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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, August 3, 2015 at 2:00 PM

The NFL Preseason officially starts this weekend with the Hall of Fame game matching the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers. But, the full league doesn’t jump into action for about a week-and-a-half, which makes this the perfect time to begin your exhibition preparations in earnest.

Here’s some homework for all of you regular students in my Advanced College of Sports Betting and Handicapping.

*Track down the quarterback depth charts for all 30 teams. Your bets will be won and lost in the first two weeks of the Preseason by backup quarterbacks. Some will even be won in the dress rehearsals by #2 quarterbacks in tight fourth quarters. You need to know who’s going to be playing for each team. Some of the best “Preseason” quarterbacks in terms of gamblers making money are backups who shuttle from team to team. You need to know where the money guys are this season!

*Following up on that…you need to know who the money guys are! Study the preseason stats for veteran quarterbacks to get a read on who most consistently moves the ball and finds the end zone in August. Hopefully you longtime readers kept notes during previous Augusts…and you can just go back and refer to those player tendencies. Otherwise, dig through player stats and boxscores from the last two seasons in particular to find guys who are PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS in exhibition action even if they can’t maintain that pace vs. regular season defenses.

*Next, review Preseason coaching records for all 32 head coaches. Well, we have some rookies…so those guys are starting cold. Read local media coverage online to get a sense of whether the brand new head coaches are focused on getting scoreboard results or not. For everyone else, check their career tendencies. Some coaches don’t care at all about winning games (or covering spreads). Others want to establish winning habits in August because they believe those carry over to the regular season. Most importantly…there are some coaches who don’t care about games 1 and 2…but then REALLY care about the Week Three dress rehearsals. It’s my view that any sports bettor can have a winning record every August just by focusing on coaching histories.

*Finally, go through the schedules to isolate awkward fatigue or travel scenarios for particular teams. If somebody’s playing on a Sunday one weekend, but a Thursday the next…it’s unlikely they’re going to get a pair of covers with only three off-days in between. Don’t ask teams to keep playing well on the road, unless you’re convinced their head coach is driving them to win. This effort won’t lead to a lot of selections…but it could lead to at least one REALLY BIG bet for you if the stars align just right. You’re leaving money on the table if you make a 50-unit play on a situation that actually deserves 100-units or even a very rare 200-unit play. Money you “should have won” can’t be overlooked even if your won-lost record is adequate.

Now…if you’ve been working hard on baseball this summer, and basketball before that…it sure doesn’t hurt to go back and review the 2014 regular season. Some of you are pro football only types (judging by the handle at sportsbooks here in Las Vegas). If you know the NFL inside and out, you already remember last year! But, if you’ve been buried in the recent MLB trades for example, you might forget which pro football teams made nice late-season runs last year...or which started showing signs of aging. If you can’t recall the division standings of all eight groups off the top of your head…go back and review last season’s standings and results over the final six-to-eight weeks.

I’ve given you some great general strategies to pursue. I’m not going to talk specifics here in the coursework because I have to protect that information for my paying clients. Rest assured that KELSO STURGEON knows which head coaches will or won’t be looking to get results this month…and which backup quarterbacks are likely to have big passing games on their way to one or two long touchdown drives. I love handicapping the preseason!

If you’d like some help finding the best plays on the NFLX board each week, my personal service selections can be purchased right here at this very website with your major credit card. We’re still building our bankrolls with daily baseball right now, and will be attacking pro (and then college) football in very short order. Questions about extended service can be answered personally by one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155.

The Dean of Sports Handicapping will be back with you later this week for another sports betting discussion. We’ll be mostly football heavy from this point forward. I’ll often let sports headlines influence our material so I can keep everything fresh and relevant. Based on sports media just the past few days…upcoming headlines will be jam-packed with stuff for us to talk about!


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Kelso Sturgeon on twitter @vsm_sturgeon

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