Finding Teams Who Will Dominate
On the heels of my 50-unit top play winners last week on West Virginia (-24) over East Carolina 56-20 and Green Bay (-3) over Seattle 17-9 (with a much more decisive stat advantage), this seemed like the ideal time to talk about finding teams who will dominate on the field while covering their pointspreads.
Let's start with West Virginia. Though, I do like many of the PLAYMAKERS on this Mountaineers team, this was very much a bet AGAINST a bad East Carolina squad that is in big trouble this year. Way too many in the betting markets were worried about West Virginia having a "short week" off the Virginia Tech game on Labor Day night. They should have paid more attention to East Carolina's horrible stats vs. James Madison.
East Carolina lost its season opener to James Madison 34-14, getting outgained 614-362 in the process. They also turned the ball over FOUR times! Now, JMU is okay for a team you've never heard of. But, how in the world could you possibly compete with West Virginia's talent level and fast pace, if you were crushed that badly by somebody like James Madison? You couldn't. This point spread was at least 10 points too low, even accounting for the short preparation week for the favorite.
West Virginia would jump out to a 49-3 halftime lead, on the way to a 56-20 victory that obviously had a lot of garbage time. When it was "starter vs. starter," the home favorites moved at will against a defense that only returned four starters from a unit that ranked #100 last year in yards allowed. Like JMU, the Mountaineers also gained more than 600 yards. They might have reached 800 yards if they needed to.
The prior coaching regime had decimated this East Carolina program. Second-year head coach Scottie Montgomery may be in over his head as well. Something I'll be keeping in mind throughout the season.
Ultimately, this game was a GIFT, and I was kicking myself in the second quarter for not making it a 100-unit play (or bigger).
On Sunday, Green Bay was much more dominant in its 17-9 win over Seattle than the final score made it seem. If you watched on TV, you know that the Packers moved the ball all day while Seattle struggled. Green Bay won total yardage 370-225, more than doubling Seattle in passing yardage 286-135. It's a shame we had to sweat a little because Green Bay wasn't making the most of its yardage. But, we clearly had the right side on a home favorite at -3.
The key to my selection? I knew Seattle's offensive line was still in trouble. Yes, the team got some good results in the Preseason. But, this is a head coach who's known to emphasize results in August. That can be misleading if he's facing opponents who are just going through the motion. Hey, in exhibition games, most opponents are just going through the motions!
Green Bay showed up ready to play, and proved that Seattle still has a lot of work to do if they want to get back to the Super Bowl. This offensive line is in trouble...and will struggle vs. quality opposition (just like last season).
Sometimes it's as simple as betting against a defense that has no hope of stopping the opponent (like East Carolina), or against an offensive line that's overmatched in big games (like Seattle). If the betting markets don't properly price those dynamics, the money is there for the taking for all of you regular students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting. The Dean of Sports Handicapping just proved it again, as he's been doing in Las Vegas for decades.
Your homework for this weekend is to look at season-to-date stats for college football defenses to isolate the worst units in the sport. Look at total yards allowed-per-game, yards-allowed-per-play, yards-allowed-per-rush, and touchdown passes allowed.
Once you have those numbers, make mental adjustments for strength of schedule. It's possible that some "average" or "C" level defenses on the report card look like F's right now because they happened to open the season against juggernauts. Remember that East Carolina had bad defensive numbers against James Madison! From your work, you should be able to compile a list of the most vulnerable defenses in the sport. Evaluate their pointspreads this week, and look to fade them for line value (even at numbers that might seem high at first glance) in the coming weeks.
In the NFL, force yourself this week to look at offensive line play. There were so many Unders last Sunday that it's going to look in the stats like hardly anyone can protect the quarterback. That will work itself out soon. The quarter of the league that's really bad at it (including Seattle) will become clearer with more live action at game speed. Evaluate the time quarterbacks have to make decisions in Thursday night's Houston/Cincinnati game, and then all the other matchups this weekend.
If you'd like some help finding blowout winners, KELSO STURGEON'S BEST GAMES 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. Don't forget to check on combination packages that include baseball through the World Series.
See you again next week at this very same time. Best of luck to you this weekend.