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).
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!
Yesterday, the 2020 NBA Draft took place. With the number one overall pick, the Minnesota Timber-wolves selected Anthony Edwards out of Georgia. Following him, the next four picks in order were 2. James Wiseman (Memphis) – 3. LaMelo Ball (USA) – 4. Patrick Williams (Florida St.) – 5. Isaac Okoro (Auburn). This year’s draft was was a bit more unique than others in previous years. The “blue-blood”, usual suspect, highly drafted schools of Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, and Kentucky did not have a player drafted until the 15th overall pick. To put this into perspective, over the last three
years there have been 18 “blue-blood” drafted within the top 15 picks. This begs the question, are the top schools slowly losing their top-dog status? Or are others schools starting to close the gap that has been present for so many years? Or maybe a good mixture of both.
Obviously the NCAAF season is arguably in full swing. It does not take a rocket scientist to recognize that college football season is moving a crawl. Will the NCAAB basketball season follow? College basketball’s March Madness was the first large sporting event to be canceled due to COVID-19. We can only hope that the 2020 NCAAB season will go as smooth as possible concluding with a successful March Madness tournament. In fact, the NCAA and its colleagues have proposed that the entire March Madness tournament and its participants be held in a single location; that location being Indianapolis, IN. Typically, the first two rounds are held at specific sites followed by the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 locations. This new suggestion would completely eliminate these original thirteen sites to minimize the amount of travel that players, coaches, media, and fans would have to endure if the pandemic is still prevalent. While we are on the subject of March Madness where ever game played is at a neutral site for both squads; since 2005, the UNDER has hit 56% of the time on a neutral court throughout any point of the season. Early season match-ups that will be played at neutral sites include: Arizona St. (18) vs. Baylor (2), Kansas (6) vs. Gonzaga (1), and Houston (17) vs. Texas Tech (14).
Side note, with Drew Breese being labeled as OUT indefinitely, look to acquiring Taysom Hill in your fantasy leagues. If Jameis Winston starts to “Jameis Winston” and throws interceptions left and right than the New Orleans Saints will begin to utilize Hill more and more making him a very valuable fantasy roster spot.
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!!!
For better or for worse, sports are in full swing. Sure, basketball should have been wrapped up by now and baseball should have about 120 games under its belt. Nevertheless, these sports are trying during a time where there are no right answer’s. I cannot even begin to imagine the behind-the-scenes operations that are taking place among each of these respective leagues. In terms of sports gambling, obviously some of the typically do’s and dont’s of gambling differ in these unique forms of sports and their play. For instance, an obvious example includes a runner beginning on second base in the event of extra innings in baseball. This scenario may influence your decision(s) on how to make a play in these particular games.
Aside from the obvious adjustments that we have recently seen in sports, let’s take a look at some of the early trends that “altered-sports” have presented. In the MLB, with little to no Spring Training for players, an increase in injury has been a noticeable early trend. Three previous Cy Young Award winning pitchers are currently on IR (not related to COVID-19) Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, and Corey Kluber. To make matters worse, the pitchers that are healthy are not pitching well. In fact, base-on-balls are up 8.9% in relation to last season. Okay, so what about the hitters? How are they doing compared to the 2019 campaign? Currently, hitters are batting at a .233 clip as a league. If this statistic holds true, it will be the lowest league batting average ever posted. However, home-runs continue to remain plentiful. According to their stats, it is apparent that our MLB athletes are not in prime “baseball” form. If we look at these trends and statistics through a sports gambling lens than we can compute that increased walks (base-runners) + increased home-runs = more total runs. Right? Hence, I highly recommend hammering those OVER’s while the lines are still relatively low/off. Speaking of poor defense, baseball is not the only major sport “in season” at the moment. We must certainly not forget about the NBA and its (surprisingly effective) bubble.
In the bubble, the NBA and its match-ups have been very cryptic in terms of where to put your money. Thus far, motivation has played the most influential determining factor of not only actually wins and losses, but gambling wins and losses as well. Even before arriving in Orlando, Florida some teams already have their playoff birth’s locked in. One would have to assume that a team fighting to be apart of the playoff picture would unconditionally put forth greater effort on the floor. Motivation alone can become quite the chess match for gamblers and even the average spectator for that matter. When you lump all of the other factors that go into a typical game it can become very frustrating and may even seem a bit random. For these reasons, I have shied away from NBA plays; at least for the time being, come playoffs: different story. If this information isn’t enough to shy you away, take into account that favorites in the bubble are 18-18-1 ATS (50%), and the game total sits at 19-17 O/U (53%). Point being, maybe the regular season bubble match-ups are too random to place any action on. I would recommend waiting until the playoffs are underway to begin risking your hard earned money.
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?
COVID-19 (corona virus) has impacted many individuals far and wide. The virus has affected each of us in its own unique way(s). Unfortunately, some of you are out of a job because of it; or even worse, have lost a loved one in lieu of this mysterious, yet contagious virus. I truly am thankful that I have not fallen victim to either of these two scenarios. Nevertheless, if you are spending your valuable time sifting through this blog than you too have probably been negatively affected by this pandemic. Obviously all of our sports have been taken away from us until further notice!!! And where there are no sports, there is no gambling. In fact, Casino bookie stocks have dropped, on average, 63% since the pandemic made its way to the states.
Along with many of you, I always look forward to MLB’s Opening Day. The timeless game has now become timed-out. So when will the season begin? For starters, there is much more than meets the eye when orchestrating the continuation of America’s pastime. The logistical side of the sport requires far more work than just a simple start-up date. Will the season be shortened? If so, will broken records be eligible? Will players and coaches obtain full salaries? Will double-headers become a normalcy? So on and so forth. According to Vinnie Duber of NBC Sports, he believes that the MLB schedule in its entirety will need to be reconstructed. As far as I’m concerned, the season will have to be shortened. The league cannot allow for the season to extend into the winter months. Think about baseball games being played at Target Field (Minneapolis, MN) in the middle of January… Yeah, no thanks. Back to the anticipated, yet artificial MLB Opening Day; the players union and the association are hopeful for a June 1st start to the season. If the season were not shortened with its original 162 game schedule, than we would be watching playoff baseball in the month of December with a June 1st first pitch. It will be the MLB’s duty to decide if a 2020 All-Star Game/All-Star break is necessary, or if all 162 games are needed to complete the 2020 MLB season. These unanswered questions will be very interesting to take note of as they unfold. Now, if you are a baseball freak and you are on the verge of gouging out your eyes; than there is in fact a temporary “baseball-fix” for people like yourself. CBS Sports did us the honor of simulating each and every Opening Day game with superficial box scores. Click HERE to see how your team would have done on Opening Day!
I would like to use this platform to recognize those whom have passed away, been laid-off, missed out on their athletic seasons, and all others whom have been negatively affected in the ever bit slightest during these unusual times.
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
Alright, so I first have to ask who you guys like in San Antonio for this year’s Final Four? Michigan? Loyola-Chi? Kansas? or Villanova? If you are not an advocate fan of either of these programs than the obvious answer is Villanova to win, but you WANT Loyola as this years’ Cinderella to win… Don’t you?!
As for the betting tips, this one is a toughie. “Why is that?”, you may ask. I am here to tell you all that these lines a very sharp. Meaning that the odds-makers did their jobs when configuring these point-spreads. For instance, in the Loyola-Chi v. Michigan match-up the point-spread opened up at MICH -5.5; for now, the line remains at that margin. Next, the Kansas v. Villanova match-up opened up at NOVA -5. Can you guess what the current point-spread sits at? Yep, +/- 5, you guessed it! However, there may in fact be a loop hole for these two match-ups, and it lies within the OVER/UNDER category. You see, these teams are very well rested and have had ample time to game plan schematically on the defensive end for their opponent(s). Take that and sprinkle on the lack of shooting accuracy due to nerves and you got yourself a perfect recipe for tomorrows games to hit that UNDER. Currently, the Loyola-Chi v. Michigan O/U is 129.5; whereas the Kansas v. Villanova line is at 154.5.
I recently just got back from Vegas. Unfortunately I made more money on the craps tables than in the sports-books. With that being said, I did learn a valuable lesson that I plan to continuously search for. This example occurred during the Loyola-Chi v. Nevada game in the Sweet 16. The Ramblers were one point dogs and had a favorable O/U line that I liked. I really wanted to make a play on the Loyola to cover straight up. Then I got to thinking: “Hey, if Loyola covers the spread, the game is more than likely to end up hitting the under, since they like to play at a very slow pace.” Both the Ramblers won and the under hit for my sake! Moral of the story here is to be knowledgeable about the teams you are gambling on and look for those correlated parlays to hit. Parlays are tough but big money makers if played correctly.
NBA: Switching gears over the advanced hardwood, I will leave you with this. As the NBA playoffs begin to take shape; utilize a lot of the similar tactics/tools that I mentioned in my Let the Madness (Almost) Begin! post for your NBA playoffs plays.
CAUTION: Be weary of the Houston Rockets recent playoff woe’s mixed with a couple of bad shooting nights form beyond the three. This is a perfect storm for a losing equation, in my opinion. It takes a lot for me to say this being a Rockets fanatic. Hence, I sure as hell hope that I am wrong. I will say that their defense is much improved and Mike D’Antoni has finally learned the equation for winning with his squad.
As always, good luck and strive to learn from each and every one of your plays win or lose.