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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, August 31, 2015 at 12:00 PM

I have to say I was a little surprised by how many NFL teams didn’t actually play full blown dress rehearsals this past weekend. Many coaches have apparently decided that it’s much better to protect their key players from injury rather than emphasize timing and execution in Week Three of the Preseason. If you run through the boxscores, you’ll note that many veteran quarterbacks only made token appearances for a couple or a few series.

Any veteran quarterback who performed well right away was taken off the field! Maybe that’s the right way to go in terms of being ready for the regular season. Students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping should be prepared for the possibility that we’ll see a lot of rustiness and second half fatigue in Week One of the regular season from quarterbacks who barely played in August and faced mostly vanilla defenses!

To me, the most important lessons from the dress rehearsals involve all the starting quarterbacks who DID see extended time and DIDN’T perform very well. If you watched the Sunday Night game with Carson Palmer of the Arizona Cardinals…he was a great example of what I’m talking about. He’s recovering from a serious injury…and was very clearly out of synch for more than a half. He had multiple interceptions, multiple sacks, and only looked semi-sharp in the final seconds of the first half when the Raiders were in a prevent defense.

Your homework today (or, any time before the start of the regular season) is to go through all 16 of this past weekend’s NFL boxscores and write down how each projected regular season starting quarterback performed in his time on the field. Rank the 32 performances from best to worst based on completion percentage, yardage per attempt, interceptions, lost fumbles, sacks, and team third down conversion rate.

*With the “best” performances at the top…don’t blindly assume that those players are ready to shine out of the gate. Some of those players will fall flat once they have to face complex blitzes and the challenge of playing four full quarters under fire. But…with proven veterans…you can safely assume they’ll at least play to their career norms.

*With the “worst” performances down at the bottom…see if you can figure out what might be causing problems. I’ve talked before about Colin Kaepernick possibly having an ugly transition to a new head coach. Jim Harbaugh was a former quarterback who knew how to amplify Kaepernick’s strengths and hide his weaknesses. This new regime will likely be asking too much. You can already see the results in poor Preseason stats for Kaepernick. There are other quarterbacks across the league that are either dealing with playing for a new coach, a new team, or with new offensive linemen. The sluggishness we’ve seen thus far will likely continue into Week One of the regular season…probably through all of September…and possibly through the bulk of the season. These struggling quarterbacks need to be on your radar! In fact…the single biggest key to beating the market in 2015 may ultimately involve recognizing these trouble spots before the market does.

You hear a lot of pundits say that the Preseason is “meaningless.” It is in terms of wins and losses not counting in the standings. But, it’s NOT meaningless in terms of stuff not mattering. I can assure you that professional bettors here in Las Vegas pay very close attention to certain key factors (like those I’ve discussed today regarding quarterbacks). They wouldn’t do that if the Preseason was meaningless! You will learn A LOT if you do today’s homework. And what you learn will pay off repeatedly in the coming weeks.

The focus for the rest of this week will be on college football. No need to write about Week Four in NFLX when it’s mostly going to be backups racing through games to avoid injury. We’ll talk about Week One of the colleges the next time we’re together.

Through the week, you can build your bankroll with game day BEST BETS in baseball (all week) and college football (beginning Thursday). Those can always 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. If you’re not ready yet to be a successful sports bettor on your own, assistance is always just a few clicks or a phone call away.

The Dean of Sports Handicapping looks forward to our next class get-together. I do want to let you know that I will be posting three handicapping related articles per week instead of two beginning in the month of September (which is Tuesday!). Thanks very much to all of you who have spread the word about this web feature. You’re the reason it’s expanding! See you in a few days as we gear up for college football.

Be sure to follow:

Kelso Sturgeon on twitter @vsm_sturgeon

Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters

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