s only okay to TAKE these teams in true blowout scenarios where they will be motivated to run up the score to protect their spot. Make sure your PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS are healthy…and make sure the opponent is worn down and unlikely to bring much fire. Generally speaking, I’ll be saving my best BLOWOUT picks for mid-major conferences where towel-tossers have weaker defenses and are even more demoralized about bad seasons. But, I could easily have a handful of releases between now and the postseason on superpowers who are still searching for style points.

*You should TAKE teams just on the outside of the current top four in most conceivable scenarios unless they just happen to be in a bad matchup in terms of schematics or skill sets. It’s all about “winning the national championship” now for big name teams. You can’t possibly do that unless you crack the Final Four. These teams will have big edges in THE MOTIVATION FACTOR every time they take the field. The general public will generally be focusing on the big four each week, teams 5-8 may be offering the best value.

I will state this caveat though…if it becomes clear that oddsmakers are adjusting too many points for this “need to win impressively” motivational factor, then students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping will need to back off. You don’t want to lay -14 if the line should be -10.

*You should TAKE teams who are ranked in the #11 to #25 range in games that will weigh heavily in their conference races. These teams are already pretty much out of the national championship picture. That means they’re now focused on winning their own conference and playing in a major bowl. I think some great “hidden” gems will present themselves soon where THE MOTIVATION FACTOR will inspire teams to play well in November who have a chance to win their conference or division.

Historically, some of my biggest releases EVER have come in the month of November because there can be such EXTREMES in health and motivation. In the coming days, we are absolutely, positively going to find teams in 100% straight up and 90% cover scenarios who have significant talent, health, and motivation edges over opponents who are barely showing up physically and mentally. While the major networks focus on hyping the Final Four, YOU should be focused on finding these blockbusters whether they impact the rankings or not.

If you’d like some help finding the best bets on the board each week in college and pro football (and the NBA!), my BEST BETS can always be purchased right here at this very website with your major credit card. Questions about full season packages can be answered personally by one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about combination packages that include football and basketball. The NBA has already started, and college hoops will be here before you know it.

I’ve currently scheduled our first NBA discussion for early next week. That’s subject to change if there are weekend developments in football that I need to read and react to. I always want to make our coursework fresh and relevant. Often the headlines determine areas of focus. The Dean of Sports Handicapping is always honored and humbled by your attendance, and your continuing hard work. Always remember that YOU are champions! Or, if you’re just starting out in the field of sports betting, you will be one soon. See you next week.  


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Kelso Sturgeon on twitter @vsm_sturgeon

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