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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 2:55 PM

Las Vegas is already gearing up for what might be the biggest Super Bowl ever in terms of betting handle. Last year's New England/Atlanta game set a record. Next month's New England/Philadelphia matchup is on an early pace to surpass it.

Why?
*Great betting markets
*Great fan bases
*The favorite is a dynasty team the public loves to bet
*The underdog is an up-and-coming Cinderella story
*Vegas sports books are getting more media coverage than ever

The mainstream media used to be skittish about mentioning sports betting. That taboo has mostly been lifted, which increases the level of publicity my home town gets at this time of year. It's not quite a perfect storm because a matchup like Patriots/Cowboys would have a chance to top it. But, we do expect a tsunami of sports bettors arriving in town next week.

Before talking about the big game, let's review last weekend. I continued my undefeated run on major releases for my clients (games rated at 25-units or higher). I had 30-unit plays both on Jacksonville (+) at New England, and Philadelphia (+) vs. Minnesota. Both covered easily. I'm a little disappointed the Jaguars couldn't win that game outright. It was there for the taking because the Patriots didn't have all their weapons. (In the divisional round, I won a 50-unit play on New England over Tennessee before Tom Brady was hurt, and pushed a 25-unit play on New Orleans plus the points that some bettors still covered on the closing line of +5.5.)

If you recall last week's lesson, you'll remember I talked about the importance of third down conversions when starting quarterbacks aren't dynamic PLAYMAKERS or GAMEBREAKERS. Brady's injury swung the edge toward Jacksonville in that regard, leading to these final numbers…

Third Down Conversions in Championship Round
Jacksonville beat New England 40% to 25%
Philadelphia beat Minnesota 71% to 46%

Did KELSO STURGEON have the right sides? That's the power of smart, disciplined, experienced handicapping. These were the numbers the prior week…

Third Down Conversions in Divisional Round
New England beat Tennessee 65% to 33% in third down conversions
Philadelphia beat Atlanta 46% to 31% in third down conversions
Jacksonville beat Pittsburgh 57% to 44% in third down conversions
Minnesota beat New Orleans 59% to 22% in third down conversions

Clearly, your first order of business right now as a student here in my Advanced College of Sports Betting is to review your data on third down offense and defense this season. Pay particular attention to the philosophies of these head coaches. Evaluate all injury developments in terms of how they impact the ability to move the chains.

Other homework for this week:

*Review all of New England's prior Super Bowl performances under this coach/quarterback regime. It's a GREAT thing for analysts that New England appears in the Super Bowl so regularly. We have a much larger and more meaningful sample size for this franchise than any other team in the history of football. Make it your business to learn what New England's done right, and what they've done wrong under championship pressure.

*Study the stat logs of all performances Nick Foles of Philadelphia has had with the Eagles (including under head coach Chip Kelly) in favorable offensive conditions. The mild weather really helped him out last week. You know Foles doesn't have the arm strength and accuracy to thrive in freezing winds (few QBs do). But, he can run a spread passing offense in good conditions. The Super Bowl will be in a dome. Learn what works for Foles, and what gave him trouble in terms of opposing defenses. Throw out whatever happened to Foles with other coaches. He needs the right system to thrive. Last week's passing line of 26-33-0-346 suggests he's in that kind of system. Can he thrive enough to beat Tom Brady? That's what YOU have to figure out.

We'll talk more about the Super Bowl next week. By then, we'll have had more time to learn injury news for Brady and Rob Gronkowski. And, market prices will have at least temporarily settled in advance of the final weekend flurry. The work you do this week regarding third downs and the past history of Foles will put you in good position to make smart bets on the team side and total, and on many of the props that will be hitting the board between now and kickoff.

In the meantime, my focus will be on basketball. Bettors are now in the transition period from the end of football to the beginning of March Madness. Even if you're not betting, you should be doing the early groundwork to prepare for that event. If you are betting, additional assistance in the form of my BEST BETS 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. My Super Bowl slate can be added to any basketball program for a nominal charge. Ask for details when you call.

The Dean of Sports Handicapping has placed a bet in every Super Bowl ever played. It's safe to say I've won more Super Bowl bets than anyone else in history. There isn't a sports handicapping Hall of Fame. If there was, I'd be a first ballot inductee. I'm grateful I can pass along what I've learned through the decades to enthusiastic students like YOU!

Thanks for your attendance. I'll see you again next week at this time.