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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, August 11, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Earlier this week, I gave you a bunch of homework to get you ready for handicapping and beating the NFL Preseason. Today, I’m going to focus more on how to get ready for the regular season. Even though the exhibition slate is a completely different animal, your understanding of a team’s regular season needs will help you understand what’s happening on the field during the month of August.

*First, get access to the current Regular Season Win Totals that have been posted in Las Vegas. There are now several mainstream websites and broadcasters who make these available to the public. I trust those much more than TV/Radio pundits when it comes to properly outlining a season. Now, The Dean of Sports Handicapping isn’t going to tell you the market is perfect. I’ve made a living in this field for decades because I can find its mistakes. But, you’re going to get a much more realistic view of teams. Some pundits will tell you New England is going to go 16-0. Their projected win count is only 12.5. Others will tell you that bad teams like the Jets or Browns will be lucky to win one game. They’re much more likely to win four or five games because of the nature of NFL parity, and the fact that underdogs do spring upsets every so often.

*Second, read through last year’s stats to figure out what every team will be working on. Know that the bottom 10 offenses will be trying to add more threats and more explosiveness. The bottom 10 defenses will be trying to add more athleticism and high impact schematics. Losing teams don’t stand pat in this league. Winning teams with a weakness know they have to shore up that weakness if they’re going to play deeper into January. The offseason and the exhibition slate is about IMPROVING. You need to know what teams are focused on as they try to improve.

*Next, use this time to study and think about back-up quarterbacks. History makes it very clear that injuries to starters are going to launch back-ups into high profile roles. You need to prepare for that NOW instead of scrambling around right after a big injury happens in October or November. Look at the career stats of the most likely backups. Log their performances in 2017 exhibition action as the games are played. Visualize what’s likely to happen if the starter in front of them goes down for a week or two, or longer. If you’re watching exhibition games on TV, stop worrying about whether or not your bet is winning…and focus on the production of the backup QB’s. That’s going to get you a lot more winners down the road.

*Finally, today, I want to talk about head coaches. The situation a head coach finds himself in often shapes the straight up and pointspread performances of his teams. For example…

ROOKIE head coaches are in a honeymoon period. They don’t have to win games and cover spreads right off the bat. They are given leeway to get their feet on the ground.

SECOND-YEAR head coaches will often see big steps forward because they’ve been able to install their systems and they know the lay of the land. This particular angle catches the general public by surprise more than any other. Square bettors put too much weight on what just happened, and not enough on what’s going to happen.

COACHES ON A HOT SEAT often see their whole house burn down. For every one that gets things going, there are three or four who have lost their teams and are about to get embarrassed. Any coach on a hot seat is already having trouble, or he wouldn’t be worried about job security. Take some time right now to review all 32 head coaches so you can isolate the men who are under the most pressure to get results NOW with teams who may not be drinking the kool-aid any more.

PROVEN WINNERS shouldn’t even be worried about. Bill Belichick is a known quantity. You know what you’re going to get with these guys. Focus more on personnel tinkering here and there for established veterans rather than worrying about pointspread impact. The market already knows what these guys are capable of.

That should keep you busy through the weekend, particularly if you’re also logging results from all the Preseason action as the games end. As I’ve been telling you for years right here in my “Advanced Sports Betting” lectures, all the hard work you do will pay off throughout the season. You have to outwork the market. You’re not going to out-hunch it. You’re not going to get rich by watching a few games on TV each week and betting your leans. You have to put your nose to the grindstone and do the work so you can reap the rewards.

If you believe that you don’t have the time or skills to pull that off, the Dean of Sports Handicapping is always right here to help. KELSO STURGEON’S BEST BETS can be purchased right here at the website with your credit card. Questions about extended service and combination packages (football AND baseball) can be answered in the Vegas Sports Masters office during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155, or on weekends before the first games get started. Now that football has started, it’s vital that you get your ducks in a row. Every day that goes by is a missed opportunity if you’re sitting on the sidelines.

Thanks very much for your attendance and attention. Back with you early next week for more football discussion.

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