Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, October 19, 2015 at 7:00 AM
There were a few reminders this past weekend in both college and pro football that the weather is starting to turn in the Northeast and Midwest. That means handicappers must make adjustments that will enable them to take advantage of the natural influences caused by cold temperatures, wind, and occasionally snow.
Now…this is likely to be a gradual process. Maybe the weather this weekend is going to be great everywhere. But…eventually…and maybe immediately…you will need to have this on your radar.
PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS
You regulars know that my process always starts right here. Generally speaking, weather influences hurt the most important offenses stars. There are exceptions though. We’ve all seen NFL games where Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers were unaffected by winter conditions in Foxboro or Green Bay while their opponents floundered. Those guys don’t miss a beat. Most quarterbacks do!
Back off strong gradings on most quarterbacks in cold or wind…and really back off your expectations for wide receivers. It’s very difficult to complete long downfield passes in anything other than good conditions. It’s okay to expect norms indoors, in the South, or in the southern rim of the Pac 12. Playing in Arizona in November is a lot different than playing in Oregon! Don’t ask great passing attacks to thrive in off-weather unless they have veteran stars (or experienced college seniors) who have established that they can perform.
With running backs…different story! A power running back can carry his team on his back in cold conditions. Defenders have trouble getting up to speed in questionable footing, must resort to trying to arm tackle bulldozers. This is where it helps to know personnel depth. There are several college running backs who are virtually invisible in normal conditions because the head coach wants to pass…but who become GAMEBREAKERS in tougher conditions. I can already tell you now that I will be exploiting this in a few spots about a month from now.
Also…as we’ve talked about often this season…the game is trending in such a way that BAD quarterbacks are really getting exposed and embarrassed. This only gets worst in wind or cold (or rain/snow) because executing clean football is out of the question. I can’t imagine how bad some of 2015’s worst offenses are going to look when weather gets worse. They’ve been helpless in great conditions!
In terms of finding BIG BETS that qualify for 50, 100, or 200 units…you generally want to focus on good weather sites, domes, or proven veterans who can handle conditions. This year, we can add in the “fade” material where you go against the very worst quarterbacks when conditions will make it virtually impossible for them to score.
THE MOTIVATION FACTOR
I think too many handicappers leave out THE MOTIVATION FACTOR when handicapping weather games. One reason we see so many blowouts in these games is because the loser wants to get back to the locker room and head home! Demoralized teams barely try in bad conditions. Motivated teams who sense this from opponents can really go for the jugular and run up the score. When the stars align, you can get a motivated team that’s used to playing in off-weather hosting a disinterested visitor that prefers a better climate. BOOM!
Maybe the best way to think of it is this. Weather can be a “magnifier” for THE MOTIVATION FACTOR. And, that magnifier is so dramatic that oddsmakers have no way to adjust properly. The host is going to win a blowout in a game that can’t be priced as a blowout. A team that would normally be a 7-10 point favorite is now positioned to run up the score. The market is defenseless.
One of the hidden perks for handicappers in recent college expansion is that some conferences are now so big that “out-of-climate” games happen all over the card. ACC teams from the Southeast have to visit Boston College. Conference USA is properly named. Heck, Idaho is playing in the Sun Belt out of financial necessity. Be sure you circle every game each week (college and pro) where a team from below the Mason-Dixon line is playing a team above the Mason-Dixon line and then check the weather forecast in those matchups.
Best of luck to all of you do-it-yourselfers who are regulars here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. If you’d like some help supplementing your own action, KELSO STURGEON’S top plays in all sports 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.
I had initially planned to talk about the Major League Championship series in this spot. But, honestly…the fundamentals have been so clear thus far in the postseason that there’s not much “reading and reacting” to do. Maybe that will change between now and the start of the World Series. I’ll keep that in mind as I plan future coursework. . See you again in a few days. The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your attendance and hard work.
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