Grading Feltbot’s Western Conference Forecast

Other NBA bloggers blog their opinions. Blog, blog, blog.

Feltbot too blogs his opinions. But then, unlike any other NBA blogger he knows, he pulls out his wallet and backs his opinions up with cold, hard cashish. While telling you, gentle reader, exactly what he’s betting.

He instructs his readers in the art of finding money left laying on the ground. As when he suggested that you bet the Warriors in their last game against the Spurs, laying -4, before Pop revealed that he was resting his top 11 players.

Any of you follow Feltbot on that pick? That’s what I thought. Feltbot’s readers are a perverse crew, who watch NBA basketball for the sheer pleasure of it, and are unmoved by pecuniary interest.

That was the only game I bet this season, because betting single games in the regular season is not my thing. (I will on occasion bet strings of games when mid-season trades are ridiculously mispriced. But I didn’t see that opportunity this season. O where did you go John Hollinger?)

What is my thing is betting NBA futures. You know, the preseason over/unders on win totals. Because over the years, I’ve found it ridiculously profitable. Like picking up lost money laying on the ground.

This season was no exception. Before the season started, I gave you this Western Conference forecast, complete with opinions on the Vegas win total lines. Let’s see how I did.


This is how I had the regular season handicapped in the pre-season:

  1. Spurs
  2. Thunder
  3. Nuggets
  4. Grizzlies
  5. Clippers
  6. Lakers
  7. Jazz
  8. Twolves
  9. Warriors

Spurs and Thunder: I went out on a limb picking the Spurs to win the conference. Most preseason rankings had them not just behind the Thunder, but also behind the Lakers and Clippers.

And despite the fact that Manu Ginobili was considerably diminished all season long with his hamstring issues (something I accounted for), I was dead on with this pick right up until Tony Parker rolled his ankle a couple of weeks ago. At that point the Spurs had a several game lead on the Thunder, as well as the tie-breaking edge in the head-to-head matchup.

Nuggets: No one but Feltbot had the Nuggets third in the conference. And if Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson hadn’t gotten injured, no one but Feltbot would have predicted that the Nuggets would meet the Heat in the NBA Finals.

The edge has gone out of that bet.

Grizzlies and Clippers: A tie, OK. But let’s not forget that every prognosticator in the universe had the Clippers in the top 3.

Lakers: No one but Feltbot had the Lakers ranked lower than third. Age-related regular season slacking? Check. Atrocious bench? Check. Dwight Howard’s back? Check. Kobe-centric dysfunction? Check. Mike Brown implosion? Check.

I think I did a decent job with this one.

Jazz: Badly affected by losing Mo Williams for most of the season. But also by their persistent shopping of Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap, and the continued uncertainly regarding their future with the team (they have none). This team never got their chemistry together.

I’ll take the hit on this one.

TWolves: The apocalypse. And I’m not referring to Brandon Roy. This was a damn good team. I wish we’d gotten to see them play.

Warriors: I felt that our Warriors were the least predictable team I’d ever seen. I correctly surmised that Bogut would be out most of the season. I have known — in print — that the Warriors have had a fabulous playoff-ready small-ball core ever since Nellie pulled off the David Lee heist. But I could not predict, based on the evidence of last season, that Mark Jackson would know what to do with it. Kudos to him for tremendous growth as a coach.

I also couldn’t predict that Stephen Curry would be healthy, particularly as he was already sitting out pre-season games with yet another sprain of his surgically repaired ankle. I don’t feel at all bad about this, because you know what? Stephen Curry himself couldn’t predict he would be healthy. If he could, he wouldn’t have signed that extension and left $40 million on the table. Amirite?

The Rockets: I could not predict that Joe Lacob would pass on franchise cornerstone James Harden and allow Daryl Morey to scoop him up.

(But I also was not entirely sure that Harden was as great as he turned out to be [pre-leg injuries]. Mea culpa on that. But the difference between me and Joe Lacob as GMs? I don’t have his resources. I have to analyze players on my lonesome, from my couch, through the haze of excess Lagavulin. I’m an amateur. Joe Lacob is a professional amateur.)

The Mavs: Nailed this one. Professional amateur Mark Cuban amassed a steaming pile of manure.


I recommended these six bets to my readers. The result is highlighted.

Spurs over 56.5 wins. Actual wins: 58.

Nuggets over 51.5 wins. 57.

Grizzlies over 48.5 wins. 56.

Lakers under 56.5 wins. 45.

Mavs under 43.5 wins. 41.

Blazers over 33.5 wins. 33.

Looks like I succeeded in picking up the lost money laying on the ground five times, and stubbed my toe once, on the last game of the season. Damn you, Warriors! You didn’t even need that game!

I’ll take the 5-1.

Any one of you faithful readers out there grab a little of this loose cashish for yourself?


Well, no matter. I hear some singing wafting up from downstairs.

It’s the Thaiblonde. She gonna pop some tags.


See also: Feltbot’s Warriors v. Nuggets Playoff Preview and Western Conference First Round Preview.

4 Responses to Grading Feltbot’s Western Conference Forecast

  1. Feltie- First time comment-er, long time lurker. You are so much more fun to read than FB or any other Warriors related blog. Our views don’t always align, but you give me at least one laugh per post. Let’s see those playoff predictions…

  2. Well, crap, Feltbot. I’m one of those perverts who watches for the sheer pleasure of the game, and I’ve been exposed. Would I invest in this pleasure and bet on the team?

    No. There has been much to admire this season, the phenomenal play of Curry and Lee, the great promise and improvement in Thompson, the solid support of Jack and Landry, even the flashes of promise of Ezeli. They have played with purpose and unity all season.

    But that’s it and it’s not enough, as has been discussed here all season. They are better, but not much, and not enough. They lack depth, experience, athleticism and size, and versatility at the other spots, including two of the starters. Their standing can be attributed in large part to the slippage in the West, teams either rebuilding or declining, where they are entrenched. Yet there is a large 9 game gap between them and the rest, and we have no hope to see that gap close this year or the next.

    Maybe utterly phenomenal play from the main players against a weakened Denver team will tip the scales, and that would be a joy to see, but the odds aren’t there. After Denver, the odds are not good at all. And this is the point: you can’t depend on exceptional play and bet on it. You need a sure thing that will stand up to the test of the playoffs.

    But I can approach this from an esthetic point of view. This is only a partly beautiful team, and partial joy is frustrating. This could have been a better team, a gorgeous team, but it isn’t, and that’s frustrating and has spoiled our appreciation of a winning season.

  3. Pingback: Feltbot's 2013-14 Western Conference Forecast

  4. Pingback: Grading Feltbot's 2013-14 Western Conference Forecast - Feltbot's Warriors Blog