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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 7:00 PM

With the huge bowl slate set to begin this Saturday, it’s obviously time to talk about the best ways to handicap the college football postseason. A few days ago, I gave you some preliminary homework to get you started. If you missed class that day, a quick review…

*Create a “Motivation Index” for each team, where you rate how excited they probably are about their bowl on a scale of 1-10.

*Review each team’s “last game” so you can get a sense of letdown or bounce back scenarios.

*Review each team’s “last month” to evaluate current form.

History has made it crystal clear that Las Vegas oddsmakers are at the mercy of those key elements. They can’t possibly make a good line for a game where one surging team is trying and their slumping opponent isn’t! That’s why you see so many blowout covers in early bowl games. Double digit underdogs can win outright by double digits. Small favorites can win by more than four touchdowns. Heck, they can sometimes be covering by four touchdowns before halftime. Volatility is the norm.

How can YOU take advantage? Combine that homework with your knowledge of PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS and the games literally pick themselves.

*If you have a team that should be more motivated, AND has more high impact scoring threats…then you’re likely to see a blowout. These gems are the type that qualify for 100-unit, 200-unit, and even 250-unit status in my system. I’m not suggesting there will be a lot of these. But, there will be a few that students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping should be able to spot in advance. (If you can’t, just sign up for my service and win with me!)

*If teams are relatively even in motivation and PLAYMAKING ability, then it’s best to consider a value bet on the underdog. Bowl pointspreads are often inflated because of public perceptions, or the tendency of square bettors to invest in the more “famous” of the two teams. If you focus on my lesson plan, you’ll be able to take the free points that are being offered in those games.

*If both teams in the same game are lacking in motivation, and short on GAMEBREAKERS, then look at the Under. In recent years, Unders have become great bets because some really bad offenses have lucked into bowl qualifying…and because a few of these sites have poor field conditions. You’re just not going to see entertaining shootouts in those environments.

*If both teams have decent (or great) motivation, and multiple PLAYMAKERS, then look at the Over. You may be watching a TV doubleheader where the first game ends in a 17-6 yawner but the nightcap is a 45-40 thriller. Oddsmakers can’t deal with such extremes! I can’t make this promise quite yet…but it looks like there’s a very good chance for a total or two that qualify for “Game of the Year” type status on my card.

One final topic I want to talk about today is “timing.” This can refer both to “timing the market,” which means getting your money in at the best possible time, or the “timing” of news about suspensions or injuries.

First…the market. If you’re getting a very strong grading to a “public” team, it’s usually best to bet EARLY in the process. The line is typically only going to move against you between now and kickoff. You might as well bet before the move. On the other hand, if you’re getting a grading against a public team…then you want to wait for as long as possible so you can get the most value. Why take +6 now when you can get +8 on game day?

In terms of news…you have to be very careful about placing bets that are both BIG and EARLY. It’s amazing how many potential GAMEBREAKERS get suspended before their bowl because of misbehavior or academic issues. You don’t want to have forked out the equivalent of a 100-unit bet in mid-December, only to find out the reasons for your bet are going to be in street clothes on game day in late December! That’s a disaster because you now have a bad bet and no way to cleanly get out of it after the ensuing line adjustment.

I generally release my biggest plays on game day (or the day before within the holiday stretch) to protect clients against bad late headlines.

I’ve done my homework. I can’t wait for the bowls to get started! KELSO STURGEON’S best bets can always be purchased right here at the website with your credit card. Questions about extended service and combination packages can be answered in the Vegas Sports Masters’ office during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155.

Back with you in a few days with some NFL coursework. I always aim to keep these class discussions fresh and relevant. We’ll be riding the football headlines in pro and college action from now through the NCAA Championship and the Super Bowl. So much to look forward to.

The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your attendance and hard work. Let’s make 2015-16 a true BOWL BONANZA!


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Kelso Sturgeon on twitter @vsm_sturgeon

Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters

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