Coaches a Bigger Key Than Ever
As I was listening to New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo throw his quarterback and offense under the bus...I decided I should devote this week's classwork to emphasizing the importance of handicapping head coaches in the NFL, college football, and really ALL betting sports.
My clients and I won with the Lions plus the points this past Monday. It's not that I thought the Giants had no chance to cover. It was just a 15-unit play. But, I was confident that the Giants weren't going to play well enough to justify that price. Odell Beckham Jr. was either going to miss the game, or play hobbled. This team doesn't have much of an offense if he's not a dangerous threat as a PLAYMAKER and GAMEBREAKER. They would have to play perfectly to win straight up, and would need some lucky breaks to cover.
Instead, we got more evidence that McAdoo doesn't know what he's doing. He calls the plays for this offense, but continues to call safe, unlikely-to-work options that only make things worse. He won't make changes on his offensive line that need to be made. He forces a likely Hall of Fame quarterback in Eli Manning (multi-time Super Bowl winners usually get into the Hall of Fame) to play from a position of weakness rather than one of strength.
I can only see laying points on the Giants if Beckham is at 100% health AND the opponent is a bad team with a poor pass defense. They may start offering value as a dog if the market goes overboard in penalizing their pointspreads.
Your homework this week is to think about scoreboard results from the "coaching" perspective.
*Think about which coaches, particularly in college football, love running up the score against outmanned opposition. They know this makes the alumni happy (particularly those who bet!). They know it makes the crowd happy. They know it's great for morale on a team. Oddsmakers just can't make the lines high enough for coaches who will keep piling up points all day. I've been exploiting this reality on my biggest releases for decades.
*Think about which coaches, particularly in college football, will sit on a lead to protect his PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS from injuries. Nick Saban of Alabama is notorious for this, as you've seen again ever since the win over Florida State. You definitely don't want to lay big numbers with coaches like this no matter what the stats say. Pass the games or bet against them for value.
*Think about which coaches are clearly in over their heads at their current positions. Some have been around too long and the game has passed them by. Some are too young to know what to do in all situations. Some are born coordinators who can't coach the other side of the ball, or who don't know how to recruit, or who can't command the respect of players, fans, and alumni. I could probably list 30 in the colleges right now, and 8-10 in the NFL who should be on your "go against" list most weeks because they're not suited to succeed at the position.
*Think about which young, or relatively new head coaches are already showing promise...and have the potential to get a lot better as they learn the ropes. You can catch the market napping as somebody becomes "the next big thing." I'm keeping my personal list of these men in my hip pocket so I can exploit my advantage as long as possible.
This is probably oversimplifying things a bit. But, I fully believe you can make a living betting football just by looking at the head coaching performances and nothing else! The best head coaches will acquire PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS and use them properly. The worst will settle for starters who aren't good enough, then blame them when things go wrong. Oftentimes, the stats you're looking at, or the angles, or the trends, are simply reflecting a reality about head coaches.
That should give you something to study as we prepare for another week of handicapping challenges. If you'd like some help finding blowout winners, KELSO STURGEON'S BEST PLAYS 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. I won't be writing much about baseball in the coursework because FOOTBALL IS KING in Las Vegas. But, I will be posting selections in the bases through the playoffs and World Series for paying clients.
The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your time and attendance. And, special thanks to all of you who have been reading the coursework since this project began many years ago. It gratifies me that so many bettors in Las Vegas are WINNING because of what they've learned on these pages. See you again next week.