The 2022 NBA Playoffs are coming down to the wire as we currently find ourselves in the middle of the Conference Semifinals. While there have not been any upsets (in terms of seeding) up to this point, will the trend continue to persist, or begin to veer off and give rise to some advancement from the current underdogs? Tonight features the Celtics traveling to Milwaukee to face the Bucks (MIL leads 2-1) whereas in the West, the Warriors host the Grizzlies in a series favoring Golden State two games to one. After sifting through potential ATS edges throughout the entirety of the 2021-22 NBA season; nothing of significance stood out to me that would move the needle in terms of possesses a sports gambling advantage. However, to view this in a different lens, the least lucrative play this season has been placing your bets to back the Home-Underdogs. These teams have only covered 47% of the time throughout the league. More importantly to note, Home-Underdogs in the playoffs are 7-10 ATS; that’s good an even lesser 41%. Let’s go ahead and shy away from these guys the remainder of the playoffs, yeah?
The 2022 NBA Draft is just over a month away beginning on June 23rd with the draft lottery selection taking place on May 17th. The Rockets, Magic, and Pistons all have the best odds to receive the first pick in this year’s draft. There is not consensus clear-cut number one pick leading up to the draft. Many mock drafts have differing opinions with some placing Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga), Paolo Banchero (Duke), Jabari Smith (Auburn), or Jaden Ivey (Purdue) as the first selection in the draft by one of the previously mention teams.
The 2021-22 NBA season is already about a quarter of the way through the season. By this point, the Heat and Nets lead the way in the Eastern Conference while the Warriors are currently positioned in the driver seat in the Western Conference. With the NBA in the process of rebranding its notorious Jerry West logo, I thought it might be fitting to highlight some of the key player offseason player movements around the league. Now, we will see Jabari Parker in a Celtics uniform, Kyle Kuzma is now a Wizard, Russell Westbrook went to the Lakers, Kyle Lowrie is now in Miama, Lonzo Ball moved to the Windy-City to become a Bull, and much much more. Here is a complete list of the NBA offseason transactions via ESPN.
Of all of these shifts and movements around the NBA, the one that comes as a surprise to me is one that involved no movement with Ben Simmons staying put in Philadelphia. Although Simmons is unhappy and unwilling to play labeling him OUT due to “personal reasons”, the 76ers continue to keep him on their roster while he remains under contract. This is a very interesting off-of-the-court story to stay up-to-date with as the season moves forward. Notice how Ben Simmons is listed as the 5th PG on the 76ers depth chart… Yikes!
The NBA is now 16 games in (give or take) into its young season. Thus far the most profitable plays have come from the road favorites covering at a 57% rate whereas the home underdogs are just covering at a 43% clip. As for the OVER/UNDER plays are concerned, the OVER is covering 39% of the time whereas the UNDER is pegged the most profitable play of the season hitting at a 61% rate. If you are a “parlay junkie” and love betting on the NBA then you might want to take a look at taking those ROAD FAVORITES and the UNDER. Tonight (Friday Nov. 19th) features three road favorites, that being the Pacers (-1), Warriors (-2), and Clippers (-4.5).
The NBA Playoffs are only about two weeks away. Came quick huh? This is large in part due to the modified and shorted season. The NBA shortened its season by ten games this year due to (you guessed it) COVID. The idea behind the shortened season allows for more flexibility for rescheduling and making-up foreseeable postponed games along the way due to the virus. In conjunction with fewer games on the schedule, back in November the NBA announced that it would alter the playoff format for the 2021 NBA Playoffs. The new format grants four additional teams to enter the playoff bracket (two from the East and two from the West). Coincidentally, the 2020 MLB Postseason also shortened their season and then expanded their playoffs and its participants. Love it, hate it. More meaningfully games for we the viewers – that is a win in my book. Currently, the 76ers lead the way in the Eastern Conference and the Wizards and Pacers possess the 9th and 10th seeds for the additional playoff spots. In the Western Conference, the Jazz hold the #1 seed while the Spurs and Grizzlies own the 9th and 10th seeds. Obviously we have no presumable edge or knowledge in terms of historical trends on the outcome of these “play-in” games that will take place. However, what we do have is historically evidence from the March Madness “play-in” games and how these “play-in” winners fare in the next rounds of their tournaments. The edge that we will be searching for in the situation will come from the winners of the “play-in” round/bracket when they go up against the #1 and #2 seeds in the following round on the NBA Playoffs. Keep in mind that these “play-in” winners are always the lower seed when facing off with their next opponent; much like the new NBA playoff format. Shockingly, these teams are 18-20 since the “play-in” games were implemented into the March Madness bracket. That is good for a 47% win percentage, and I am willing to bet that the cover margin is much higher considering that they are underdogs being the lower seeded team, as stated above. From my perspective, these first round winners are not only playing with “house money” by this point, but are also riding the momentum from their previous win. I believe that the winners of these NBA first round “play-in” games will have some form of momentum on their sides that they will carry with them against the #1 and #2 seeded squads. This is not to say that the #7 and #8 seeds will win in a seven game series, but rather they will be more likely to cover in the early portion of the series. I don’t think that they will win outright at a 47% clip like college “play-in” teams do during March Madness, but they may possess some of that same “mojo” that can provide us some valuable gambler’s edge during the original first round of the NBA Playoffs. Come this NBA postseason, keep in mind that the UNDER hits 59% when/if Game 6 and 7 are required. Also, home favorites have been covering at a high rate during the playoffs in recent years. You’re welcome.
Earlier, I mentioned the MLB and how the NBA is following in its footsteps a bit as far as shortened seasons and modified playoffs/postseasons are concerned. However, this year the MLB is scheduled to have their full 162 game schedule for each franchise. By this point we are 30 games into the season (give or take). This is a solid sample side to evaluate how each club is in terms of being “good” or “bad” to the naked eye. Now what the naked eye cannot calculate is a pitcher’s xERA. No, that x there is not a typo. We all know what a pitcher’s ERA means and tells us: his earned run average and basically how “good” or “bad” a pitcher he is, right? However, xERA is the latest technology that provides an MLB pitcher’s expected ERA. A lot of this data is made up of luck, for lack of better terms. For instance, if a pitcher has recorded a lot of hard hit outs than his standard ERA may reflect positively in his favor. However, xERA might calculate that these hard hit outs would more often than not result in hits. Hence, taking the luck-factor out of the equation and determining a expected earned run average. To be honest, I just learned about xERA, and I’m glad that I did. When gambling on baseball, we the bettor make our plays based on the pitching match-up, correct? Or at least I hope so… Now, I don’t even bother looking at the starting pitcher’s ERA, but rather their xERA. I honestly believe that a pitcher’s xERA is more indicative of his future outings as opposed to his actual ERA. To give you an actual, real life example of this trendy xERA stat, the Indian’s James Karinchak has an ERA of 0.60 and an xERA of 1.15. He is leading
the league in xERA, but has the fifth best ERA. On the flip side, T.J. Zeuch owns the leagues worst xERA at 11.94… yikes! However, his actual ERA is much better at a 6.75; meaning that he must be getting fairly lucky during his pitching outings and/or facing below average hitters. To locate a pitcher’s xERA and much more click HERE. I find it extremely useful when searching out my MLB plays to utilize the xERA statistic along with any other advanced metrics that are now recorded in today’s age. Listed below are the current championship odds on both the NBA and MLB courtesy of OddShark.
Post Super Bowl is a nice little segway for us sports fans right into the heart of the NBA season and the latter half of the NCAAB season. Super Bowl LV wasn’t much for drama in terms of competitiveness of the game. Tom Brady, yet again, acquired another Lombardi trophy to add to his overwhelming collection. After the Bucs defeated the Chiefs, I got to thinking – “Didn’t Tampa Bay lose their first game of the season?” In Week 1, the Bucs fell short to the Saints in New Orleans. I was curious as to how many champions in the 55 years of the Super Bowl era have lost in Week 1 of their respective seasons. Throughout these 55 years, ten Super Bowl winners have lost their first game of the season. Probably more than you would expect, or at least right around that number, right? Tom Brady’s Patriots, and now Bucs, are victims of four out of those ten loses. This tells us two things,
first: Tom Brady has been in the league for a a very long time. Second: With this being Brady’s seventh time hoisting the trophy, his teams have lost more times than not in Week 1 when they go on to win the Super Bowl… odd right? If there is one thing we all have learned throughout Tom Brady’s lustrous 21 year career, it is to never count him and his squads out of the race.
Now putting football in the rear-view, we as sports fans can solely focus our time and effort on basketball of all levels. Thus far the NBA has seen a new “Big3” emerge in Brooklyn with James Harden joining the dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The Brooklyn Nets preseason chances to win the NBA Finals posted at +800, they currently sit at +440 trailing the leading favorite Lakers at +250. The presumed NBA Finals would consist of the Lakers vs. Nets according to the current odds. However, some dark-horses from each conference to consider are the much improved 76ers that you can get at +1400 and the hungry Clippers that you can get at +500. At the very least, these teams might be a solid play just to make the Finals which would still give you a quality rate of return. Look for the Lakers to lack motivation and the Nets to be over-hyped come the NBA Playoffs. As far as the regular season is concerned; away teams are a winning bet thus far hitting at a 53.7% clip ATS. Underdogs are very similar sitting at a 53.1% cover ATS rate. Hence, look to take those DOGS-AWAY (per usual) when making your NBA plays going forward.
As far as the college season is concerned, Gonzaga sits at the top of the mountain without ever winning a college basketball title in program history; could this finally be the year for Mark Few and his squad? Possessing the best offense in the land, Gonzaga averages a whopping 93 PPG. Sounds more like an NBA team than a college team. But who is the best scoring defensive team in college basketball – just as important right? Also a mid-major program, Loyola-Chicago possesses the fewest points against per game at 56 PPG. Gonzaga is obviously projected as a #1 seed, but Loyola is a projected #8 seed. Might I add that both teams are mid-majors with one having more recent success over the other… *cough-cough, Loyola-Chicago earned a Final 4 birth just three years ago. Let’s see if the ole adage of “defense wins championships” holds true with the Ramblers come March. I like to think so, this team may have sneaking good odds when picking them to reach a Sweet 16, Elite 8, or even another Final 4! You can currently get the Ramblers basketball team at +4000. Not too shabby considering #8 seeds have won the tournament only once but have been three times. If there is ever a year to gamble on the lower seeds, it is now. Considering we missed out on the 2020 March Madness Tournament, this years tournament cannot get here soon enough. As always, best of luck and happy basketball betting!
This NBA bubble is one tough bubble, unlike its other bubble cousins; this bubble is durable and efficient. The NBA Bubble metaphor has been a name that has caught on, to say the least. This “bubble” has withstood the Lou Williams nightclub fleeing, unwelcomed Tinder hookups, and relatively poor meals. Bravo NBA, bravo. It seems as if the NBA Bubble is actually a success… thus far. The NBA playoffs got underway August 17th which displayed both number one seeds falling to the eight seed’s in Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs. This begs the question(s): Is the bubble creating parody? Or is this just a coincidence? Regardless, drama is brewin’ out at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida.
So how do we tackle these NBA bubble games in terms of sports gambling and laying action on them? For starters, the Zig-Zag Theory has been a very effective gambling angle for quite sometime that has been known to be profitable among sports gamblers. The Zig-Zag Theory is simple: if an NBA team loses outright in the playoffs, the next game that same team will cover ATS in their next competition. Note: This is not to say that they will win, but rather they will cover the offered point-spread. The Zig-Zag Theory… easy to use, effective, and requires little homework/thinking. This is a breath of fresh air after reading all of the sports gambling books that regurgitate these algorithms that are often very time consuming and intricate. One that utilizes this advantage will reap the benefits of a 62% covering rate. Hence, if you like a a playoff team after a loss, put your money where your mouth is! While we are on the topic of NBA, today was the NBA Draft Lottery. The Minnesota Timberwolves were granted with the number overall selection. The presumptuous number one pick in this years’ NBA Draft is LaMelo Ball. He is currently tearing it up overseas and apparently the scouts are liking what their seeing. Picks 2, 3, 4, and 5 are held by the Warriors, Hornets, Bulls, and Cavaliers.
Don’t look now, but Week 1 of the NFL season is less than one month away. The Chiefs will host the Texans for Thursday Night Football on September 10th. Currently, the Chiefs are 9.5 points favorites. Is this line inflated because of the Chiefs 2020 Super Bowl win? Possibly. It is common knowledge that Super Bowl winners are not great ATS in Week 1 match-ups. In addition, the Texans were victorious over the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 6. Look to see a hungry Texans squad to cover this point spread in Week 1 and possibly even win outright. Besides, it’s 2020 right?! Who knows, take the points!!!
Sport (/spôrt/): noun – an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. I am providing you all with the proper definition just in case you forgot what this term is. If you are reading this blog post than you are obviously among the many who are yearning for some form of live sports entertainment. We are all desperate to once again be able to watch our favorite sports, teams, and athletes back in action. And no, watching your favorite team from 1998 does not count. Rest assure, we have real life dates put in place for the continuation of some of our favorite sports!
The NBA and Adam Silver were basically the first major sports league to: A. come to an agreement on salaries while working/playing and B. implement a concrete plan with specific dates for NBA resumption. Laid out is the current NBA timeline for the continuation of their season, at least for now…
July 7-9: Teams arrive in Orlando, FL
July 9-29: Negative tested athletes participate in scrimmages/practices
July 30: Season resumes
August 15-16: Play-in-games for playoff seeding
August 17: Playoffs begin
September 30: NBA Finals begin
So there ya have it. Adam Silver and company catch a lot flack from time-to-time; however, I believe that they worked very hard to provide the masses with essentially the same product that we are accustomed to viewing all the while taking every safety precaution along the way.
Here are the current NBA Finals odds…
Los Angeles Lakers +185
Milwaukee Bucks +275
Los Angeles Clippers +300
Boston Celtics +1200
Toronto Raptors +1400
Houston Rockets +1500
Denver Nuggets +2200
Philadelphia 76ers +2200
Believe it or not, the NBA is not scheduled to be the first major sport’s league to begin. The NBA is scheduled to resume on July 30th. However, the MLB is scheduled to resume on the 23rd of July. Obviously both will be without fans, but nevertheless I could not be more excited. The only aspect of my life that I am looking more forward to is marrying my beautiful fiance. Oh, and by the way, that was hindered by COVID-19 also. The MLBPA (Major League Baseball Player’s Association) finally agreed to terms on a deal consisting of a 60 games schedule while earning 80% of their annual salaries.
Here are the current MLB championship odds:
New York Yankees +325
Los Angeles Dodgers +325
Houston Astros +775
Atlanta Braves +1500
Minnesota Twins +1800
Washington Nationals +1800
New York Mets +2000
St. Louis Cardinals +2200
If you’re like me, I was super bummed that we were not able to have the 2020 March Madness tournament. For whatever it’s worth, I did a simulated bracket with game-by-game results. And no, each match-up was not a flip of a coin each time, but the results were still very surprising. Anyways, the simulated Final Four consisted of Duke, Michigan St, Ohio St, and Arizona St. The national title game was a BIG10 match-up between the Spartans facing off against the Buckeyes with Michigan St. coming out as the 2020 March Madness victors. How do you think the infamous blank 2020 bracket would have shaped out?
The Lakers (1st in Western Conference) and Celtics (3rd in Eastern Conference) are finally two of the upper-echelon teams in their conferences. Is this positive for the NBA as a whole? Probably so. Will they soon be over-valued handicap plays as we get into the heart of the NBA season? Also, probably so. Begin to sniff out statistical trends that may be in favor of opposing teams gaining significant “edges” as they face off against these two particular squads.
If you have not yet heard, the New York Knicks fired head coach, David Fizdale, after only 22 games (4-18). Whether this firing is right or unjust is beside the point. Once a team loses their coach mid-season, they come to a fork in the road with two destinations. Destination A takes the team to a moral boosting phenomena that heightens motivational factors. This can allow for a team to rally together and play hard for their coach in his “honor,” if you will. However, destination B entails a group that completely collapses and folds and eventually creating a neglected, anguish, or lack of care around the environment of the organization. After a few games, once we have observed which direction in the road that the Knicks have taken, then we can start to develop an “edge” for the remainder of their schedule. Since the firing on the December 6th, the Knicks are 2-1 ATS (1-2 SU). We may not have a big enough sample size yet, but at first glace, the Knicks are rallying around their coach and playing loose with nothing to lose at this point. With this Knicks team, and any other bottom-feeder team, home-court advantage is not as significant when these type of teams come into town. Fans and players alike do not get as hyped-up to face off against these under-performing organizations. Do not be afraid to gamble on these poor squads when going on the road versus a team like the Celtics. The Knicks will probably bring their “A” game, whereas the Celtics more than likely will not, making the Celtics and over-bet in this spot.
Bowl season is just upon us! Your final 4 schools are LSU (1), Ohio St. (2), Clemson (3), and Oklahoma (4). As we currently stand, LSU is a 14 point favorite over the Sooners (O/U: 75.5). Clemson is currently a 2 point favorite over the Buckeyes (O/U: 63). These lines are typically very sharp. However, I will give a quick scenario that I envision… Okay, so Oklahoma is clearly the less superior team with an average defense at best. I envision the Sonners to try and run the ball as much as possible to keep the clock running and their defense off the field against the high-powered Tiger offense led by Joe Borrow. When you run the football with persistence, more time gets taken off the clock. If more time gets taken off the clock then there is less time to score. Do you see where I am going with this? Take a look at making a play on the first half UNDER of the LSU vs. Oklahoma playoff game.
Other NCAAF Bowl games that I love…
CLEMSON vs. OHIO ST (+2) PICK: OHIO ST.
GEORGIA vs. BAYLOR (+7.5) PICK: BAYLOR
BOSTON COLLEGE vs. CINCINNATI (-7) PICK: CINCINNATI
It seems that virtually every sport under the sun is in full swing. This time of the year is special because it features NBA, NHL, NCAAF, and NFL competitions each day and weekend. Not to mention that NCAAB is just about to tip off!
This week inside NCAAF, we are privileged with numerous of quality match-ups. PENN STATE @ OHIO STATE, NC STATE @ NOTRE DAME, WASH STATE @ ZONA, and so on. With prime-time match-ups along with others, an important factor to keep in mind is who or who’s not accustom to the spotlight. As for me, I decided to take the road favorite (very rare for me) in TCU (-7) against the Cyclones of Iowa State. I believe that the Cyclones will not be able to handle the weight of being placed in the Top 25 as of this week and having the bright lights beamed over Ames, IA. Next week when making your NCAAF and NFL plays, take a peek at weather forecasts for competitions you like. This may sway you to think twice about your decision(s) and/or compel you take a glance at the O/U totals. It is never a bad idea to take UNDERS in football contests when weather conditions are not ideal for the players (i.e. rain, snow, ect.).
As for your NBA and NCAAB plays, weather is never a factor in terms of game outcomes. Today, the 76ers are visiting the Mavericks in Dallas. Philadelphia is a 1.5 road favorite. Both teams have only one win on the season. Also, the 76ers might be without their 3-point specialist (J.J. Redick – Questionable). The 76ers have also listed Markelle Fultz (G) and Jahlil Okafor (C) as OUT for tonight’s match-up. I like the Mavericks in this game straight up. Bet on the Mavericks tonight on the money-line! Another very powerful tool I have taken advantage of is a site titled: WIZARD OF ODDS. This site provides you with tips and analytical trends and past statistics.
Food for thought: I know that it is very early in the season, however after watching ESPN the other night, I noticed that the “Dukies” (NCAAB) barely squeaked out a win against a DII opponent in their opening exhibition game. I understand that this was their first game and that they will improve as the season goes along. Nonetheless, look to make a play against Duke in the near future against an actual DI opponent. Let’s not forget, Duke is notorious for getting upset not only against the spread, but outright as well! (Duke vs. Lehigh – 2012, and Duke vs. Mercer – 2014).
With the 2017-18 NBA in full swing, we are starting to get a good idea of what this years teams are made of. Some questions to ponder and keep tabs on: Are the Warriors down this year? Were the 76ers overrated this preseason? Were the Cavaliers trades worth their while? Are the Celtics going to flop without Gordon Hayward? Will the Thunder’s Big 3 live up to the hype? Are the Grizzlies a team to take seriously in the West?
Week 8 NFL Do’s and Dont’s…
Stay away from making plays on the Vikings and Browns match-up. This game is being played in London. Who knows what kind of teams will show up when having to cross the pond. All three games played in London this NFL season have resulted in blowouts. My advice is to not mess with these London match-ups. They seem like crap-shoots to me.
Last week featured a lot of games resulting in the UNDER. Look for teams to be offensive minded in Week 8. Pick those OVERS!
Covers.com is a excellent source (taking a backseat to my blog, of course) to gain knowledgeable insight for betting tips and which lines to keep an eye on. Covers has been a tool that I have utilized as of late. This site shows you where the majority of bets are leaning towards. Not to mention, proving you with all the scores from every sport that one could ask for.
To this point, I have discussed a lot pertaining to the MLB and NFL. This, in part, is due to the fact that these were/are the sports that are currently in season. However, I would like to write about the NBA and some tips for making your plays on this particular sport. The tips are as follow:
When betting on NBA, if a home team is favored and winning at half; make your play on the visiting team if, and only if, they are getting points at the half (i.e. -3.5).
Stay away from gambling on a team that is showing (-120); this is a sucker bet! Odds makers know that uneducated betters will see that the favorite has the edge (obviously). Hence, making a lot of small-money flowing towards the sucker bet. My advice is to stick with the even match-ups that offer an even (-110) for both squads.
Do not shy away from making plays on teams that are without their “star” player for competition. NBA players tend to elevate their game when they know that their “dude” is absent. Not to mention, lines makers will typically “over-favor” the opponent of the missing player. These plays can be gold if recognized correctly!
Use common intuition. This is a very important part of handicapping. Take a look to see if a team has played 3 or 4 games in 4 days. Or, see if a team has had to travel a long distance to play their next opponent. Keep in mind that these players are humans too. Travel and rest are crucial factors in any type of competition.
49ERS @ REDSKINS (-10) – I like the Redskins to cover in this match-up. The Redskins are coming off their bye and look like a team that is heading in the right direction. Also, remember my post from 9/30 titled: Don’t be a lazy Bettor, I detail how a team traveling from West Coast to East Coast offers a significant disadvantage. This travel takes a toll on these players bodies. Look for Kirk Cousins and the ‘Skins to win 31 – 13. (PICK = REDSKINS)
PATRIOTS @ JETS (+9.5) – I love picking dogs that are at home in divisional rivalries. The Jets are looking much better than anyone could have foreseen. I mean come on, the Jets’ preseason season win total O/U was set at 2.5. It goes without saying that the Patriots have been bullying the Jets for over a decade now. Look for the Jets to seek out some revenge and just fall short to the Pats 27 – 21 and cover! (PICK = JETS)
ARKANSAS @ ALABAMA (-30) – The Razorbacks are simply too big of dogs in this game. With the Razorbacks quarterback (Austin Allen) as doubtful for Saturday’s match-up, look for Arkansas to run the ball a lot. I believe that there will not be enough time to put up too many points against an in conference rival. The Razorbacks will lose, but will cover the spread. Final: 38 – 13 (PICK = ARKANSAS)
OHIO ST. @ NEBRASKA (+24) – Ohio State will finally be facing a decent defense. Not the Rutgers D and Army D that they have recently faced. Nebraska has had this home game highlighted on their schedule all season. I foresee this being a lower scoring affair than Ohio St. is most comfortable with. Look for this game to be a lot closer than most think with the Buckeyes pulling it out. Final: 28 – 20 (PICK = NEBRASKA)
KANSAS @ IOWA ST. (+20.5) – I took the Jayhawks in this particular game after the Cyclones incredible upset over Oklahoma in Week 6. I believe that the Cyclones will have a bit of a wining hangover and come out sluggish against a Kansas team that no one respects and tend to take lightly on a weekly basis. Kansas will come out fully prepared against this Iowa State team due to their recent success. Also, lets be honest; Iowa State is clearly a pretender when it comes to beating teams with a caliber like the Sooners. Iowa St. will win, but not cover Final: 42 – 27 (PICK = KANSAS)
***Remember, do your research! And as always, good luck and don’t be afraid to leave some comments and tell me what you think. Oh, and go DOGS this week!