Prepare for a Wild NFL Season

Just 20 games into the 2018 exhibition season, it's become very clear that this is going to be a wild NFL campaign. Many teams are going to become even more pass-heavy than they already were on offense. Defenses have to back off because they don't want to get penalties for illegal hits. Things are about to get messy!

That doesn't mean EVERY game is going to see 90 or more combined passes (Eagles/Pats made it to 91 total passes Thursday night), or that EVERY game is going to fly Over its total (Green Bay beat Pittsburgh 51-34 Thursday night, going over before halftime and almost doubling the market price by the end of the night). But, it does mean that handicappers will need to make some adjustments.

I hope the homework assignment today will help prepare you for what's ahead this season. Students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping need to get ahead of the sport's obvious evolution, and profit from it.

Today (or this weekend), I want you to make a chart of every team's average passing line in 2017. That's completions, attempts, interceptions, and total yards. Have it handy to you can refer to it often. Either do it by division, or conference, whatever helps you look up a team in question quickly. The stats are easy to find at either nfl.com, espn.com, or any other national site that runs stats.

Remember to note which teams were dealing with injuries. Green Bay will have better passing numbers this season as long as Aaron Rodgers stays healthy. Houston should be more dangerous with Deshaun Watson on the field for 16 games (hopefully).

Those passing lines will be your baseline for the 2018 season. Having a baseline will help you see how each team is changing (or not), and how the NFL as a whole is changing as the season progresses. There could be a few teams that get more conservative. Or, teams will suffer QB injuries that force them to make adjustments. But, we're going to see many teams throw more often than they had been. Isolating those teams will help you monitor what the market is doing in terms of team side performance and Over/Under results.

A quick reminder about all the ways that increased passing drives scoring totals...

*Successful passing scores FASTER
*Passing a lot makes the clock run SLOWER
*Passing creates turnovers that lead to cheap points
*Passing creates shootouts which push each team to keep scoring
*Passing creates garbage time points for trailing teams

Oddsmakers are aware of this, but have a heckuva time pricing it properly. In the past, teams getting a lead have developed the skill required to run clock and close out a victory. That kept scoring from soaring. If defenses are going to back off to avoid penalties and fines, more teams will be tempted to keep right on passing the ball. It's your job to figure out which teams will run clock with a lead, and which will keep piling on points. Solve that riddle, and you could make a fortune this coming season.

Here's a bit of bonus homework. Make note of all the current NFL teams whose head coach used to be an offensive coordinator. It's THESE guys who are most likely to let things fly aggressively out of the gate. If a new head coach this year was a coordinator somewhere else last year...use his prior team's passing line as a "secondary" base line. It's likely that this year's new team is going to look like that coach's prior team in the stat book.

I can't emphasize this enough. Pro football is going to have a different look this season. It's unavoidable. It's possible that a strategy you used successfully last season is already obsolete. Trends? I'd probably forget about them until the dust settles. It's a brave new world, and I want you to be a winning warrior.

Congrats to all of you who won Thursday on my 15-unit play on Green Bay over Pittsburgh. That line kept rising through the week, but didn't rise enough. We covered by double digits.

KELSO STURGEON'S top plays can always be purchased at this website by credit card. Questions about extended service and combination packages can be answered in the Vegas Sports Masters office by calling office at 1-800-755-2255 during normal business hours.

You get the most bang for your buck by betting football AND baseball through the summer. Be sure you ask about combination packages when you call. I did win a 50-unit MLB play Thursday night with Arizona (-) over San Diego 5-1. Some easy winners on the card every night if you know how to bet the pennant races. I've won 10 straight baseball Best Bets and 11-4 in my highrollers plays in August.

The Dean of Sports Handicapping greatly appreciates your attendance. I'll see you again Monday to talk about handicapping all the dress rehearsal games that are on tap. We'll continue to be football heavy through August and September in our course work. College football will be kicking off before you know it. I will talk about baseball again in advance of the playoffs come October. This is a very exciting time to be a sports bettor, I'll tell you that. Great to have so many new students checking in from parts of the country that just legalized sports betting. Welcome!