Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at 12:00 PM
Last week at this time, we talked about how to handicap season openers in college football. We hope you took that advice to heart. We might as well have written the Saturday script for you on Wednesday! We also hope you took that opportunity to sign up with JIM HURLEY for a full season of BIG, JUICY WINNERS.
Now, the companion piece. The keys to success for handicapping and betting season openers in the NFL.
*First, you need to focus very intently on the battle between starting quarterback and opposing defense. Games will be decided by THIS more than anything else. Can Quarterback X move the ball and score against Defense Y? There could be a lot of NO answers in this first week because so many teams spent the past month trying to stay healthy rather than playing at full speed. Defenses are ready, many offenses are not!
To start this process, rate the experience and production levels of all 32 starting quarterbacks. You know what Tom Brady can do. There’s no reason to think much about proven veterans leading established attacks. Lesser experienced guys, particularly those who have been mediocre or worse so far, are much more likely to struggle badly this week. Be ready to bet against projected strugglers, or bet Unders in games where both QB’s will be in some trouble.
JIM HURLEY concedes there are some question marks. Eli Manning is an established veteran, but he was surrounded by poor talent last season. Now, a new head coach that used to be an offensive coordinator has come to “save the day.” Maybe that happens, maybe that doesn’t! Put a question mark by QB’s like this on your list. Learn from this week, make smart bets with them next week.
The second part of this process is to evaluate opposing defenses. Look at last year’s stats in yards-allowed-per-play, third down conversions allowed, and red zone stops. Defenses generally don’t change much from one year to the next in this league. But, that can happen with coaching changes, defensive coordinator changes, or high-profile personnel acquisitions. Study those to add context to your handicapping.
*Second, you need to think about how each head coach has prioritized this game. It’s a mistake to assume that everyone is going to be at peak intensity because it’s a season opener. Some teams may have a HUGE game on the schedule NEXT week that they’re much more concerned about. Remember that NFL coaches tend to emphasize divisional games above all others because winning your division puts you into the playoffs (and every divisional game you win is a loss for somebody else fighting for that same playoff spot), followed by conference games, followed by non-conference games.
Don’t lay points with teams in clear look-ahead situations. Do lay points with superior teams who are prioritizing this week because next week’s game is against a non-conference opponent.
*Our final point today, assume that CHANGE IS BAD until you see otherwise. Now, we’re not saying that all new head coaches or new starting quarterbacks are going to fail this season. But, it’s much harder to succeed IMMEDIATELY in an established league that consists of aggressive, challenging defenses. Even the softest NFL defenses can hurt you, and take the ball away if you’re not ready to execute.
New head coaches usually take awhile to get things in place, even if they’re a big improvement over their predecessor. That improvement may not show on the field for another few weeks. New starting quarterbacks don’t have their timing down yet with receivers, and probably aren’t ready for the intense challenges that await them from motivated defenses. Some teams are disasters waiting to happen. Even those that aren’t should struggle early.
So, those are JIM HURLEY’S points of emphasis for you this week:
Focus on each quarterback vs. the opposing defense
Look for schedule distractions
Assume change is bad until you see otherwise
We’re not going to get more specific than that because we have to protect our information for paying clients. JIM HURLEY assures you that this week’s biggest releases will feature at least two of those three factors in every game…based on what NETWORK’S exclusive TEAM HANDICAPPING approach has learned from its scouts, sources, computer programmers, trend historians, and wise guy connections.
You long time readers know how powerful that approach has been historically, and already in 2018. For you newcomers, you can purchase BEST BETS in both football and baseball from a legendary PROVEN WINNER right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about long term or combination packages, please call us in the office during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155.
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