Once again we have an ultra-competitive Western Conference, where 48 wins might not be enough to to get into the playoffs, and a handful of teams have a legitimate shot at the top spot. Here’s my forecast, along with my picks against the Vegas Win-Totals Lines. Regular readers know I’ve had pretty good success with these historically, and particularly recently, going 10-1-1 the last two seasons. But I found only two lines to bet this season, because I demand a lot of edge, and I just don’t see it this year. Sometimes the bookies are pretty good.
[edit: I'm now betting THREE Western Conference lines, going over on the TWolves.] Continue reading
Anyone who tells you they know exactly how the West is going to shake out this season is deluded. This is probably the most wide open the top of the West has been in over 20 years. I give 5 different teams a legitimate chance (10% or better) to finish with the best record. It’s Open Season.
So when I tell you my pick for the top team in the West, you should understand that I’m only giving that team about a 20-25% chance of actually finishing on top. That just happens to be a higher percentage than I’m assigning any of the others.
What might be more interesting to you are my picks against the Vegas Win-Total lines. I’ve had a pretty good record with these historically, including last year, when I went 5-1. These lines are among the very few all year that the Vegas bookies can get egregiously wrong. Mainly because the preseason enthusiasms of the fans can have an outsized effect on them, but also because of the difficulty the experts have in forecasting the effects of new rosters and new coaches.
In reverse order (because, drama), here are my picks for the top 6 seeds in the West: Continue reading
Posted in Around the NBA, Golden State Warriors, Predictions, Previews, Wagers
Tagged Clippers, Grizzlies, Rockets, Spurs, Stephen Curry, Thunder, Warriors
Here’s my look at the first round of the Western Conference playoffs: Continue reading
There are plenty of reasons to discount this Warriors win over the Clippers. I sensed this would be a blowout before it happened, and missed an opportunity to make myself look good by predicting it in the last thread. I have noticed before that when teams come off a long winning streak, they often suffer a sustained letdown. This was also a road back-to-back. The Clippers were without Caron Butler, which threw off their normal rotation and further sapped their energy. And they are certainly looking ahead to the Lakers on Friday. Continue reading
Wow. If someone would have told you beforehand that Chris Paul and Blake Griffin would combine for 2 points in the fourth quarter of this game 7, would you have picked the Clippers to win by 10? Continue reading
What’s the deal with the second round starting in the East before the first is finished in the West? Doesn’t seem right, particularly since it forced me to my keyboard on a sunny Saturday morning.
Confession: I didn’t watch a single Eastern conference first round playoff game, even though I had money wagered (Celtics ftw). Actually, I guess I did watch parts of a couple Celtics’ 4th quarters against the Hawks. And I did manage to come up with another firm betting rule for myself in the process: Rule 916: Never Bet on a Team that has Josh Smith. Continue reading
Did the Warriors win these last two games because they suddenly decided to play with energy? Because they suddenly felt like competing?
Or was it because of something else? Continue reading
It’s like a nightmare, isn’t it? It just keeps getting worse and worse. — Grady Seasons
This will be remembered as the night that Ekpe “The Nightmare” Udoh put it all together, against the most hyped frontcourt in basketball. Most startling of all — for those already familiar with his defensive prowess — was the confident offensive game he displayed.
It’s an amazing concept, isn’t it, five on five basketball on the offensive end? Kind of hard to guard, isn’t it? Continue reading
The Warriors are -5.5 favorites at home against the Clippers tonight. I suppose this makes sense, given how Curry made Baron Davis look the last time they met in the Oracle. But looking at Warriors lines like this takes some getting used to!