NFL Comfort Zones

With handicapping legend Tony Salinas


As I was studying the pro games this week, it occurred to me that many road teams were going to be playing way outside their comfort zones.

*Oakland from the West Coast was in Pittsburgh for a 10 a.m. body time kickoff in November Pennsylvania weather (though, with global warming, climate changes may eventually not mean very much).

*Houston from the South...and a home stadium that has a retractable roof...was visiting New York and a stadium that looks like it will have swirling wind problems in cold weather.

*Green Bay from the tundra of Wisconsin is playing indoors at Minnesota.

*Cleveland from a slow dirty turf in Ohio is way down South on a fast track in Jacksonville.

*Arizona from the desert is in Kansas City...on a field that's known to get balky if the weather isn't perfect.

*Tampa Bay from Florida has flown all the way across country to another famous bay area to play San Francisco.

*Indianapolis from an indoor stadium is outdoors in Foxboro to play the New England Patriots.

*Denver from altitude will be playing at sea level Monday Night in San Diego.

For the most part, this stuff probably won't matter. I may well be taking some of those road teams plus the points over the next couple of days. But, before I make a firm commitment, I want to make sure that I'm not asking too much of a team playing outside of its comfort zone.

I ask myself these questions:

*Does the team's preferred style of play work well in this week's environment? I like running teams in cooler weather or on slow grass...and it doesn't much matter where their home city is. I don't want to ask a passing team to do well in unfavorable weather or on a slow turf though.

*Does the team have any obvious reasons to NOT show up with peak intensity this week? I've seen some Southern teams just get obliterated in cold weather because they decided to save everything for a divisional game the next week...or because they were dead tired off an overtime game or something. Often the combination of unfavorable conditions AND a letdown or lookahead can be lethal.

*Did the travelling team just go through some other tough road games? A team playing back-to-back road games or three road games in four weeks will have more trouble outside of their comfort zone than somebody just making a one-game excursion.

*Is the home team likely to take the game for granted? You'll occasionally see big favorites prepare poorly for a game like this because they think things will be easy. I've made a living fading flat favorites, so I'm always looking for ways to incorporate that edge. I want to bet ON motivated favorites who have a real edge...I want to bet AGAINST flat favorites who are assuming an edge that isn't really there.

Of course, if I get a live road underdog that's actually in a comfort zone (a team staying in the same climate...or a dome team playing indoors), I'm not afraid to step up and add more units. Do you see any of those on the card today?

That should give you something to think about as you handicap the Sunday and Monday schedules. Look for any edges you can find. The difference between the public and smart handicappers is the ability to find those edges. And, the difference between smart handicappers and HIGH ROLLERS is the courage to step up and make big plays when the edges are most dramatic.

I have a great pro ticket on tap for clients this weekend. You can purchase the exact same games I bet the biggest myself right here at the website. That's true on all football days, as plays go up a few hours before kickoff. Don't forget about daily basketball, with hoops going up a few hours before first tip. Longer term packages are available in both sports. If you have any questions, call the office at 1-888-536-8880.

I learned a long time ago that trying to force bets (or poker hands) from outside your comfort zone will virtually guarantee you'll be taking the worst of it. Play smart...sign up with TONY SALINAS and start GETTING THE BEST OF IT!

'GETTING THE BEST OF IT' is an ongoing series presented by and legendary high roller TONY SALINAS. For more information on TONY'S handicapping packages, call 1-888-536-8880.


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