Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Sunday, September 6, 2015 at 12:00 PM
I decided to postpone my planned discussion on the NFL a couple of days to talk about college football’s Atlantic Coast Conference. There are a few very clear reasons for this:
*I won my 200-unit bombshell Saturday on the ACC’s NC State (-) over Troy
*The ACC had a lot of good results in the first big weekend of action
*Virginia Tech of the ACC will be featured Monday Night vs. Ohio State on TV
So, the question of whether or not the market has underrated the ACC this season is front and center as you handicap the Monday Night game on ESPN. Here are some quick discussion points for this edition of my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping…
*I think you have to be very careful reacting positively to blowouts of non-entity teams. Crushing Elon or Alcorn State may not mean anything in the big picture…other than your coach likes running up the score if he gets a chance. Focus on the handful of real litmus games when evaluating the ACC. And, do that all through the month of September. It’s okay to dock a team if they play poorly vs. a non-entity. Just curb your enthusiasm if they win big.
*North Carolina actually started the week off well for the ACC even though they lost and didn’t cover against South Carolina. The Tar Heels won total yardage 440-394, and obviously should have won the game. Marquise Williams still doesn’t know what to do in the red zone! At the point of attack, NC more than held its own vs. a respected SEC side.
*Virginia hung tough and covered through the backdoor in a very tough opener at UCLA. Josh Rosen of the Bruins looks to be the real deal. But, he didn’t cash his first ticket for backers because Virginia didn’t give up and found a way to move the ball.
*Louisville was also a team that had to play from behind…but also rallied late to cover away from home against a respected opponent. The boxscore shows that doube-digit underdog Louisville outgained Auburn 407-327, and outrushed them 240-187. If not for a fumble return TD for Auburn, this would have been a scoreboard toss-up in Atlanta.
*Duke beating Tulane wasn’t exactly an earth-shattering development. But, their 37-7 slaughter as a 7-point favorite points very tellingly to the potential that the ACC is being underrated. Duke gained over 500 yards on the road within a weekend where many high profile offenses struggled badly because of rust. This isn’t crushing Elon at home. This is covering a spread by 23 points against a home dog some Wise guys actually liked!
Look, it’s only one week…and there weren’t any true “breakthrough” victories. The Dean of Sports Handicapping isn’t here to tell you that the ACC has become the SEC West, or anything like that. Virginia and Louisville covered spreads, they didn’t score high profile scoreboard upsets. But, as handicappers…you’re main focus is the pointspread. If oddsmakers and professional bettors are 2-3 points too low on their conference team-by-team Power Ratings…you can exploit that for value until the market catches up.
North Carolina State? I thought they’d win bigger than they did. They certainly controlled the evening…jumping to a big early lead and earning better than a 2-1 advantage in time of possession. They held Troy to just 1 of 9 on third down conversions, but allowed too many big plays for my taste. I still think Jacoby Brissett (21-23-196 with 2 TD passes) will be a factor in league play. This may be a team where Over is a smart weekly bet given the 70 points rung up in the 49-21 victory. Congrats to all of you who won that 200-unit blowout with me.
Your homework for the rest of Labor Day Weekend…go through the college scoreboard and circle all games that you would consider “litmus test” matchups for the conferences involved. Just ignore the 73-14 and 63-7 type scores and focus on what were supposed to be competitive interconference games. Make some early evaluations about conference strengths based on those litmus tests…then use those evaluations to help with next week’s college card.
Will I be riding the ACC Monday Night when Virginia Tech is a home underdog to Ohio State? That will depend on my evaluation of PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS, as well as the potential MOTIVATION FACTOR involving OSU’s revenge. Only paying customers will know my final decision on game day. But I will continue to do my best to help you do-it-yourselfers make good choices all season with our coursework here on these pages.
KELSO STURGEON’S top plays 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. Be sure you check on combination packages that include college football, pro football (which starts Thursday!), and the baseball through the World Series.
All of your hard summer work will be paying off all through September and beyond. It was great to have a huge Saturday schedule in the colleges to attack. Next week…the NFL joins the slate and weekends are going to be extremely busy. I have confidence that you’re ready for the challenge at hand!
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