Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 11:00 AM
I’ve been complaining a lot about quarterback play in both pro and college football this season. That probably won’t be the case this weekend in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs because several elite quarterbacks will be on the field. In fact, I encourage all students in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping to really FOCUS on the QB’s as you try to pick winners.
You regulars know that I’m always emphasizing PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS in my handicapping process. This set of eight teams provides signal callers who are truly integral to the success (or failure) of their teams. There are no “game managers” who are just out there trying to avoid mistakes while the rest of the team wins the game. Teams will win or lose based on what their quarterbacks will or won’t be able to do.
With that in mind, spend the next couple of days thinking about these questions…
*How will Joe Flacco of Baltimore play on the road in cold weather against the #13 ranked defense of the New England Patriots? New England’s defense ranks even better on a per-play basis, which is hidden by their offense’s fast pace. The Ravens have been inconsistent on offense this season under new coordinator Gary Kubiak.
*How will Tom Brady of New England play at home against the #8 ranked defense of Baltimore? Brady has a bad history against this defense in the playoffs. Should he be laying a touchdown to a top notch defense in cold weather?
*How will Cam Newton of Carolina play on the road, in possibly wet conditions, against the #1 ranked defense of the Seattle Seahawks? The Panthers offense has been very conservative and timid this season. Can they possibly score enough to cover at this site against a fantastic opposing defense?
*How will Russell Wilson of Seattle play at home against the #10 ranked defense of Carolina? Wilson has taken a small step backward this season in my view. He’s less of a threat downfield because defenses have adjusted. Should he be a double digit favorite against a top 10 defense?
*How will Tony Romo of Dallas play on the road in sub-freezing temperatures against the #15 ranked defense of the Green Bay Packers? Romo’s truly having a great season. But, the Cowboys played a soft schedule, one which isn’t likely to bring out the worst in him. A high-pressure game in frigid conditions just might.
*How will Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay play at home after not even practicing most of the last two weeks because of a calf injury? He’ll be facing the #19 defense of Dallas, but may not be at 100%. Do you want to lay points if he’s moving gingerly? Do you want to oppose him with a dome team from Texas if he’s close to 100%?
*How will Andrew Luck of Indianapolis play on the road against the man whose legacy he’s trying to replace? Luck will be facing the #3 defense of Denver. That’s a high pressure situation…outdoors for a dome quarterback…against a superb defense. This could be the performance that really confirms Luck is the next big thing…or the one that shows he’s still not ready.
*How will Peyton Manning play at home against the #11 ranked defense of Indianapolis, as he continues to battle with a loss of arm strength and true throwing authority? Sure, the Colts have had some bad defensive games vs. good quarterbacks. But, they might get some help from game conditions against an old quarterback who’s doing his best to hide the impacts of aging for as long as possible.
No Ryan Lindley’s this week. No Andy Dalton’s who don’t know how to adjust to a blitz. We have eight good to very good quarterbacks who will be challenged by opponents, game conditions, and in a few cases, health. Once you’ve answered those questions to your satisfaction…
*If a QB has an edge in a game, back that quarterback
*If both QB’s are in trouble, look very seriously at the Under
*If both QB’s can shine, look very seriously at the Over
I’m not going to get into any more specifics. I have to protect my plays for my clients. But, I can tell you that there’s one quarterback I think will put up quality numbers this week…at least one who’s going to play very poorly…and then a couple of other spots where my selections will be based on other PLAYMAKERS or even THE MOTIVATION FACTOR.
You’ll be able to purchase all of my NFL selections right here at this very website with your major credit card. I went 6-1 over Wildcard Weekend, including a “Game of the Year” winner on Baltimore outright over Pittsburgh. This is a great time to try out my personal service if you’ve been thinking about jumping in. Questions about extended service can be answered personally by one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155.
Smart Las Vegas bettors will be building their bankrolls for weekend football with basketball betting Thursday and Friday night. Ask my representative about that angle if you’re interested.
Our next class get-together will either be late Sunday or early Monday when I talk about handicapping the college football National Championship game featuring Ohio State and Oregon. I want to let public betting hit the board this weekend before finalizing the right line of attack for your game day coursework.
The Dean of Sports Handicapping knows you’re looking forward to this fantastic football weekend. I am too! Let’s keep a good run going with smart bets based on proven fundamentals.
Be sure to follow:
Kelso Sturgeon on twitter @vsm_sturgeon
Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters