I do not bet regular season NBA games (nor any regular season games in any sport) as a rule. The bookies simply have too much edge against a non-professional like myself. What I like to bet are futures bets, preseason win totals, and playoff series. There is frequently a lot of edge in those bets, and my poor results so far this year notwithstanding, I generally do pretty well with them.
On rare occasions, however, when situations arise that I believe cause bookies to fall behind the curve, I will bet regular season games. Such a situation occurred two seasons ago, when the Lakers acquired Pau Gasol in midseason. I bet the Lakers to win the championship the next day at 10-1 ( a bet I was able to lay off at +170 on the Celtics in the finals). And I bet the Lakers to cover in every game for a period of about two weeks after the trade. The Lakers won their next ten games, I believe, and covered enough to make me a profit.
I pulled the trigger on two more pre-season bets today, betting the Lakers to win more than 61.5 games, and the Spurs to win more than 54.5. I expect the Lakers to win 70, and the Spurs 60 if they remain reasonably healthy. The Celtics were a little more difficult to bet, with a line of 56.5, but I probably could have bet them as well. With the additions of Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels they simply cannot be challenged in the East. Continue reading
Opening night! I watched the TNT doubleheader.
Celtics 95 Cavs 89: The Cavs had their hearts ripped from their chests and eaten raw in front of their homecourt fans on opening night. Now they have to play another 81 games with the certain knowledge that they are going nowhere this year. The Celtics own the East. Continue reading
Today brings the sad news that Blake Griffin has fractured his kneecap and will miss at least 6 weeks. This obviously will greatly affect the poor Clippers’ chance of making the playoffs. And even more obviously, saves me from making my bet on the Clippers win total. My heart bleeds for Ralph Lawlor, Bill Simmons, and Clippers fans everywhere.
On the other hand, this is a positive development for the Warriors, and my wallet. It makes that eighth seed a little easier to get to. And it makes the Warriors Bet a little easier to win.
And one other thing: We now have the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year.
I’ll end the suspense now, and give you my prediction for the final standings in the Western Conference: Continue reading
I don’t think there’s any doubt that the 2010 Western Conference Champion will be the Lakers or the Spurs. Here’s how I see the four teams below them: Denver, Portland, Utah and Dallas.
Denver put a scare into the Lakers in last year’s playoffs. But that’s over: the Artest pick-up will put an end to the competitiveness of the two teams. Last year’s Lakers simply had no way to guard Carmelo Anthony. Walton was too slow, and both Ariza and Kobe got steamrolled by Anthony’s size and power. As I noted in my Lakers preview, Anthony will not be steamrolling Ron Artest. Continue reading
PLEASE NOTE: I have found a couple of places online that offer a line of 33.5 wins at -120. If you bet a 34.5 win line you should get +110. My hunch is that the 34.5 win line is slightly better because of the juice. I have bet both lines, but more on the 33.5 line because I prefer using the sites where that is offered.
OK, so we have Stephen Jackson trying to force a trade, a disgruntled Monta Ellis even more disgruntled by the drafting of new kid on the block Stephen Curry, Brandon Wright out for the season, again, with a dismembered wing, news that Rony Turiaf is playing with a torn cartilage, and our lone remaining power forward on the roster, 225 lb. stringbean Anthony Randolph, already pulverized to a pulp and doubtful for the season opener. According to rumor, our starting point guard is a rookie, and our starting power forward is a 6-6″ small forward. Am I leaving anything out?
Oh yes: we have a snarling pack of Bay Area sportswriters circling Don Nelson like arctic wolves around a wounded bull moose, hoping for a big kill to swell their circulations.
Could this possibly be the time to consider betting on the Warriors? Continue reading
Toward the end of last year, as I observed the unveiling of Anthony Randolph’s transcendent talent, I became convinced that the Warriors were very close to becoming a special team. I believed that if Monta Ellis returned to health, and to his commitment to this team, and if Nellie added the right big man to fill the Warriors’ hole at power forward, then this team could easily make the playoffs. And even possibly, given what I feel is a steep drop-off behind the Lakers and the Spurs in the West, do better than the 8th seed.
I am backing off this prediction now, for the following reasons: Continue reading
This summer the Spurs management threw away their frugal business model, unlocked their war chest, and bought themselves enough major free-agents to go toe to toe with the Lakers for the Western Conference Championship. Or so they hope. Added to the roster via free agency were Richard Jefferson, Antonio McDyess, and Theo Ratliff. The Spurs also landed massive rookie power forward DeJuan Blair with the 35th pick in the draft, which some regard as a steal. Do the Spurs now have enough to unseat the ridiculously talented Lakers? Continue reading