Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, August 20, 2018 at 12:00 PM
Though KELSO STURGEON is always very serious about handicapping, it’s time for YOU to really get focused in these final days of August, 2018. The arrival of dress rehearsal week in the NFL preseason is the sign on the calendar that REAL football is about to begin.
*NFL teams will be going at it for at least a half at regular season intensity THIS week.
*We also have a couple of regular season college football games THIS week.
*Next week, almost EVERYONE in college football is in action. Sure, there are some cupcake games. But, bowl caliber showdowns are also on that first week card.
*In two weeks, the NFL regular season begins, which puts sports bettors deep into the traditional Thursday through Monday schedules of intense handicapping activity.
The time for straggling is over. I hope you spent your summer wisely. Congrats to all of you who have been hard at work with baseball analysis football preparation through June, July, and August. You’re way ahead of the game.
Today, let’s talk about handicapping the NFL dress rehearsals.
*Whenever games matter, you regulars know I focus on PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS. Talent wins football games. How many big plays have you seen determine wins and covers already in exhibition action? Advantages are going to mean a lot at least in the first half of this week’s games. If you have access to “first half” betting lines, consider using those in your arsenal if needed. That brings me to my next point.
*Coaching histories are vital for the dress rehearsals. For some coaches, getting a victory is very important. They want to set a tone for the regular season by winning the game that matters most in the preseason. For others, sharp execution for a few series is all that matters. These coaches will have their teams play a good first half, then go back into a shell to project from injuries. Finally, some coaches just don’t care about the dress rehearsals at all. If they have a veteran quarterback who’s played several seasons of regular season and playoff action, this game is still meaningless.
*Picking winners this week means finding where the stars align on those two bullet points. You want to find talented teams who are likely to play reasonably hard for four quarters to get a result. Then, you bet those teams against opponents who will only play hard for a half, or for a quarter. If you see a coach focused most on the first half…try to find a way to bet that knowledge with either side or total action. It’s not uncommon to see preseason games with something like 42-45 points scored…where 28-31 of those points came in the first half because both offenses wanted to find the end zone at least twice before putting the backups in.
Your homework this week will sound a lot like your early preseason homework.
*Review coaching histories. Though, here, I want you to focus ONLY on dress rehearsal histories. Know what each head coach has done in these games through his entire career, placing a great weight on recent history (some coaches emphasized the game when they were younger, but haven’t bothered more lately). If you have time to dig deeper, focus on coaching priorities in second halves when the backup quarterback is taking snaps. Is it that second QB’s job to put MORE points on the board? Or, just run out the clock. Buried treasure for bettors who are willing to dig.
*Search out media reports online for all 32 teams for insights about how long first-teamers will play, and what each head coach is saying publicly about his priorities.
*Write up lists showing how long each PLAYMAKER and GAMEBREAKER (typically quarterbacks and wide receivers) will be on the field this week.
If you have that information handy, then finding smart full game and first half bets isn’t that difficult.
The other advice I would give you this week is to bet EARLY if you’re confident your information is sound. Professional bettors have been moving lines 2-3 points (or more) once word is out about key personnel strategies. There’s no value trying to bet AFTER those moves. Well, there’s actually some value betting against overreactions! But, my point is…use your information to get in early…then fade overreactions if you think a line has moved to far before kickoff. So, don’t wait until Wednesday to start handicapping! You should have at least your work on coaching histories finished by halftime of Monday Night’s game between the Ravens and Colts.
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The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your attendance and hard work. Great to hear from so many new students who have just learned about my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping after seeing sports betting legalized in their home area. I’ve been hear for years helping people win. Our current schedule is every Monday and Friday at this time. See you again at the end of the week for more coursework.