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.
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!