Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Monday, December 12, 2011 at 2:13 PM
My clients and I cashed a 100-unit BLOWOUT on the San Diego Chargers (-7) over the Buffalo Bills 37-10 this past Sunday afternoon. I believe outlining the reasons for this play will give you a strong sense of how my Advanced Handicapping principals work.
My starting point in both college and pro football handicapping is to look at the number of playmakers on each team. You have to score points to win. You have to score points if you fall behind to come back and make it a game. You need playmakers to score points!
I felt I had a good edge here, but I will admit to you that San Diego hadn’t been playing up to its capabilities most of this season in terms of playmaking, while Buffalo was probably overachieving in the first half of the season.
*If this were GAME ONE of the season, most of us would have believed San Diego had a BIG edge in this department. After all, the Chargers were picked to win the AFC West with around 10-11 wins, while Buffalo was expected to have another losing season at the bottom of the AFC East.
*If this were GAME SEVEN of the season, we would have been focused on the surprising Buffalo offense. You’ll recall that it was EXACTLY in Buffalo’s seventh game where I released my biggest NFL play this season on the Bills (-4) over Washington 23-0. The Bills were playing well at that time (and that spread vs. the Redskins and John Beck was an absolute gift on a fast indoor surface). San Diego was holding its own back then, but not very explosive. I doubt if I would have placed a 100-unit bet on the Chargers over the Bills at that time.
*This meeting ended up happing in lucky GAME 13 of the season, after a sustained slump had taken the air out of the Buffalo offense. Since that Washington game, Buffalo had scored 11-7-8-24-17 while losing five games in a row. Clearly, San Diego at home had the firepower to beat all of those numbers by more than seven points…and most of those numbers by double digits.
So…my initial look at playmakers was strongly influenced by recent form. Defenses had figured out what Buffalo was doing, and had taken it away. It sure didn’t hurt that San Diego had played so well the prior Monday Night, putting 38 points, 8.0 yards-per-play, and 433 total yards on the board against the quality Jacksonville defense. That and Norv Turner’s tendency to close seasons well gave me confidence that I’d have the better of it on the scoreboard.
Then, when I factored in the emotional edges…this turned into a nice 50-unit caliber play into a 100-unit monster.
You see, Buffalo had basically been eliminated from the playoff race with their home loss to Tennessee the prior week. They were still mathematically alive, but not realistically alive.
*Buffalo was two games behind the Jets for a Wildcard spot, but the Jets owned the tie-breaker because of a 2-0 series sweep. Buffalo was basically three games behind the Jets with four to play.
*Buffalo was two games behind Cincinnati for a Wildcard spot, but the Bengals owned the tie-breaker because of an earlier season victory. Again, three games back for all intents and purposes with four to play.
*Buffalo was two games behind Tennessee for a Wildcard spot, but that loss to the Titans meant Buffalo would lose a tie-breaker to Tennessee as well. Buffalo was realistically three games behind THREE different Wildcard teams, and there are ONLY TWO Wildcard spots in the playoffs!
The season was over. All the promise of the early hot streak had vanished. The players didn’t believe in the coach and the quarterback any more.
When you combined the tangibles with the intangibles…my math showed a 100% chance of winning the game straight up and a 90% chance of covering the low spread of just seven points. If I was right, this was going to be a blowout. If I was off by a little bit, it was still going to be a one-sided victory. If I was way off, I could still cover a low spread like -7 with that Philip Rivers offense facing a Buffalo defense that had allowed 27, 44, 35, 28 in its last four road games.
If you watched the game, you know it was a rout. Not only was the final score 37-10, but Buffalo’s only touchdown was defensive! This was more like a 37-3 slaughter! San Diego was in control all afternoon, and won all the important stats by convincing margins. This is how handicapping is supposed to work.
I want to thank all of you who were with me for my 100-unit blowout on San Diego, and my 50-unit upset on the NY Giants (+4) over Dallas 37-34. If you’re reading this on Monday afternoon, you still have time to get my Monday Night play in St. Louis/Seattle right here at this website. If you’re reading it Tuesday, I hope you’ll choose today to sign up for my college bowl package. Our first games are this weekend…and I’ve already mapped out what I think will be my most profitable bowl season ever.
My next written lecture from my College of Advanced Handicapping is scheduled for later this week. I plan on talking more about early bowl handicapping strategies at that time. You’ve probably had a lot of practice this year handicapping games between major college teams. How do you handicap games like Temple-Wyoming, or Louisiana Lafayette-San Diego State? Assistance is coming your way later this week.
Don’t forget to check this website often for video updates and additional handicapping tips