Get Entire NFL Pre-Season Free...Begins This Sunday
NFL Pre-Season Begins Sunday With Hall Of Fame Game Between Packers And Colts And You Can Get It All Free
3-0-1 In Last 4 Hall Of Fame Games And Intend To Also Win This Opener
Key To Winning In Pre-Season Begins With Knowing What Coaches Have Done In the Past
Clemson, Oklahoma, Stanford 1-2-3 In First Top Ten College Football Rankings
By Kelso Sturgeon
Many handicappers duck the NFL pre-season because of its obvious challenges to beating the always low betting lines which by themselves scream to the world a close game is expected. When one factors in the totals, most of which are in the low to mid 30-point range and beating the number is magnified even further. It is of note 10 of the 16 betting lines on Week 1 of the pre-season are either 3.0 or 3.5, with totals averaging 35-37.5 points.
Looking at numbers such as this tend to stop bettors from getting serious about the 65-game exhibition season because they do not realize the secret of beating the game in August is to understand how coaches handle things. Nothing illustrates this more than Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh who is 20-12 in the pre-season but even more precisely is 7-1 in the first game.
Minnesota’s Mike Zimmer also comes out firing in the preseason, standing 8-1 and 3-0 in the preseason.
Add the Washington’s Jay Gruden to that list. In two seasons with the Redskins he is 6-2 in August and 2-0 in opening games.
At the other end of the spectrum is Indianapolis Colts head coach, Chuck Pagano who is 5-11 in the preseason and 1-3 in four game 1 outings.
Coaches do the same things the same way every single season and it does offer a bit of light into how bettors can expect their teams to perform in the hot days of August. For the record, when Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy leads his team against Pagano’s Colts this Sunday, it must be noted he is 20-19 in the preseason and 3-7 in the opening game of the season. Obviously one must dig a little deeper and read between the lines to win this one, and I have already done just that.
Complete NFL pre-season coaching records are available at several sites on the Internet, so get to work. As noted the season is here and it is time to make money.
Clemson, Oklahoma, Stanford 1-2-3 In My Opening Top 10
My apologies to those who are stunned that I do not list the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide as the #1 college football teams in the country but I have many solid reasons for not doing that, the greatest of which is the simple fact they are not. Clemson, Oklahoma and Ohio State—and maybe even an outlier such as LSU—are better.
Here is my opening college top 10, with their projected won-lost season for 2016.
- Clemson (12-0)—The Tigers have so many offensive weapons nobody can stop them from putting tons of points on the board. Only possible upset is Florida State which Clemson meets October 29 in Tallahassee.
- Oklahoma (11-1)—Sooners play extremely difficult schedule but get highly-regarded Ohio State in Norman and will be in major revenge mode when they take on Texas in the Red River rivalry.
- Stanford (10-2)—Cardinals are loaded on both sides of the ball and may be fielding their best team in decades. Schedule is tough but Cardinal can play it, despite meeting UCLA, Washington, Notre Dame and Oregon on the road.
- Alabama (10-2)—The defending champions will simply reload again this season but they lost several key ingredients from last season’s 14-1 championship team. Keep in mind they were pushed to the limit by Clemson before prevailing, 45-40, in last season’s title game. Clemson is now much better than then—Tide is not.
- LSU (11-1)—The Tigers are the sleeper to go the distance. Word out of Baton Rouge says Les Miles is going to open up the offense this season and that, along with a lock-down defense will make LSU one tough customer. It also is of note the Tigers get Alabama in Baton Rouge.
- Michigan (10-2)—Coach Jim Harbaugh willed this team to 10-3 last season and one can expect the same of the Wolverines this season. Three tough road Big Ten road games—at Michigan State, Iowa and Ohio State will be a major challenge but Michigan could win them all.
- Florida State (9-3)—Seminoles deserve this high rating but their chances of getting to playoffs and national championship game severely compromised by brutal schedule that includes Ole Miss to open the season, a game Louisville plus home games against North Carolina, Clemson and Florida.
- Ohio State (9-3)—Little will come easy for the Buckeyes this season because they have to replace a ton of key players (they lost 12 players to the NFL draft, including 5 in the first round) from last season’s 12-1 team. Ohio State will reload and certainly has an outside chance to go the distance. Never count out an Urban Meyer team that has gone 50-4 since he took over four seasons ago.
- Louisville (11-1)—This is the best Louisville team in man years and the Cardinals definitely have a chance to get to the playoffs. Offense is outstanding, defense among best in the country. Gets Florida State at home but must take on Clemson in Death Valley.
- Tennessee (9-3)—This should be a breakout year for the Volunteers and they may be better than this. Consecutive games against Florida, at Georgia, at Texas A&M and Alabama will present major challenge.
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