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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 7:00 AM

News just came out Tuesday about the absolute killing Las Vegas sportsbooks made in football back in September. Handle was up big over last year. Hold was historic. What’s important for you students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting is the knowledge that the key factor in that profit was “parlay cards.”

Some of you in other parts of the country may not be familiar with these. You’re used to thinking about making straight bets or Over/Under plays against the lines you see offshore or in your local newspaper. Here in Vegas, all the sportsbooks offer parlay cards that allow you to put several games in a parlay that appears to pay off big if you happened to sweep the board. The problems are:

*The parlays pay off at worse than true odds (sometimes much worse)

*The parlays are often stacked against favorites, who squares typically bet

*It’s harder than square gamblers understand to sweep the board!

And, that last point is true even if you’re talking about three-teamers or four-teamers. The general public typically overrates its ability to pick winners…THEN makes bad bets at bad payoffs in hopes of winning with a 9-game or 10-game “lottery” ticket. Every so often, somebody makes a big score (like with actual state-run lotteries). But, most of the time, these are a virtual printing press for sports books. Truth be told, it’s the reason they can offer 11/10 on straight bets. Other states hoping for a favorable Supreme Court ruling don’t understand that they won’t make money on 11/10 unless they’re also offering parlay cards.

What was special about September? There’s been an increase in sports betting across the state thanks to added publicity and media coverage from major networks…and possibly because so many people are trying to find diversions from the nastiness of politics or social media. If there’s one thing that warring factions of the general public can agree on…it’s fun to gather in a crowd and root for the favorite to win big! September was a horrible month for football favorites, so sportsbooks cleaned up.

This past weekend finally saw more success for favorites. Too many squares had already gone bust. You’re going to hear about a bunch of media types having big records making picks last week in those “expert” showcases where all they do is pick the straight up winner. Favorites won outright every game but one in the NFL last week…of course newspaper writers and talking heads at ESPN won a lot of picks!

Here are some key points I want you to take from the September football results in Las Vegas. Your homework is to memorize them, take them to heart, and apply them for the rest of your life.

*Don’t try to win the lottery!

*Only bet when you have handicapping value against good odds

*Focus on favorites with clear edges in PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS

*Protect your bankrolls by betting responsibly

*Be confident, but not overconfident

That lottery mindset is really a killer because people get frustrated and start chasing. They spend a week imaging what they’re going to do with all the money they think they’ll win. When it doesn’t happen, they come back betting more and dreaming bigger. That just keeps going until the square is out of money. That can also happen with your straight bets if you’re not careful.

One thing you learn living in Las Vegas is that “human nature” is the worst enemy of gamblers, whether you’re talking about sports betting, blackjack, or any of the table games. Casinos make MORE than their percentage edge would suggest because so many bettors flame out during downswings they never have the chance to rise back up to something near break-even.

The Dean of Sports Handicapping doesn’t want you to be on the losing end of these Las Vegas news stories. I want you to quietly be earning your keep by handicapping and betting with intelligence. Don’t play parlay cards unless you see a few “stale” lines that are locked in on paper in a way you can exploit. Don’t play multi-team parlays generally unless you’re focused on PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS who aren’t being properly accounted for. Even then, make sure your store is offering fair payouts on those multi-team parlays. Don’t assume this is an easy racket to beat. Hard work is rewarded. Overconfidence and laziness are punished very harshly.

You know that I’m working around the clock to find the best betting options for my clients. If you’d like some help finding smart plays, 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. Be sure you ask about combination packages that also include basketball. The NBA is already underway, and college hoops is about to get started.

Thanks for your time and attention. Best of luck to you from now until we get together for class again a week from today. KELSO STURGEON’S version of winning the lottery is having so many fine students like yourselves applying the lessons they learn in the coursework to become better sports bettors.

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