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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 7:00 AM

We’ve reached the point in the NFL season where the general public starts to expect way too much of mediocre teams. They imagine peak performances when “their seasons are on the line,” only to find out that teams who “must win” in early December probably aren’t all that great to begin with.

You regular students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping know that KELSO STURGEON focuses on PLAYMAKER AND GAMEBREAKERS first, followed by THE MOTIVATION FACTOR. In the NFL, motivation by itself isn’t enough to turn an average team into a great one. In fact, without meaningful PLAYMAKERS, you’re just talking about a team that’s going to play hard on defense and hope to get lucky. Good luck covering inflated pointspreads with that approach.

In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say it this way. Motivation by itself, in most cases, is only worth a point or so…when the market is pricing it at 2-3 points (or more in some cases). If you’re backing a team only because they’re motivated, you’re already getting the worst of it. Motivation is most lethal…worth upwards of one or more touchdowns when:

*One team is motivated

*The opponent has no motivation whatsoever or is otherwise out of gas

*The motivated team has PLAYMAKERS who can score multiple touchdowns

The general public sees that combination of three factors happen enough that they start to think those blowout victories were all about “motivation.” No…they were about one team having motivation against a dead opponent, while ALSO having ways to put that motivation on the scoreboard in a tangible manner. If they don’t have much of an offense, the motivated team is going to grind out a 16-10 type win and fail to cover any spread of a touchdown or more. Or, if the other team isn’t laying down…then it’s the same story. But…PLAYMAKERS within a motivational mismatch can drive a 31-10 type result…sometimes even 45-14 if they get some turnovers.

If you’ve been following NFL media this week…you already know which teams are in the playoff hunt. That’s who gets hyped for having motivation in December. Any team at 5-6 or better is in “must-win” mode either to reach the playoffs or to solidify their position in the seedings. Your homework today is to make a list of the teams who DON’T have motivation. Consider…

*Won lost records of 4-7 or worse

*Recent losses that suggest the team has thrown in the towel on the season

*Recent news stories suggesting that the players have tuned out the head coach

*Recent boxscores showing teams at 4-7 or worse who lack offensive weaponry

*Recent travel scenarios that would create extra fatigue for what’s already a bad team

Stop thinking about teams who are most likely to win blowouts…and start focusing on teams who are most likely to LOSE blowouts. Then…take MOTIVATED teams who have PLAYMAKERS against these fade options. That’s how you’re going to find BEST BET and possible GAME OF THE YEAR caliber selections in December.

As we get deeper into December…push that 4-8 threshold up to 5-8…and then any team that’s been formally eliminated from the playoffs as you continue to look for teams to fade. Now, I’m not suggesting you should fade ALL of those non-contenders! Some will continue to play hard because they’re well-coached or they have young players trying to win jobs for next season. We’re trying to pick our spots here for the best betting games. Bad chemistry or fatigue from the opponent are important kickers to have on your side.

If you’d like some help finding the best teams to bet on…and the best teams to fade this weekend, 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 ask about basketball when you call. I know most of you prefer betting football…but the Road to March Madness has already begun! Why leave money on the table by betting only football?

I may be talking about college hoops the next time we’re together. We’ll see how the weekend goes. I always try to keep the coursework fresh and relevant by reacting to the major headlines. The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your attendance and hard work. I trust you’ve learned that doing the homework I assign will pay off in your personal portfolios. I hope you’re looking ahead to your next homework assignment!


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Kelso Sturgeon on twitter @vsm_sturgeon

Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters

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