Since we have a very short schedule in The Association tonight, it's a good idea to pick up on what happened on Tuesday night in Milwaukee because there's a lot to talk about there---a lot that we can learn from that situation. You'll remember that the game between the Bucks and the Suns that night was one that I was looking hard at moving on, but I didn't. The reason for that was because I noticed, as I went over the trending data, the Suns had beaten the Bucks in 4 straight meetings over the last 3 seasons. All the other numbers were stacked solidly on the side of the Bucks, and as you know by now, the Bucks not only won the game, but they covered the number as well. It was a missed opportunity, and I should be stomping my feet over it, right?
The first thing right out of the chute that you need to know is that I'm not out there looking to get on all the games. I do come through with projections for every game in the NBA, the NFL, college football and soon, we'll be rolling through college hoops. The point of all that work is to show you that just by using the stats that I place importance on for each league and each game, I could be very successful. We'll get more into stats and breaking them down later, but there's so much more to it than just running the numbers. The main point I want to make is that I'm not looking to get on every game on the schedule. The reality is, and this is the most important thing I want you to take away from this, so listen up, I'm looking for any reason in the world I can find to NOT get on any given game. When I can't find that reason, and I've done all my due diligence, I know that I've got a hold of a game where I've reduced my risk to a point where I actually have the edge.
I've already told you that at issue with the Bucks game on Tuesday was some trending data that pulled me off of it. This is where a strong database comes into play because watching for and recognizing the trends becomes a very important tool. It's not, and should never be treated as, a be all and end all. In fact, trending is actually the last thing I'm considering when I'm going through my evaluation of each game. The way it goes is: Stats, Situation, Trending. I'm not going to say this is the only way to go, but it works for me.
There's so much information to cull from trending data that it can often become just a blur. This is where it becomes important for us to be able to assess the importance of each little piece of information. As a for instance, I hope you remember what I told you to file away yesterday. It had to do with the fact that the Bulls were only 4-14 ATS in home games so far this season. That would be the example of a useless piece of information to me, and the reason for it is that I wasn't going to be laying the spread anyway. It just so happened that the game didn't work out for me, but it still illustrates this important point: You've got to sift a lot of information, and you have to make your own determinations when it comes to what's important and what isn't.
It all comes down to how you make yourself comfortable. For me, it all starts with the stats. Even with them, there's a lot of numbers out there. They keep stats on everything these days, but once again, I've found a formula for each platform that I work with that works for me. I'm not going to wade through a mountain of numbers. That would only bog me down and cloud every game. Instead, I have determined what's worthwhile and what isn't, and as the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. I certainly don't want to discount the fact that situational and technical (trending) analysis isn't important. All three work together, but it all comes back to the stats. It's the stats that start us on the road because that's where I develop the potential outcome of each game I look at, and as you know, I look at them all.
Sometimes things don't look right when I get to the point that I have a game projection, and I've stated that many times already during this hoops season. And that's when I start to digging until I can either find a way to discount what I see in the numbers or I can solidify what those numbers are telling me. But again, I don't want to muddle things up too much either. If I have to dig too deep, and I've seen enough to back up what I see on my way there, I'll just toss the game away and move on to the next one. Once again, and I can't say this enough: I'm trying to find reasons to not get on a game, and if I can't, it's all good, and I'll most likely be making the move.
I hope this little "tutorial" has helped give a little insight into what's going on here, and how I get where I am when you see what shows up in these posts on a daily basis. I'm always available to entertain any questions you might have when it comes to anything you might read. So, it's time to wrap this up because we do have a few games to deal with tonight. Let's go ahead and get on them.
THE NBA (4-7 last night and 12-16 so far for the week)
SU WINNERS (7-4 last night and 14-14 so far for the week)
KNICKS, KINGS and BLAZERS
TOTALS (7-4 last night and 16-12 so far for the week)
OVER - Mavs/KINGS (206)
UNDERS - Knicks/PACERS (185) and Heat/BLAZERS (195)
BUTTA (1-1 last night and 2-2 so far for the week)
There's nothing to see here for tonight. I can't get myself to the point I discussed earlier where I'm comfortable with any of tonight's games.
ALL THE REST
1. PACERS (-4 1/2) over Knicks - I'm sure a lot of folks will take the information that 'Melo is suspended for tonight's game and run with the Pacers. I'm not so sure. I really like the Pacers. They play the game the right way and can really grind it out on defense, but we've seen time and time again in the NBA how a team will lose it's superstar for a game or 2, and that team will rally and rise up. That's what I fear most from the Knicks tonight. PACERS 93, Knicks 84
2. KINGS (-2) over Mavs - The Mavs gave up another 4th quarter lead last night. Granted, it was only 3 points going into the final stanza, and maybe we should be making more of a big deal of the fact that they were even in that position against a clearly superior team. After watching this team play though, I can't find any reason to back them. They aren't doing anything but burning money right now. KINGS 108, Mavs 101
3. BLAZERS (+3 1/2) vs. Heat - There's no question that the Blazers have an incredible home court advantage, but here they are against one of the elite teams. The only problem with that is the same question I've had about The Champs for some time now: Are they even interested? BLAZERS 105, Heat 85
And that will do it for another Thursday. Have a great day, and I'll see you again tomorrow.