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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, July 17, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Last weekend we talked about a few strategies for betting Major League Baseball right before the All-Star Break. Today, our topic here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping involves time tested strategies for handicapping in the days immediately following the All-Star Break.

*The most important thing to remember is that the BEST teams are now RESTED and MOTIVATED to play their best ball. We see this time and time again…the cream really rises to the top because contenders had a chance to catch their breath as they prepare for pennant races. As a result, our continuing emphasis on PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS will really pay off because the best players are going to play their best ball.

Regular clients will note that I’m not afraid to lay odds in this sport if I believe the market is underestimating blowout potential. If a -150 favorite “should” be laying -210….then you’re supposed to lay that -150! Too many longtime handicappers emphasize underdogs at the expense of smart favorite plays in my view. Yes, it’s important to take dog value when it’s being given. It’s just as important to take favorite value when it’s being given! Right after the All-Star Break, it’s okay to ask the best performers in the sport to win games for you.

*Secondly, this is the stage of the season where “pretenders” start to be exposed. This type of team was using enthusiasm and probably some good luck to create illusions during the first half of the season. They just spent a few days relaxing and celebrating a good first half. That’s the worst thing that can happen to a mediocre team that’s been catching breaks or taking advantage of tired/disinterested opponents. The long layoff took away their momentum, and emphasized that they’re now in a pennant race. The pressure will really get to them.  That won’t last long for a few of these pretenders. They’ll have fallen off the pace by mid-August.

In the first category, we’re going to find favorites of -150 or so who really should be -210. In this category, we’ll see favorites in the -130 to -150 range who should be underdogs. Heck, if these games were being played back in April, they would have been underdogs. A few lucky months doesn’t mean a team is for real. Your job as handicappers is to figure out who these pretenders are so you can fade them. (Hints: go against teams who have been lucky in close games, or who have been winning because of star pitchers or sluggers who have been playing way over their career norms).

*Finally today, I want you to think about betting Overs in games Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday where pitchers who have been off for a week are throwing in good scoring conditions. Pitchers are creatures of habit. They generally don’t like having a week off between starts! Some pitchers will be looking at more like 10 days off between starts. These pitchers (particularly the nibblers who don’t throw hard) are likely to have shaky first and second innings…and then may be in big trouble later in the game the third time through a lineup. Now…you just can’t assume that EVERYONE with a long layoff will struggle. But, the percentages will be in your favor for Overs if you’re focusing on the most vulnerable pitchers (low strikeout guys) when they’re pitching in good scoring environments (hitter’s parks, hot weather, facing dangerous lineups)

I can’t give you all of my personal strategies. I have to save something for my paying customers! But, you hard-working do-it-yourselfers will definitely find some great situations this weekend and through the rest of July if you focus on today’s themes. In fact…you should be able to ride some super-surgers and fade some collapses for upwards of two months before the lines fully adjust!

If you’d like some help finding the best daily bests on the board, my personal service selections can be purchased right here at this very website with your major credit card. Questions about extended service can be answered personally by one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure you check on early-bird football rates when you call.

The Dean of Sports Handicapping hopes you took full advantage of the baseball All-Star Break as you gear up for the challenges that remain through the 2015 calendar. Take advantage of market vulnerabilities right out of the gate this weekend. I’ll see you again early next week. Coursework will involve both baseball and football through the rest of July and August. I know you’re all looking forward to the start of football!  


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Kelso Sturgeon on twitter @vsm_sturgeon

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