Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, August 25, 2017 at 12:00 PM
We have four college football games on the main board in Las Vegas this Saturday. Five if you count the “added” TV game involving Portland State and BYU on ESPN. This is a great way for students here in my College of Advanced Handicapping to get their feet wet in advance of the full flood of college games coming next week.
You hard workers are probably already up to speed on the basics like won-lost records from last year, returning starters, quarterback experience and the like. And, obviously, you’ve already made your lists of PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS that are going to most heavily influence which teams cover pointspreads. No follower of KELSO STURGEON would wait until the last second to do that! What I’d like to talk about today is offensive line experience.
There are teams entering the new season who have virtually their whole offensive lines intact. This gives them a great advantage early in a new campaign when other less experienced teams are learning the ropes.
Experienced offensive lines allow:
*Quarterbacks time to make big plays
*Receivers time to get downfield for long catches
*Running backs space to make big plays
*Offenses the ability to grind out clock in the fourth quarter with leads
If you can find any underdogs like this…they’re pure GOLD. Favorites are too as long as the line isn’t too high. You don’t want a team grinding clock with a 24-point lead if you laid 28 points! Your best bets will involve COMPLETE teams who possess PLAYMAKERS who are helped by having a quality offensive line.
Now, to be honest, I’ve found the biggest advantage in this particular line of inquiry to involve FADING teams who have LITTLE experience on the offensive line. This is where blowouts happen. Not only do they not make plays that put points on the board. But, they also create a lot of turnover scenarios that allow quality opponents to pick up a lot of cheap field position or defensive points. Better yet, these teams don’t score in garbage time to nail you through the back door!
Of course, this is particularly true in the first month of action before the players get their timing and coordination down. It’s possible for young teams to get better through the season. It’s very difficult for them to thrive right away. This is magnified if they’re playing on the ROAD against AGGRESSIVE defenses who can intimidate the quarterback. Trying not to give too much away, I can tell you right now that I will have a few MAJOR releases in September involving blowout scenarios where my clients and I will be fading outmanned underdogs with inexperienced offensive lines. Those are the games where I say the favorite is 100% to win straight up, and 90% to cover.
Your homework this weekend is to pick up those summer preview annuals you purchased several weeks ago, then go through and grade the offensive line experience of every board team. Note how many returning starters there are. Note the class of the returning starters (all seniors is ideal obviously). Read the team comments section for particular notes about coaching concerns or confidence involving the offensive line. Be ready to enter the first full week of college football action with a deep understanding of how each team is likely to perform up front.
And, you can do that while watching this Saturday’s games! The schedule lines up well so you can be parked in front of the TV scouting while also doing this work. Pay attention to line play in Oregon State/Colorado State in particular, plus South Florida/San Jose State and Rice/Stanford. Hopefully you’ll have finished most of your report cards before that game in Australia even begins.
What you learn this weekend is going to make you big money in September. And, it might help you find a handful of teams to back or fade all season long if the betting markets don’t catch on to what you’ve found.
If you’d like some help finding winners in Saturday’s college football, and all the NFL “dress rehearsal” action this weekend, KELSO STURGEON’S BEST BETS can be purchased right here at the website with your credit card. Questions about extended service and combination packages (I also release baseball selections) 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. The point of my coursework is to make you a self-sufficient do-it-yourself handicapping capable of taking on the world on your own. The Dean of Sports Handicapping is always here to help if you’re not quite ready for that challenge.
Thanks again for your attendance and hard work. Best of luck to you this weekend. I’ll be back with you again early next week for our next class.