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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, August 7, 2017 at 2:02 PM

This Is Lesson #1 On How To Bury Your Sleeping Bookmaker For The Entire Season By Just Paying Attention

Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State, FSU Top My Opening Top 20...Badgers, Huskies The Sleepers

NFL Preseason Returns Wednesday Night - Panthers 3-Point TV Favorites Over Texans 

Bears Castoff QB Cutler Signs One-Year $10,000,000 Contract With Miami Dolphins

By Kelso Sturgeon

The college football season begins in less than three weeks and the work to be ready for it continues at a feverish pace. Analyzing and rating the 150 teams on which we will be betting this season is seemingly impossible but it must be done and can be made easier by focusing on less popular teams. No one needs to give teams such as Alabama and Ohio State an in-depth study. We know they are very good.

But what about Appalachian State, Ball State, Wyoming or New Mexico State? Teams such as this will be on the betting board every week of the season and we must know whether to lay or take the points with them. Hidden in all the facts and figures are straight up winners and teams with the ability to cover the number - and those that have little chance.

For instance, Appalachian State (10-3) is absolutely loaded and should walk away with its second straight Sun Belt Conference championship with its crushing ground game and lock-down defense. This team opens at Georgia and is better than the one that opened at Tennessee and lost 20-13 in overtime.

In this same Sun Belt Conference, there is a good chance Texas State (2-10) will not win a single game. The talent in San Marcus is so thin there is no guarantee the Bobcats will even get past its home opener against Houston Baptist (4-7). A I-AA team from the Southland Conference that fielded its first football team four years ago.

Knowing about the ability, or lack of it, the lesser-know teams have will produce far more winners than wagering on power conference teams that live in the spotlight. Studying the off-the-beaten-path teams, and zeroing in on their performance profile is the biggest edge you will have all season.

Reality meets the bottom line of handicapping: betting lines on teams with marquee status and a high profile are much tighter that those on teams from the outback. There is a reason Alabama is 64-7 straight up over the past five seasons and 33-32 against the spread in those games. What about Notre Dame? The Fighting Irish are 43-21 straight up over the past five years and 30-33-1 against the spread in those games.

Finding Winners In Outback Requires One To Pay Attention And That's Why I Study All 150 NCAA Division I Teams

Paying attention means winners, because with many teams bookmakers appear oblivious to both current form and change.

For instance, five teams from out-of-the-way places had great season straight up and against the spread because there seemed to be no awareness of their success by those on the other side of the counter. Idaho, for year's everybody's whipping boy, went 9-4 SU and ATS, Temple was 10-4 and 12-2, Tulsa went 10-3 and 8-4-1 and Western Michigan was 13-1, 8-4-1.

Those who paid attention saw what was happening here and surely capitalized on it.

And then where are those teams that have changed but their performance ratings were not changed by bookmakers. Betting lines on many programs, including supposed powerhouses Boise State and Houston and supposed laggards such as Colorado and Eastern Michigan were based on each team's reputation from the past.

There is no question bettors paid premium prices to bet on Boise State (10-3 SU but 3-9-1 ATS) and Houston (9-4 AU, 4-8-1 ATS) based on the past. At the other end of the spectrum were those laggards - Colorado and Eastern Michigan. Colorado just kept winning, going 10-4 SU and 10-4 ATS while Eastern Michigan, the Mid-American Conference doormat that had gone 7-41 the previous four seasons had its first winning year in more than a decade, going 7-6 SU and 10-3 ATS.

The bottom line is simply this:

1.All popular betting teams belong to the public and you will always pay a price in points to wager on them. To win with them, one must find a hidden edge that pushes the cover in their direction.

2.Bookmakers are always late to the party when established teams begin a pattern of not covering because of tilted lines while teams such as Eastern Michigan, with little winning history, will probably go through the entire season without an upgrade, even though they are winning and covering for the first time in a long time.

Kelso's Preseason Top 20

1.Alabama Crimson Tide...Nothing but blue-chip talent 3-deep on depth chart.

2.Ohio State Buckeyes...Talented and experienced enough to win it all.

3.Penn State Nittany Lions...Has to beat Michigan (at home) and Ohio State (in Columbus) in back-to-back games.

4.Florida State Seminoles...Opens in Atlanta against #1 Alabama. Has top three defense.

5.Southern California Trojans...Opened 1-3 last season; closed out 9-0.

6.Oklahoma State Cowboys...Loaded and gets nemesis Oklahoma in Stillwater.

7.Wisconsin Badgers...Loaded with 17 returning starters. Gets Michigan in Madison and does not play Ohio State or Penn state.

8.Oklahoma Sooners...New coach, sleeper to win it all but must beat Ohio State in Columbus.

9.Washington Huskies...Should meet USC in Pac-12 championship game.

10.Clemson Tigers...Reloading, one of best coached teams in the country.

11.Florida Gators...Most improved team in SEC. Gets acid test in opener against Michigan in Arlington, Texas.

12.Michigan Wolverines...Good but not as good as folks think.

13. Auburn Tigers...Loaded as usual and never an easy out.

14.Kansas State Wildcats...Talented on offense, talented and mean as hell on defense.

15.Louisville Cardinals...Looking to rebound after losing last three games last season.

16.Northwestern Wildcats...Best NW team in years with lockdown defense.

17.South Florida...New Coach and armed with one of most explosive offenses in country.

18.Georgia Bulldogs...Coaching change was big mistake. Talented but jury still out.

19.LSU Tigers...Look for Big O to open up team offense - and never a pushover.

20.N.C. State Wolfpack...Great Defense, ready to challenge in ACC

Week #1 Of NFL Preseason Resumes Wednesday Night

The Houston Texans and he Carolina Panthers meet Wednesday night in Charlotte as Week #1 of the NFL preseason gets into high gear with games scheduled each night for five straight days. The Houston-Carolina game will be televised nationally on the NFL network. Carolina is a 3-point favorite, with a total of 36.5, despite the fact the Panthers may well not play quarterback Cam Newton who has missed several practices.

I will have more on the intentions of both teams and their game plans Tuesday and will report them here. I will be releasing this game as a 5-unit play. For the record, I opened the season with a loss on the under (35 points) in the Dallas-Arizona game but intend to have a dynamite opening week. Get on board for membership in my Best Bets Football Club for just $199 and get the REST OF THE NFL PRESEASON FREE (a $100 value).

When you sign up for a season membership in my Best Bets Football Club for just $199 - you are joining a club loaded with big game plays, the first of which will be my traditional 200-unit College Kickoff Classic Blowout on Saturday, Sept. 2. Or click here to check out all my football services.

Most football handicappers duck the preseason because they consider it at best a chaotic crap-shoot. Me? I consider it an outstanding opportunity to make a few thousand dollars and insure a solid bankroll will be available when the regular season begins.

Bears Castoff Cutler Gets 1-Season $10,000,000 Deal With Dolphins As Tannehill Remains Big Question Mark

An NFL source revealed Sunday the Miami Dolphins are quite concerned about starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill who suffered severe ACL damage to his left knee during practice this week and have signed former Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler to groom as their starter. Cutler signed a one-year deal for $10,000,000, according to the source.

With Tannehill out indefinitely, the quarterback rotation before Cutler was signed, read like this
--Matt Moore, an 11-year veteran out of Oregon State.
- -Brandon Doughty, a rookie from Western Kentucky.
--David Fales, a 4-year veteran from San Jose State.

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