Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Sunday, September 20, 2015 at 8:00 PM
Thanks to everyone who signed up for my 100-unit winners this past weekend on Utah (-) at Fresno State and the Pittsburgh Steelers (-) over the San Francisco 49ers. Once again, easy blowout covers set up a tutorial for you just by reading the game accounts!
Since my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping is all about teaching moments, let me take this opportunity to review why those plays made so much sense…and why they got the money so easily…
UTAH OVER FRESNO STATE 45-24
The Utes jumped ahead early and coasted through the fourth quarter. That’s why the total yardage stats weren’t as dominant as you might have expected. Utah was sitting on a big lead, and Fresno picked up some yardage that didn’t matter after the game was out of reach.
The biggest key for me here was the horrible quarterback play of Fresno State. You regulars know I emphasize PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS when handicapping. Sometimes a pick is a virtual lock because the underdog has virtually NOBODY who can make anything happen when it’s starter vs. starter. You saw that last week when Fresno was obliterated by Ole Miss. Utah has a strong defense by Western standards. Fresno just wasn’t going to get much on the board with their first team.
Fresno starting quarterback Chason Virgil finished 10 of 25 for 97 yards before leaving the game. That’s less than four yards per pass attempt! He’s the main reason Fresno State trailed 24-3 entering the fourth quarter. Kendal Thompson of Utah is more of a game manager than a high impact player. But, he was likely to avoid mistakes while taking care of business. In this case, I was exposing a mismatch of “safe” vs. “horrible” rather than backing a high octane offense. Fresno’s defense is so bad they made Utah look high octane for awhile anyway!
What about the intangibles? Utah had extra preparation time after a win last Friday. Fresno State was so demoralized by their 73-21 loss at Ole Miss that I didn’t expect them to have any fight left. That kind of result is going to leave a mark on inexperienced players. The starters weren’t much of a factor. The backups found the end zone when it was too late to matter.
Just like Memphis over Kansas last week…we were laying a very manageable number against a truly horrible team.
PITTSBURGH OVER SAN FRANCISCO 43-24
I don’t know where to begin here. We have a proven ball-mover in Ben Roethlisberger facing a quarterback in Colin Kaepernick who’s likely to be in over his head without Jim Harbaugh around to protect him any more. That right there is enough to think about Pittsburgh at home laying less than a touchdown.
The intangibles were HUGE here. Pittsburgh had been off for a week-and-a-half after opening the season on a Thursday night in New England. They were in bounce-back mode off a loss, and had plenty of time to make adjustments and plan some surprises. San Francisco had just played the prior Monday night…in the LATE game of the annual season opening doubleheader. And, now they had to play a “bad body clock” early start the next Sunday. It was one of the biggest mismatches you could have the way the schedule is set up. Sorry 49ers fans, but you were screwed here!
Pittsburgh had extra time to bounce back from a loss
San Francisco was on short rest and in a letdown spot off a home upset win
Those issues combined with my quarterback advantaged yielded a 29-3 halftime lead. Pittsburgh averaged almost NINE yards-per-play for the whole game. That’s not supposed to happen in the NFL.
As you prepare for the new week and the rest of the season, remember the power of the approach I’ve been teaching you for years on these pages. Oddsmakers are at the mercy of handicappers who respect and apply comprehensive analysis of:
PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS
THE MOTIVATION FACTOR
I’m not going to suggest you’ll win every pick. Sometimes a team will disappoint you. Sometimes turnovers or special teams’ flukes will get in your way. Hey, sometimes you’re just flat wrong! But, if you make your biggest bets when these gift games arise, you’re going to make big money in short order and over the long haul. Often, you won’t even have to sweat the finishes.
I know many of you regular students are do-it-yourselfers. But, if you find yourself needing assistance, 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. Feel free to try things out Monday Night in the Jets/Colts game. If you’re reading this after that game has been played, try out some midweek baseball as you build your bankrolls for a new football weekend.
Back with you in a few days for more coursework. We’ve seen plenty of surprises already at both the college and pro level. Never a dull moment when you’re a professional sports bettor! The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your attendance. See you again in a few days.
Be sure to follow:
Kelso Sturgeon on twitter @vsm_sturgeon
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