Update: 2 for 4 on Game 4 calls – overall 10/13 = 77%
Update: 4 for 5 on Game 3 calls.
Update: 4 for 4 on Game 2 calls.
Watching Game 1 of the NBA finals brought back memories when the NBA was so predictable that Proline actually complied with NBA’s request of taking games off their betting slips. This is back when the Bulls were dominating and picking the winners was about as easy as playing the spread. You pretty much had to be a hockey fan to get things wrong. It didn’t even matter that you had to pick at least three games to see your money again – it was that easy! But it wasn’t just the Bulls that were a sure bet, Miami, Utah, Seattle and even New York were all winners on any given night. If you had the balls to actually place a bet down on a Heat/Knicks game you even might’ve had some excitement coming your way.
So last night as I watched Lebron harmlessly attack the rim while three defenders waited for him and the Cavs pondered how to possibly deal with the length of NBA’s official thug and the quickness of Tony Parker (Daniel Gibson has seen nothing of the sort) while still worrying about The Big Bore, something clicked in my right brain. That’s when it occurred to me that this might be the easiest NBA Final to predict and thus, make some money on. Now if the Pistons had made the finals things would be a lot different because even though the Cavs topped them, much to the delight of San Antonio, the Pistons were a far tougher matchup. Something about having four power forwards and a revenge mission that might’ve caused Greg Popovich some headaches. I like the Cavs, they’re nice people but if Arenas and Butler would’ve been healthy, they might not have made it out of the first round alive. Next up were the Nets who were coming out of a long series against the Raptors and thats when Vince Carter went back to being Rex Chapman. The Pistons series was legit. The Pistons’ sum is greater than their parts and the Cavs exposed them in individual matchups to earn a berth in the NBA Finals.
But make no mistake, Cleveland is the sacrificial lamb here and there is simply no way they can get an away win in this series. No matter how much NBA.com will try to hype this series up, it is a foregone conclusion and the only thing left in question is whether it’ll be over in 4 or 5 games. So without further ado I present some picks that might do me proud, they’re all taken from BetUS Sportsbook. I’ll come back after the games and gloat. Post-game comments are in red.
- Moneyline: Too obvious. Correct.
- 1st Half Spread: San Antonio laying of 4. The Spurs got off to a slow start on Thursday, it won’t happen again. Even if this number was around 8, I’d still take it. This is too easy. Spurs were up by 15.
- Game Spread: San Antonio laying 7. 5. Losing by 7 probably means it was a close game, something this won’t be. Even after San Antonio played piss poor for the first half, they still managed to blow them out. Expect the same here. The only game Cleveland has a chance of keeping close is Game 3 and thats only because San Antonio might want another million-dollar gate at home. Spurs won by 11 and it was a blowout.
- Total Points: 177. This might be a tough one to call but I’ll say ‘over’ because odds are Lebron might show up for at least a couple quarters pushing the scoreline for Cleveland over 85. San Antonio will probably score more than 100 so thats that. 195 total points scored.
Don’t thank me, thank Lebron’s 48 point explosion in Game 5.
This is going to be much tougher. The Cavs are back at home after being pummelled in San Antonio. Will home court matter or will the size/skill/experience/talent/composure of San Antonio overcome Lebron for a third straight time. The picks are from BetUS Sporstbook, they have tons of bets, I’m just picking a few.
- Moneyline: The Spurs again, Cleveland is reeling and the more I think about it, it’s Game 4 that Cleveland might win and not Game 3. Spurs win, Cavs kept it close but you knew the outcome of this game from the second quarter on.
- 1st Quarter: Spurs laying 0.5. Cleveland will come out with enough energy to probably win the 1st quarter based on pure crowd enthusiasm and the energy in the building. It always happens. You could also play the ‘over’ on Cleveland scoring 22 points in the quarter. Spurs’ experience helps them eek out a three point win.
- 1st Half: Even. Spurs will recover in the second but I think Cleveland will do just enough to maybe take a lead or tie into halftime. This is a tough call and I almost don’t want to make it. OK, I was skeptical about this one and screwed up here but not a lot really, Spurs were up by only 2 a halftime.
- Game Spread: Spurs laying 1.5. I don’t believe in one point games because of FT shooting at the end of NBA games. This will be close like Game 5 versus the Pistons but Lebron won’t get the leeway he got in Detroit. Take the Spurs. In close games you usually give the edge to the home team but the Spurs have too much experience here.
- Total Points: 178.5. I predict a 92-86 result which means I am forced to take the under, just barely. Didn’t get the final score I wanted but still won the bet, a low scoring affair.
Note on gambling: Consider this, the fact that I was right on all four calls for Game probably means that I’m wrong for about half the calls in Game 3. I just realized how much I would hate doing this for a living unlike this guy, maybe you should listen to him.
This is a game of statistics and my recent successes make me fearful that I am due to fail. But here goes anyways. Once again, the bets are from BetUS. Cleveland must have some pride, somewhere deep down in their chests a voice must be yelling, screaming WE DON’T WANT TO GET SWEPT. OH GOD, PLEASE DON’T LET US GET SWEPT. It is this voice that I’m counting on to pull off Game 4 for Cleveland. The only doubt I have is that the players might have given up and will play lazy and not even try to pull this one off just to avoid going to boring San Antonio again. If they were playing LA they might be motivated but since its San Antonio, motivation might be a question mark. Cleveland’s already lost this series and the players know it as well as the coaches and fans, its a question of a little pride and I’m betting on them having it. Simple as that.
- Game Spread: Spurs laying 3. Take Cleveland, the potential humiliation of getting swept will be the motivator. Cleveland lost by only one so although my pick of Cleveland winning the game was off, they still win the bet.
- 1st Quarter: Spurs laying 1. Cleveland will win the first quarter. Bet your house on this one. Same reasons as before: crowd, energy etc. Cleveland wins the first quarter 20-19.
- San Antonio 2nd Quarter: After a slow start, they’ll rack up more than 22 points in the second. By now Tony Parker would’ve warmed up. San Antonio won the quarter but scored only 20.
- Total Points: 175.5. I’m going to be really bold and say ‘over’. After the deplorable Game 3 I bet both teams want to stretch their legs and run up and down the court. Only 165 points scored 🙁
OK, so the Spurs screwed me by not scoring enough in the second but overall I’m still winning money. So if a guy like me who has no experience laying money down can get close to 80% correct against the spread, a professional gambler who follows the NBA point spreads all season probably made a fortune of this one.
Thank God the finals are over.