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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, September 3, 2018 at 12:00 PM

In our last class get-together, I provided you with four quadrants for classifying college football quarterbacks based on their ability to move the ball…and their ability to avoid turnovers. If you missed that class day, please go back in the archives now and study the discussion. As I was watching high profile games this past weekend, it occurred to me that we need to add an extra dimension to that analysis.

The ability to perform vs. pressure!

If you watched Michigan/Notre Dame and Miami/LSU (along with several others I’m sure), you noticed that the losing quarterbacks put up a lot of yardage after their teams had fallen behind by double digits. Some mid-level quarterbacks are like that. They can score vs. soft defenses, or defenses sitting back in a prevent. But, they’ll lose the game vs. high quality or otherwise aggressive defenses.

Or, in the terms of our usual approach here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping, they are PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS in certain situations, but fade material when stepping up in class.

The first shortcut you can use to spot these types of quarterbacks is to look at individual game logs. Those are easy to find online at ESPN’s website or other major stat sites. Just do a web search with the quarterback’s name and “game log” and options will come up. In this step, you’re trying to find quarterbacks who post GREAT stats vs. weak opposition, but disappointing (or worse) stats vs. quality defenses. (For now, study last year’s game logs for this years returning starters.)

Because there’s so much passing in the modern game, that type of quarterback is going to have great-looking “season-to-date” stats because those yards he gains vs. soft defenses stack the deck in his favor. A guy who passes for 420 yards vs. a cupcake, but only 220 yards vs. a top opponent, just averaged 320 yards in those two games! Sounds great. Against a schedule of eight relative weaklings and four powers…he’s going to have amazing-looking season-to-date stats while being a pure bet-against vs. top opponents, and probably in his postseason bowl game too.

Unfortunately, the first shortcut may not be enough. As we saw with QBs of Michigan and Miami, it’s possible to look awful for three quarters before putting up better numbers after falling behind. What you get out of my homework assignments will be directly correlated to how much work you put into them. For those of you willing to do the work, I suggest the following:

*Study play-by-play accounts from box scores

*Keep separate stats for “close” and “garbage time”

*Create QB profiles based on what you learn

This additional information will help you see college quarterbacks much more clearly that you have been. And, certainly much more clearly than the mainstream media ever has. Never forget that networks are “corporate partners” of the leagues they cover. They are there to promote and advertise every team. Any quarterback with decent-looking stats is going to be hyped to the hills, even if he’s not very good vs. good defenses. You can’t handicap by listening to TV announcers.

If you have accurate QB profiles, and understand the skill sets of opposing defenses, you’re going to be in great shape when it comes to picking winners. You won’t be on the wrong bandwagons. You’ll be getting free points when fading the wrong bandwagons!

Hey, those Michigan and Miami quarterbacks are going to cover some point spreads this season. Michigan, in particular, may light up the scoreboard vs. soft Big 10 defenses. That’s what Mississippi State did last year with Shea Patterson before he got hurt. What I’m telling you today is “when they cover” and “who they dominate” will be very logical if you do the right homework. As will when they struggle.

For those of you who are relative part-timers, I’d encourage you to do this work for your favorite team or local conference. You will at least increase your percentage in your smaller frame of reference. At the very minimum, watch the games you’re already watching from this new frame of reference discussed in my past two classes.

You want quarterbacks who can:

*Move the ball to score

*Avoid turnovers

*Produce vs. the toughest opposing defenses

It’s okay to back quarterbacks who check off the first two boxes when facing soft opposing defenses. Some of your biggest bets may come in those situations! Just don’t ask too much of them when facing their toughest challenges.

You want to fade quarterbacks who:

*Struggle to move the chains or score TDs

*Commit turnovers too often

*Implode vs. the toughest opposing defenses

Ideally, you’ll find a few harmonic convergences this season where the best “take” quarterbacks are facing the most obvious “fade” quarterbacks. I can tell you from personal experience this is more common in mid-major conferences where there’s a wider spread of talent. 

Thanks to all of you who are committed to doing my homework. If you’d like further assistance finding smart bets, KELSO STURGEON’S top plays can always be purchased at this website by 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.

Be sure you ask about combination packages with Major League baseball when you call. We still just have under a month of regular season baseball before the playoffs even arrive.

The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your attendance on a holiday. Of course, every day is Labor Day when you’re a sports bettor. Winning money is its own holiday! I’ll be back with you again at the end of the week. That will very likely be an NFL discussion since we’ve been talking colleges lately.

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