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Submitted by Winning Edge on Friday, January 12, 2018 at 5:00 PM

It’s been awhile since handicappers have had to deal with so much cold weather in the NFL Playoffs. In recent seasons, even when northern teams were in action, conditions had been relatively mild. This weekend, three of the four divisional round games will be played in freezing temperatures, and two of those three will also have strong winds.

Growing up in New York, I know all about playing sports outside in freezing weather! You longtime readers know I was born in a town called Mt. Vernon as a true S.O.B. (son of a butcher!). My personal experiences growing up, and then lessons learned as a sports handicapper and bettor through the years in cold weather games have taught me about the mistakes that the betting market makes in these games.

The first mistake is the assumption that cold weather reduces scoring. This does happen sometimes. But, that’s more often connected to cold AND wind or precipitation, not just the temperatures themselves. Plus, these kinds of conditions can create turnovers that set up easy points. Even if cold weather decreases yardage and field goal percentage, it may not reduce overall scoring because of defensive points and short scoring drives off turnovers. Don’t bet Unders blindly in cold weather, particularly after a line has already come down from its opener. Don’t assume a game’s going to be a defensive struggle unless you’d be thinking the same thing in warmer conditions. 

The second mistake is the assumption that cold weather hurts everyone equally. Some teams are helped by the cold! Some quarterbacks grew up in the north, and don’t lose a step. Some quarterback grew up in the south, and have very little experience so they don’t know what adjustments to make. This kind of edge can be worth a few touchdowns, let alone points. I’ve had many late regular season and playoff ROOT TRUST releases over the years that were never in doubt because my team was ready and its opponent had no idea what to do. Be sure you study the point of attack this weekend because that matters more than ever in these types of conditions. Can you find any running backs worth investing in? Which team’s defense is most likely to dominate?

The third mistake I want to tell you about doesn’t involve the conditions so much, as certain players’ reactions to the conditions. There are teams that don’t have the mental toughness to play hard for four full quarters in frigid temperatures, even in the NFL. If the game takes a turn for the worse, they’ll tuck their tail, huddle by the heater on the sidelines, then race to the locker room as soon as the game ends. I’ll admit that this is more important in the regular season when less is at stake. But, I’m confident we’ll see at least one “lay down” this weekend where the trailing team throws in the towel earlier than you’d expect and starts making vacation plans for next week. TV pundits will tell you “these men are professionals and that kind of thing doesn’t happen.” Anyone who’s watched divisional round playoff games over the past 30-plus years knows throwing in the towel happens all the time, sometimes in great weather if the trailing team knows it has no chance.

As you make your final decisions this week, you should consider those factors I just discussed. I’m not going to get too specific because I need to protect the interests of my paying clients. Just don’t assume anything’s obvious. Really think through the experience and mental toughness angles for all six teams playing in the cold, and think about which defenses may be best positioned to force a lot of turnovers in cold and/or wind (and/or freezing rain or snow). 

Of course, we have one dome game too. New Orleans at Minnesota. Even without any “weather” influences, that’s a game that could miss the line by a touchdown in either direction because of volatility. Drew Brees is a better quarterback than Case Keenum. But, Minnesota’s defense is better than that of New Orleans and enjoys a strong home field advantage at this new site.

I’m the only man in the sports betting industry that has a star on the “Walk of Fame” here in Las Vegas. I earned that star by outsmarting the market and making my clients millions over the years. Understanding how game conditions affect performance is one of the most important keys to winning money betting any sport. Nobody in this field is better situated to help you win this weekend than WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!

You can purchase my top selections right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about which of my services best suits your individual needs, please talk to one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about combination packages with basketball when you call. The Road to March Madness has already begun. No reason for you to stop making smart investments just because football is winding down.

The only “cold” you need to worry about this weekend is collecting all the COLD, HARD CASH coming your way! It’s time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!

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