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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Just within the past few days, those of us here in Las Vegas have seen the betting ramifications of all sorts of surprises in the world of sorts.

*This past Saturday, the Oklahoma Sooners lost outright as 31-point favorites to the Iowa State Cyclones. This wasn’t an 11-point favorite losing (like Michigan to Michigan State), or a 20-point favorite losing (like LSU to Troy the week before), but a supposed National Championship threat losing on its home field to an opponent that had to start its third string quarterback!

*The brand new Vegas Golden Knights NHL team won its first THREE games in a row. Expansion teams are supposed to be horrible. VGK was supposed to get crushed in the season opener at Dallas. And, there was no way they’d keep winning. But, they have so far (not that I expect that to continue, mind you, but it’s a great local story!)

*And, of course, the US men’s soccer team somehow managed to NOT qualify for the World Cup despite having a qualifying task that any mediocre team should manage without much sweat. This failure is a bigger surprise than Oklahoma losing to Iowa State because it involved a series of failures and longshots happening rather than just one team having a bad day against a feisty dog.

I’m aware that you probably didn’t bet those games yourself. But, there are lessons to be learned from what the world of sports just witnessed. Lessons that will make you a more successful sports bettor.

*The most important lesson that the Dean of Sports Handicapping wants to express to you today is that POOR PREPARATION LEADS TO POOR RESULTS. The US soccer team was notorious for poor planning throughout this dismal calendar year. Oklahoma didn’t take Iowa State seriously at all…then apparently had no plan for how to rally in the final minutes of a close game. I’ve never seen such a disorganized performance from a “high octane” passing schematic with a game on the line. In the NHL, both the Dallas Stars and Arizona Coyotes assumed they could coast to easy victories over an expansion team. Arizona managed to lose TWICE.

Bad things will happen to YOU if you’re not well prepared. Do your homework. Bet responsibly. Have a plan of attack that will maximize your profit potential. Imagine possible surprise scenarios in advance and develop strategies you’ll use in those circumstances. You can’t just show up at a Las Vegas sports book on Saturday or Sunday morning expecting to win. Winning begins WAY before game day.

*Another key to remember…have RESPECT for your OPPONENT. Class, I can assure you that the participants you’re trying to outsmart in the world’s betting markets (oddsmakers, professional wagerers, smart fans) are much more daunting than the likes of Iowa State, Trinidad and Tobago, or an expansion hockey team. It’s like you’re trying to beat Alabama, Germany, and the Pittsburgh Penguins!

I run into far too many casual bettors who are about 95% arrogance and 5% common sense. You need confidence (not arrogance), and intelligence (both book smarts and street smarts) if you’re going to come out ahead in this game. Don’t show up thinking the lines are a soft touch. Assume most of the lines are on the money, and it’s your job to find the handful of games that aren’t.

*Finally, always remember that what seems “impossible” is merely “improbable.” This can be very dangerous in the world of money management. Casual bettors will get into a slump, and then assume there’s NO WAY they’re going to keep losing. So, they bet even bigger because they “know” they’re about to win. Those who bet outside of Vegas on credit often lose money they don’t even have. Eventually, the laws of math hit you hard and the “improbable” ruins your life.

You can also see this with what some call “bridge-jumping” bets. That’s a huge bet (usually on the moneyline) to win a little because something seems totally certain. Like, “there’s no way Oklahoma is going to lose outright to Iowa State!” The Connecticut women couldn’t possibly lose in college basketball, until they did. If you think laying $30,000 to win $1,000 is free money…you haven’t let learned that there’s no such thing as free money.

Watching upsets in the world of sports can be a lot of fun. Until you’re the one that’s upset! All of you students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting must avoid the potholes of poor preparation, the accidents caused by arrogance, and the misery caused by not understanding math.

If you’d like some help navigating these treacherous waters, KELSO STURGEON’S BEST BETS can 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, or on weekends before the first games get started. Please check on combination packages that include the rest of the MLB playoffs, and the NBA (which is now just days away from tipping off).

Our next scheduled class is a week from now. Thanks very much for your time and attendance. I hope you’re reaping the rewards for all the hard work you’ve been putting in this season.  

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