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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, August 3, 2018 at 1:00 PM

This will be the last weekend without a busy football schedule until after the New Year. You can use it to rest up for the coming onslaught. Better…use it to really hunker down and prepare for the betting challenge ahead.

If you haven’t yet started your college football preparation, you’re behind everyone who has! Summer annuals have been out for weeks. Vegas sports books have had their Regular Season Win props and “Game of the Year” point spreads up for months. It will be hard to find betting value on those or future prices at this point because everything has been bet into place by those who prepared in advance.

The good news for you stragglers is that you can use THAT information to build reasonable expectations for the season. There’s no reason to wonder about the middle of the pack in the Big 10, or the also-rans in the SEC. You could come in BLIND and get up to speed with the market quickly just by spending an hour looking over the betting odds.

The problem is, students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping need to be BETTER than the market to make any money. So, collect up all the homework assignments you’ve been putting off and get to work this weekend.

For the NFL, the Preseason has already started. Not exactly a work of art in the Hall of Fame game, with so many turnovers, sacks, and incomplete passes. That’s to be expected in August. You play the percentages and hope bad luck doesn’t derail your well thought out selections.

What’s left to do? What haven’t I already mentioned that you should be doing to prepare for the coming season?

Here are some areas of advanced study worth of your attention. If you have completed my prior homework assignments, studying these represents your new challenge for the first weekend of August. If you’re just starting, print out today’s coursework and save it for the end of the month.

*Look at red zone performances for all offenses and defenses. We’re starting to see a virtually universal trend in both pro and college football where defenses will allow yardage in the middle of the field before clamping down when defending the final third. This means a lot of offenses are creating the illusion of production with total yards stats and “yards-per-play.” But, they’re not capable of going the distance. Old math formulas are predicting 20-24 points, and they’re scoring 13-16 because they stall in the red zone.

On the other hand, offenses that know to finish (like the Patriots with Tom Brady), often overachieve what they’re yardage would suggest because they get the ball into the end zone.

-In the 1980’s, “yards-per-point” was the new hot thing

-In the early 200’s, it changed to “yards-per-play

-Now, red zone efficiency is the stat that’s going to beat the market

You heard it here from The Dean of Sports Handicapping. Start digging through your favorite stat websites to get a true sense of each team’s strengths and weaknesses in this regard.

*Second, think about how to evaluate each offense’s ability to run clock with a lead. We’re now seeing more and more teams emphasize this in the second half. Sure, it was always a part of football. But, now it’s PREACHED from opening day of camp through the final preparations before kickoff. Winning teams play “defense” with their offense late in victories by moving the chains and grinding clock rather than scoring points. Trying to score can be a negative if high risk causes a turnover.

-Look at third down conversions on offense and defense

-Look at quarterback experience

-Look at head coaching histories in this regard

Ideally, you’ll take the time to go drive by drive for teams to evaluate their performance in this regard. That’s easier to do in the NFL. The fact that it’s harder for you to do in the colleges might give you an edge in that sport because few others will be doing the same work as you.

We went over the basics in prior weeks. Today, some cutting edge touches. It’s your job to take it from here.

If you’d like help making smart picks in baseball and football daily and in the coming weeks, 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 by calling office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours. The best way to magnify your profits in the summer is to bet both football AND baseball.

Thanks again for your continuing attendance for these lectures. Now that the NFL Preseason has arrived, most of the coursework will be football related moving forward. I’ll pop in with occasional baseball guidance down the stretch run, and then at least one tutorial is likely for the MLB postseason. I hope you baseball aficionados understand that FOOTBALL IS KING in Las Vegas. All the new jurisdictions across the US are finding that out as well.

Also, welcome to those of you who are new to sports betting who are checking in from the New Jersey area, Mississippi, or West Virginia. Always great to have new students looking to beat the market. See you again on Monday for our next class get-together.

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