Tough break last night with the Spurs. The Stingers scored right about in the range I thought they would for the game, but turnovers and in sufficient glass crashing did me in on the TOTAL play. No worries. We're still in good shape as we roll into the midweek, and there will be plenty of chances to make it up and then some.
I did want to get into something that I mentioned during yesterday's post that might have confused some of you. To paraphrase, I said that if I wanted to gamble, I would have taken the Kings on the money line last night. Some of you might be saying to yourself something along the lines of: "But that's what you do, and that's all your posts are about. Gambling!" But you would be wrong.
I don't want to get caught up in a whole semantics thing, but what I do has nothing to do with gambling. That's when you take whatever you've got, throw it up against a wall and find out what sticks. That's a gamble. What I do is "investing", and I call it that because before I will make a move on anything, I've done my level best to remove all the guesswork. I won't make a play on a 50/50 proposition, and I don't have to either. That's for the degenerates out there that I can take advantage of.
If you don't know by now, or you haven't been "with me" long enough to know, I'm not laying anything down until I've removed all the risk that's humanly possible. Do I win every play? No way. I would love to, and you can believe that, but even a "sorcerer" like me can't foresee a star player turning an ankle or blowing out his knee early in a game I'm on any more than I can predict the freak turn of events that goes with a turnover that occurs when a receiver that would make the same catch 99 times out of 100, has the ball slip through his hands, pop off his shoulder pads or helmet and into the waiting arms of a defender who was badly beaten on the play.
Things happen. Some of them are good. Some are not, but when all is said and done, and I'm ready to make a play on any given game, it's because I have done my due diligence and am fully satisfied that my risk is so minimal that it's negligible. The best brokers or even day traders aren't going to make a move until they shielded themselves from unnecessary risk. That's what I do, and that's why, for me, it's investing and not gambling. Enough said on that, so let's move on to tonight's action.
THE NBA (2-5 last night and 5-7 so far for the week)
I alluded to this a couple of weeks ago, but I think we might now officially be in one of those "dead" periods in the hoops schedule where the numbers are going to start to adjust themselves a bit. There are many reasons this happens, but maybe the biggest one is the fact that the boys have been at it for almost 2 1/2 months now, and we're still a little over a month away from a nice, long all-star break. The guys are getting tired and worn down. You would expect that this is the time the "cream" rises to the top, but the players on those teams have been playing much the same schedule as everyone else, so there's really no bargain to be had there.
I will admit to you that I haven't yet figured out a way to adjust for this adjustment, but I think that maybe the real key to continuing success is realizing that it's there and is going to happen. And as you would expect, that must lead us to even greater caution and awareness than we normally practice.
SU WINNERS (1-6 last night and 4-8 so far for the week)
76ERS, PACERS, BUCKS, ROCKETS and Hawks
TOTALS (2-5 last night and 5-7 so far for the week)
OVERS - Nets/76ERS (187), Suns/BUCKS (199) and Lakers/ROCKETS (221)
UNDERS - Heat/PACERS (187) and Hawks/WOLVES (189 1/2)
BUTTA (0-1 last night and 1-1 so far for the week)
As a great example of what I was talking about a little earlier, I can't find anything in tonight's schedule where I can eliminate my risk enough to satisfy me. So, there will be no investments tonight.
ALL THE REST
1. 76ERS (-1 1/2) over Nets - The Nets have done some nice things against some inferior competition since they let Coach Johnson go, and I'm guessing that's why this number is as low as it is. The Sixers are 7-2 ATS and 6-3 SU against the Nets over the last 3 seasons, but I don't want to move on a team that will be playing it's first home game off a long and grueling road trip. 76ERS 99, Nets 91
2. PACERS (+2) vs. Heat - Miami is one of those teams that looks like they're just riding things out and only trying to stay moderately interested. Meanwhile, the Pacers have really been grinding it out lately. The Heat are only 7-6 ATS against Indy over the last 3 years but are a decent 9-4 SU. So, what do you do? What I do is pass. PACERS 95, Heat 82
3. BUCKS (-6) over Suns - I have no problem laying against the Suns on the road, but the Bucks are suddenly scuffling a little bit with 4 straight losses. On first blush, and because the Suns are such a bad road team, I though that I might be able to squeeze out a money line play on Milwaukee at the very least, but then the fact that the Suns are 4-0 SU & ATS against the Bucks over the last 3 years came to light. That's enough for me not to want to go to war with this one. BUCKS 111, Suns 100
4. ROCKETS (-8) over Lakers - Kobe's team is a mess right now due to injuries to all their big men, and many players are going to seize on that fact and make this play based solely on that. I'm not going to move though. The Rocks still aren't showing a whole lot on defense, so Bryant, Nash, Meeks and maybe even Jamison might be able to shoot the Lakers into this game. I'm going to sit and watch, and I'll be hoping the Lakers give a good, solid effort here. The Rocks will try to run L.A.'s legs off, but if it stays close, maybe that will help keep the number down when the depleted Lakers head into San Antonio tomorrow night. ROCKETS 122, Lakers 111
5. Hawks (+1) at WOLVES - I don't think anyone would disagree with the fact that the Wolves just aren't the same team without Kevin Love, but against the Hawks, will they be in all that bad of shape? I'm not sure, and that's why I won't play it. This guy Pekovic is a real brute in the paint, and that gives the Hawks problems. I still have to go with what my numbers tell me, but I don't have to pull the trigger either. Hawks 98, WOLVES 89
I'm sure there are many of you out there who are feeling like me in wishing last night's BCS game would have at least been more competitive, but we all got hit over the head with reality...AGAIN! Coach Saban is the best there is, and because of that, he gets his pick of the best players. As long as they don't run afoul of NCAA regulations, we all just might as well resign ourselves to the fact that the Crimson Tide are going to be a major player every year. And instead of griping about the whole thing, shouldn't we be applauding what they've accomplished? I mean, this is America, and we might love an underdog, but it's the winning spirit and attitude embodied by Alabama football that has made this country great. Congratulations 'Bama, and as long as you can keep this going, I say "ROLL TIDE!" You are part of what makes America go!
Have a great day, everyone! I'll see you tomorrow