Accounting for Strength of Schedule
We've come to a point in the college and pro football seasons that will really mess up lazy or half-hearted sports bettors who don't like thinking through the process. I'm grateful that all of YOU who regularly attend classes here in my Advanced College of Sports Betting will put your noses to the grindstone to maximize your profit.
Perceived football performance can be greatly polluted by variance in strength of schedule. It's possible for a mediocre team to have a great record if they've only played poor opponents. It's possible for a very good team to have a .500 record if they've only played other very good teams so far. That seems obvious. But, I'm continually shocked by how many analysts don't take this into account. I think the main reason is that the TV networks love hyping teams for their broadcasts, and they're not going to go out of their way to mention when somebody's a pretender. Too many casual fans listen to TV or radio pundits and repeat what they hear as gospel.
Stop listening to TV announcers and start doing more homework!
What I want you to do today, or at least before the new set of games starts this weekend, is to track down reasonable estimates of everyone's strength of schedule so far in the NFL, and the college conferences you handicap. Among your possible sources of information...
*Jeff Sagarin's computer ratings at USA Today
*Football Outsiders' computer ratings
*Your own evaluations as you study each team's schedule
I think you'll be better rewarded by doing your own team-by-team evaluations. But, the first two options listed aren't bad shortcuts if you're pressed for time.
Next, in your handy schedules for this coming week's action, or on a piece of paper, write down your assessment of each team's schedule so far by their name. If you're just copying Sagarin, write down their schedule ranking (from 1-32 in the NFL, from 1 to the 100's in college football). With your own evaluations, a report card grade will work. Teams who played difficult schedules get an "A" for their challenges. Teams who have had it easy get an "F."
This week's homework will help you realize very quickly which teams are likely pretenders in either divisional or conference races (meaning you want to bet them because the market will overrate them), and which teams are likely hidden powers who can score big wins for you (you'll want to bet them because the market isn't giving them enough respect).
It won't hurt that you can tell you friends which college football Final Four contenders are probably frauds, or which NFL division-leaders are about to run into trouble. But, the point of this is for SPORTS BETTING. You'll cull bets you were considering on teams who weren't as good as you initially thought. You'll find a few extra winners you would have passed without this additional study.
I'm not going to be specific here in the coursework about which teams you should be paying attention to I need to protect that information for my paying clients. And, you're supposed to do your own homework, not have the professor write essays for you! Trust me, you'll be rewarded for this effort, as you have been with all the homework assigned on these pages over the many years we've been at your service.
But, I will give you this hint. One of the great consequences of this effort is that you'll notice some teams skew to extremes based on their caliber of opponent. They will really run up the score (and cover spreads easily) against weak opposition. But, they'll get exposed and lose their composure vs. quality (falling well below market expectations). This is more true in the colleges than the NFL. It happens both places. Some of my biggest personal bets and client releases over the years have come on favorites who are going to blow and go for 60 minutes. Finding just ONE of these teams could make your whole season.
It should go without saying that you basketball handicappers should be on the same page. The NBA is just getting underway. Some teams are going to have easy schedules this month, while others will be challenged. The same principals apply. College basketball can be a gold mine for this strategy. Teams who bully cupcakes in November and December will get embarrassed once conference play begins in January. You can back them early and fade them vs. quality.
Get to work! If you'd like some help finding smart plays this weekend, 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. Please check on combination packages that include the rest of the MLB playoffs, and early-season or full-season basketball.
I have to admit that I'm personally disappointed that a major release lost for me this past weekend. But, I'm fully aware that many great opportunities are ahead this week and beyond. The season never ends when you're a professional sports bettor. You'll never win them all. You'll make a living if you win more than you lose over the long haul. I've worked to make a good living for longer than many of you have been alive. Thanks very much for your time and attention this week.