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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, August 13, 2018 at 3:00 PM

You should never draw a conclusion after one NFL Preseason game. I can assure you that’s not what I’m doing regarding my enthusiasm for the 2018 Minnesota Vikings. I’m taking what I saw from a stellar 2017 season…and adding in perceptions from this past Saturday night’s exhibition win in Denver.

First, we have a team that made it all the way to the NFC Championship game a year ago. Plenty of PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS already on the roster. Though, many of those are on DEFENSE. But that’s okay in the current era. Defenses may not win championships all by themselves. It sure helps you win a championship if you have a great defense.

Second, that defensive-minded team has a very big chip on its shoulder because it fell short a season ago. You regular students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping recognize that as THE MOTIVATION FACTOR.

Third, we have a team that upgraded its main position of weakness. Though, “weakness” is too strong a word. Last year’s quarterback Case Keenum was far from a disaster. But, he wasn’t quite enough. Compared to the other elements of the team, that was a “relative” weakness. We’d all probably agree that was the single position holding the team back from winning a championship. Kirk Cousins isn’t Tom Brady. But, he is better than Keenum particularly when it comes to lengthening the field. Minnesota will be scary on both sides of the ball this season.

Finally, as you saw Saturday if you watched the Minnesota/Denver game on the NFL Network, we have great team chemistry. This isn’t a bunch of selfish individual stars lumped together and called “a team.” The defenders in particular are all on the same page, working together with a single vision. After blowing a lead (partly because of a special teams’ error allowing a punt return TD), the whole sideline banded together to fight for the win.

Now, that doesn’t mean I’m promising that the Vikings will go the distance. The NFC is loaded this season with terrific talent. And, if Cousins gets hurt…the Vikings are stuck in the same boat they were last year in terms of hoping a backup could go all the way. I can tell you that I’ll be considering this team for betting value when healthy.

*Laying points at home if Cousins impresses out of the gate

*Betting for value on the road at more affordable prices

*Asking for peak performance in any “challenge” game on the schedule

I might take a look at them in the preseason dress rehearsal game in a couple of weeks too. You’ll have to be a paying customer to get the final word on that.

Your homework assignment this week is fairly simple. Evaluate the other 31 NFL teams in the categories I just discussed with the Vikings. Give each team a report card grade in the following categories.



*Starting quarterback quality

*Team chemistry

I will grant you that properly assessing team chemistry will involve a lot of guesswork at this point. Many teams have great chemistry, but don’t waste any time showing it in the preseason. Others might get August results despite having behind-the-scenes issues that won’t become prominent until the second half of the regular season. Give it your best shot based on what you saw throughout the 2017 season…and what you’ve been reading in media reports this summer. The point is to have it on your radar up front so you’re recognizing the importance of positives and negatives as the become apparent.

NFL games resume Thursday. Games are spread out more evenly this week. Three games Thursday…five on Friday…seven Saturday…and then the Week Two finale Monday night. I prefer that kind of schedule because it helps you pyramid your profits through the week by rolling over your winnings.

Best of luck to you do-it-yourselfers. If you’d like some help finding smart investments, KELSO STURGEON’S BEST BETS can be purchased right here at the website with your credit card. Make a few clicks and have your credit card ready. A great way for you “new” bettors in areas like Delaware, New Jersey, and Mississippi to get a sense of how it all works.

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. You get the most bang for your buck by betting football AND baseball through the summer. My representatives will be happy to get you positioned for profits. Congratulations to all of you who won my 50-unit play Sunday on Atlanta over Milwaukee. Feels like the playoffs already with so many divisional (and Wildcard) races running at full speed.

The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your attendance and hard work. I trust all of the homework assignments have been making you a smarter and more successful bettor. One thing that living in Las Vegas for decades has proved to me…the hardest workers make the most money. New bettors greatly underestimate the time and effort it takes to beat the market. The fact that you’re a regular student means that you understand…and embrace the challenge.

I’ll be back on Friday for our next class get-together. We’ll mostly be focusing on football for the time being because that’s the biggest betting sport. I’ll talk about how to handicap the playoffs and World Series come October.

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