Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 2:49 PM
As we meet for this week's get-together in my College of Advanced Sports Betting, six bowl games have already been played. Interestingly, four of the six were won outright by underdogs. Also, four of the six have been decided by double digits.
Both favorites that covered, won blowouts. Troy beat North Texas 50-30. Florida Atlantic beat Akron 50-3. Two underdogs also won by exactly 10 points, with Georgia State beating Western Kentucky 27-17, and Boise State embarrassing Oregon 38-28 here in Las Vegas.
I'm happy to be off to a 75% start out of the gate, including a major release winner on Troy back on Saturday. I know there's still a long way to go. I'm confident in my ability to find blowouts that my clients and I can exploit. There are very few pointspreads at 10 points or higher this season...setting up some great scenarios.
What are the keys to finding bowl blowouts? That's the topic for today's discussion. We've already talked generally about how preparation leads to bowl success. Let's focus today on how to use the themes we've discussed in coursework to hone in on games you should be betting the biggest.
*First, you want to look at the dynamic of how one team's PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS match up against the opposing defense. Any potent team with a variety of weapons is going to post big offensive numbers against a soft defense. That's even more true in BOWLS because creative offensive coaches have come up with trick plays and special formations designed to maximize the impact of those PLAYMAKERS. On the other hand, if the opposing defense is loaded with athletes, then the best players won't be able to shine. One reason I went against Oregon last week was that Boise State's defense was well-suited to shut down Oregon's quarterback. Once running back Royce Freeman announced he would sit out, "containing" the Ducks became fairly easy for a strong defense. The single most important signal for a pending blowout is in this complex dynamic. Master it, and the games pick themselves.
*Second, you want to make sure that the intangibles of THE MOTIVATION FACTOR are either on your side, or at least not going against you. Ideally, you're going to have a fired up, talented team ready to hit on all cylinders. I think that describes Troy pretty well. They weren't flat for a trip to New Orleans to face a team they could bully. The Trojans wanted to make another statement (as if upsetting LSU in Baton Rouge wasn't enough). But, not every talented team is going to be that sky high. You'll often see in a pre-New Year's Bowl that explosive teams just don't mentally prepare. All those PLAYMAKERS are wasted (sometimes, literally unfortunately). The projected blowouts best suited for 50-unit, 100-unit, and even 200-unit bets will involve both PLAYMAKERS and THE MOTIVATION FACTOR in tandem. If you don't have motivation on your side, back down to 10-units or 15-units...or pass the game.
*Third, it's great to have turnover possibilities helping you out from the opposing side. This is what can launch a 10-20 point margin up to 24-35 points. If the team most likely to trail all day has a mistake-prone quarterback, or an offense that isn't comfortable passing the ball from behind...then your selection is likely to pick up a bunch of bonus points from field position off turnovers or defensive returns. You saw a slew of turnovers on that first Saturday of action.
Remember that the month layoff from the regular season helps smart teams, but hurts sloppy teams. That little tidbit is going to loom very large once the major conferences start battling head-to-head. There aren't enough smart coaches to go around in this sport, nor enough reliable quarterbacks. That's why I can so confidently state that we'll see a lot more one-sided bowls between now and the Final Four even though the Las Vegas pointspreads aren't very high. It's just flat impossible for oddsmakers to accurately capture the reality that's about to unfold on the field. Sportsbooks just have to hope the public makes a lot of betting mistakes themselves.
To make sure YOU don't make betting mistakes, here's this week's homework:
*Review your list of PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS for each offense
*Study the strengths and weaknesses of defenses against the run and against the pass
*Look at the turnover tendencies for every remaining starting quarterback
That's a manageable workload for you. What you learn from those exercises will pay dividends day-by-day through the bowl slate.
If you need additional help finding smart investments through the rest of college and pro football, My COLLEGE BOWL, NFL and BASKETBALL PACKAGE can be purchased right here at the website with your credit card. Questions about extended service and combination packages can be answered in the office during normal business hours at 1-800-755-2255, or on weekends before the first games get started. Be sure you ask about combination packages with basketball. Oddsmakers are once again taking their eyes off the ball on the hardwood because they're so worried about what's been happening to them in football lately.
The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your continuing attendance and hard work. Some of you have been with me online through several bowl campaigns. It's always fun to see hard work, intelligence, and experience pay off year after year. I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday weekend. See you again next week.