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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at 1:00 PM

The college football bowl season officially gets underway this Saturday with five traditional “minor” bowls, and the recently added “Celebration Bowl” matching Alcorn State and North Carolina A&T. Always nice to have additional diversity for handicapping and betting purposes. (Though, don’t bet that game unless you know the teams!)

JIM HURLEY won’t post any official selections here in the HANDICAPPING NOTEBOOK. That wouldn’t be fair to all the customers who signed up for the bowl package. But, he’s happy to provide general tips for handicapping all the pre-Christmas games that mostly feature teams from mid-major conferences like the Sun Belt, Conference USA, Mountain West, MAC and so on.

Here are his main keys…

*The first thing to do is either familiarize…or re-familiarize  yourself with all the teams. Most of you haven’t bet a single game involving Saturday’s teams all season. You’ve focused on the major TV conferences…the biggest TV games…and probably your alma mater and its conference. Did you follow Tulane and Louisiana-Lafayette? Probably not. If you did, there’s no way you also followed North Texas, Fresno State, and Appalachian State.

Look up the standings in their conferences…look up their national stat rankings…try to get a good sense of what you’re dealing with.

Oh, remembering what these teams did or didn’t do in past bowl games doesn’t matter much! New players…often new coaches…and probably a completely different “intangible” out look that may have been in play in the past. (Plus, your memory isn’t as good as you think it is.)

*Secondly, focus on what happened this past season when those teams played other bowl teams from their conferences. Don’t worry about any “paycheck” games they might have lost to a superpower (unless they played GREAT in a paycheck game). Don’t give them credit for running up the score on the worst teams in their league. Pin down results (straight up and against the spread) against the other “minor bowl caliber” teams they ran into. Historically, this has been a great indicator for bowl success or failure in this first tier of matchups.

The internet makes it very easy to find this information. You probably already know the main sites that post results and point spread performance. If not, a google search will get you there in minutes. Dig a little, and you’ll see what you need to see.

*Finally, make it a point of emphasis to find each team’s WEAKNESS. That’s what matters most in bowl games. Opponents have had a few weeks to figure out what that weakness is…and they’re going to attack it. Bad rush defenses will get steamrolled. Bad pass defenses will get overwhelmed in the air. Bad quarterbacks will have no chance to move the ball against an inspired pass rush. Teams with bad attitudes will be sulking on the sidelines by the second quarter.

Bowl games are LOST much more than they’re won. It’s your job to find out what’s going to lose it for an undeserving team. That’s what will separate you from your buddies…the guys who are playing uninformed hunches…the guys who just take all the favorites and hope…the guys who think they can decipher who’s going to bring peak intensity or who’s going to no-show. Focus on what teams CAN’T do, and  many of the blowouts will pick themselves.

The worst thing you can do this week is to try to bet every game because that sounds like a fun challenge through the bowls. “Bet ‘em all! How hard can it be?” It’s impossible to do well in these early games if you ‘ve been sitting on your couch all season watching the TV games from the SEC, Big 10, and Big 12. You’ll have a chance when those teams take the field after Christmas. Even those will be harder than you realize. Sure, you can pick all the games in an office pool or something. Don’t bet REAL MONEY on every game using your own hunches.

If you want to start well, prepare properly and be very picky. Or, take the SMART way out and sign up with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

Our SCOUTS and SOURCES across the country know these lesser teams inside and out. Our COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS know that box score stats from these teams are just as meaningful as in the major conferences…that means are score projections are on the money. Our WISE GUY CONNECTIONS know who the smart money is betting. That Wise Guy action is MOST dangerous in THESE games because information is less widely distributed.

It all comes together to create BIG, JUICY WINNERS for the best bowl handicapper of the past three decades. You can purchase JIM HURLEY’S top plays right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about long term or multi-sport combination packages, please call us in the office during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155.

NETWORK’S bowl package has set an industry standard nobody else can match. When you use it in combination with the rest of the NFL (or mid-season basketball), your profits will pyramid faster than you ever dreamed.

More bowl coverage later this month when the power conferences take the field after Christmas. JIM HURLEY is glad he can help you do-it-yourselfers who are new to sports betting. Just don’t be afraid to pay for advice from a PROVEN WINNER. The power of a NETWORK is just a few clicks or a phone call away. GET THE MONEY WITH JIM HURLEY!

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