NBA Playoffs Zigzag, The Definitive Answer

About this time two years ago, I watched as on one of the fine betting sites there was a not-so-subtle back and forth of the validity of the so-called zigzag NBA playoff betting system.

The method simply says go with the team off of a loss.  A critic came back after the first week or so gleaming over the fact the technique zagged and sagged more than it zigged.  It lost money. Then as the playoffs went on, the proponent got the last laugh while the cynic wrote articles on other topics telling you he is smarter than everyone else.

Having been in the industry since the 1980s and having been a supporter of computer systems since prominent statistician Dr. Mike Orkin wrote his Pointspread Analyzer software, where does the top NBA handicapping service GodsTips stand?

We agree with the theory, but less so the etched-in-stone considerations. First of all, let us give a quick refresher of the difference.  A system can be measured objectively because the parameters are concrete.  The zigzag is an example.  Going with a double digit favorite off a single digit loss would be another hypothetical in beating the NBA playoff scores.

Of course there can be modest variances depending on when and where a database gathers lines, but over any statistically significant period it does not make a huge difference.

A theory is much like a system but does not have objective parameters. Our theory is the better the team is that the zigzag system favors and the bigger the margin the loss was, the more compelling it is to “go with the team off a loss”.

True one could come up with a system to measure our upgrading of the methodology. An example would be going with a team with a winning percentage of .575 or higher off a loss of eight or more.  The problem is we believe a mental sliding scale combining and most importantly, weighing the two factors works best. It allows for a mixing and matching of the two parameters.

For example, this year as in most years, it would not apply or would only be weighed slightly if we are talking about the bottom three seeds in each conference off a loss. There is a reason they are called “mismatches” in basketball betting.

No. 4 versus five and the next three rounds of the playoffs (barring huge first round upsets), it is weighed much heavier. Remember we told you the mocker grew conspicuously quieter as the postseason went on.  Now you know why.

It’s one of those theories that almost make too much sense. During the regular season of every sport we remind you of the Golden Rule to not merely go with the “team that needs it more” if said team is fighting just to make the playoffs.

We call attention to the fact if a team were proficient at winning “must win” games they would not be playing in must-win games late in the year.

Conversely, a one through five seed, especially as the playoffs go deeper, has shown the ability to rebound from adversity and respond when their backs are to the wall.

To the handicapper there is a titanic difference between desperate elite teams and equally desperate inferior teams playing in a crucial contest. It’s like the difference between seeing Jennifer Lopez and Rosie O’Donnell in a string bikini.

Okay, I don’t follow the analogy myself, but the exemplification of the distinction is infallible. From a handicapping standpoint one can’t measure the success of the zigzag if Phoenix coming off a loss is given the same weight (no pun intended Rosie) as Washington or Golden State following a setback.

Likewise, the margin of the loss is applicable for at least two obvious reasons.  As we have said many times, nothing affects public perception more than the last game they have seen.  It’s not uncommon for a blowout in the previous game to influence an opening line by 2-3 points and more times than not, the closing line by more.

Plus, no matter how motivated and well-coached a squad is, it defies human nature to approach a game with as much vengeance off a 22-point win as it is for the team off the huge setback.

Others So to friends and foes alike of zigzag, a .700 or better team off a loss is not even close to being the same as the below .520 teams zigging. Nor is mindset the same for a team that lost a game that went down to the wire the same as one that got humiliated on national television.

can debate the “system” but we will tell you the rationale behind it has a lot of validity if and only if the caveats are utilized and the impact applied appropriately.

Friday Computer Trends

Friday, April 20,
2007

GodsTips.com
through the NBA postseason package, all plays, all sports for less than $10 per
day at OffshoreInsiders.com

MLB

·       
Florida
has gone over 10-0 to the division this year

·       
Tampa
over 11-2 for the year

·       
Milwaukee
over 8-1 to the division this year

·       
Cubs are 2-17 the last two years -17.7 to teams
averaging 2.75 or fewer extra base hits per game

·       
Cubs are 2-8 in day games this year -8.6

·       
The Dodgers are 7-0 +7.6 following an under

·       
Mets 9-1 at night +8 this year

·       
Chicago Cubs Ted Lilly has a team 4-14 mark
-14.8 units to NL teams scoring 4.3 or less runs per game

 

Personal record is a pitcher’s record in his decisions
including relief appearances. Team
record is how the team did in his starts whether or not he was involved in the
decision.


Wednesday Computer Trends

Wednesday, April
18, 2007

OffshoreInsiders.com
has all the nation’s top sports service plays

NBA

·       
Cleveland
is 11-4 at home

·       
New Jersey
is 7-1 home against Chicago

·       
San Antonio
8-2 series to Denver

·       
Minnesota
lost five straight at home

·       
Indiana
15-8 to Washington

·       
Golden
State
is 6-1 their last seven

·       
New Orleans
9-1 their last 10

 

MLB

·       
Florida
over 10-0 to the division this year

·       
Minnesota
under 8-0 off win this year

·       
Cincinnati
8-1 to right-handed pitchers this year +8.8

·       
LA Dodgers are 11-2 to division this year +9.1


Raptors To Rest Key Players Tuesday

Toronto will likely rest some key players Tuesday
From Raptors.com
Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said he would move to give some of his most vital players, Chris Bosh and Anthony Parker, time off but whether that means a night off or just miserly playing time isn’t yet known.
Kris Humphreys would probably be rewarded with a start if Bosh stays in civilian clothes. The same might be said for Michigan native Morris Peterson, who didn’t get off the bench in Sunday’s win over the New York Knicks.

Monday Computer Trends

Monday, April 16, 2007

GodsTips.com
scolding hot NBA totals system applies twice tonight! Find out more at OffshoreInsiders.com

MLB

·       
Cincinnati
under 8-0 this year virtual pick ‘em games (line 125
or less either way)

·       
Florida
over 7-0 road

·       
Cubs are 2-15 -17.7 units to NL teams averaging
4.3 or less runs per game

·       
Florida
has gone over 21-4 to NL team with a batting average of .255 or worse the last
two years

·       
LA Dodgers over 26-11 if they won three of their
previous four

 

NBA

·       
Boston
8-3 in the series

·       
Phoenix
has covered five straight in Houston

·       
Utah
is 8-3 to Portland

·       
Boston
27-11 on the road this year

·       
Houston
is 27-52 at home

 


Houston-Philly

WIP in Philly is reporting the Houston-Philly game scheduled for Sunday has already been postponed because of the nor’easter

Blackmail, Not Just Bribery Can Lead to Pointshaving

The burgeoning betting scandal of former Toledo running back Harvey “Scooter” McDougle Jr. has again brought to the forefront the evergreen discussion and debate of the frequency of game fixing and point shaving.

The answers as to the questions how common it is and by who will probably be forever elusive.  Professor Justin Wolfers, of the respected Wharton School, did a study which concludes point shaving is quite prevalent in college basketball.  We critiqued that study in another article and while we disagree with his conclusions, clearly a man of his credentials cannot easily be discounted.

But in this article we want to bring to light the fallacies in a common presumption. Most seem to assume pointspread chicanery is limited to giving money to an athlete, coach or official in return for altering the betting result of a game.

Some naively believe at the professional sports level this is unlikely to happen, especially with those who affect the outcome of the game the most, the athletes.

The prevailing thought is a high-priced athlete has too much to lose and the amount of payola required would be cost prohibitive to the potential game fixer. That in theory should be true, but one would probably be giving athletes more credit for good judgment than they deserve.

But mere dollars and cents are far from the only type of inducement one could employ for skullduggery.

Talk about burgeoning scandals; is there anyone among us who doesn’t believe the steroid uproar has barely scratched the surface? What if just one influential supplier of performance enhancing drugs were a high-stakes bettor?

He’s got coveted contraband.  He’s got direct communication with significant athletes. You do the math.

Did somebody say scandal? It seems every decade or so we find out about a Madam to the multi-millionaires. Apparently the rich and powerful are willing to bequeath significant funds to acquire the services of a sweet painted lady. What might an amorous athlete being willing to do for the executive concubine service? A friend once told me “dames are trouble”. Are you getting the picture?

Do you think there may be some drug use among professional athletes? What would an athlete who wants only the best and hottest designer drugs do? A little information to crush the sportsbooks perhaps?  This may come as a shock, but I hear not all drug peddlers walk a straight and narrow line.  What kind of favors could the drug trafficker get from a desperate burnout who needs his fix? Did I just say “fix”?

But that’s not even adding blackmail to all of the above. What if a money player had overwhelming incriminating information concerning a player being involved in any of the aforementioned vices? Hush money is not cheap and it may just come in the form of a favor or two rather than in a briefcase of dollar bills.

Yet another bombshell in the news recently was the coming out book of former NBA player John Amaechi.  When the ex-journeymen admitted he was gay, it brought a lot of discussion as to the likelihood of a current athlete coming out of the closest. Current and former players, coaches and coach potatoes alike agreed an active player would risk serious ostrasization and many other ramifications to come out.

What if a gambling extortionist wanted, instead of financial shake down, some in-game kickbacks?

How about the same with a married player with an active black book—a player who wouldn’t want his marriage turned into a public and bitter multi-million dollar divorce settlement?

No, it’s not my “hypothetical confession” of how I would have bribed an athlete “if I did it”. But having been in the business since the 1980s, one does hear things.  Most, perhaps all is mere gossip and hearsay.  However, one thing I can say for certainty to those who believe professional athletes would unlikely be on the take because the risk/return factor is too great. Don’t bet on it.

Joe Duffy, CEO of OffshoreInsiders.com, has been an expert guest on Sporting News Radio, the Gambler’s Zoo and several other network and internet radio shows.

Monday Computer Trends

Monday, April 09, 2007

All the top sports service plays at OffshoreInsiders.com

NBA

·       
New York
is 7-1 home to Detroit

·       
Toronto
under 25-8 opponent averages seven or fewer steals per game

·       
Milwaukee
14-2 home to Orlando

·       
Minnesota
over 21-7 non-conference games

·       
Portland
7-3 last 10 games

·       
Minnesota
5-18 run

 

MLB

·       
White Sox 45-27 +29 units last three years road
underdogs

·       
Houston
under 12-1 road underdogs of 125-150


Saturday Computer Trends

Saturday, April 6,
2007

Joe Duffy’s GodsTips.com,
Stevie Vincent’s BetOnSports360.com
and MasterLockLine.com are part of OffshoreInsiders.com Network.

MLB

·       
NYM Tom Glavine team record the last two years

·       
San Diego David Wells 44-18 since 1997 team record to teams with a +1 runs per game
or better average

·       
Tampa Casey Fossum 12-4
+12.3 on artificial turf the last two years

 

NBA

·       
Boston
15-4 road

·       
Memphis
8-1 to Orlando

·       
Orlando
7-23 if they are 1-2 their last 3 SU

 

 


Late Season NBA Betting

As we approach the homestretch in the NBA, we celebrate that it’s a very profitable time for sharp players. This is in no small part because the oddsmakers adjust to false public perception.  Betting urban legends are quite popular this time of the year.

As is the case in every sport, it’s the time of the season that Joeybagofdonuts looks at the playoff races and simply goes with the “team that needs it more”. Sharp players meanwhile will collect big time going with true spoilers against teams in must-win situations.

First off all let us define the terms.  A “true spoiler” is an organization that has no chance of making the playoffs and whose biggest wins henceforth can only be raining on somebody else’s parade. “We are not talking about a top level team playing spoiler against the No. 9 team in the conference” emphasizes Curt Thomas, lead NBA handicapper of GodsTips, anchor of OffshoreInsiders.com

Likewise a “must win” applies “only to teams fighting for a playoff spot, not those simply jockeying for homecourt advantage,” adds Thomas.

Remember, bad teams have players fighting for their jobs in many cases.  Fear is a great motivator and the desire to extend a seven-figure-a-year career can invigorate a player more than the thought of extending the season.

This is not necessarily across-the-board.  A veteran team such as Minnesota could have their key players thinking of simply getting the season over with.

This is why in contests involving also-rans or desperate teams we take recent form much more into consideration than we do all other circumstances.

As is the case all year, deceptive straight-up records are exploited when compared to scoring margins. However, there are a lot more outplay factors this time of the year than any other point of the season because of the aforesaid false motivation perceptions knocking the line even more out of whack.

We can’t say it enough—straight up records is the most overused statistic in ATS handicapping. Successful betting isn’t about who wins the game, but who covers the spread.  Those who keep the books in business pay so little attention to the much more significant margin statistic.

Let us move onward to more proactive betting secrets. Detroit, Dallas, Phoenix and San Antonio are veteran teams that will use the late-season to fine tune for the playoffs. We will look to fade those teams as huge chalks, especially against bad teams that have shown recent competitiveness.  Again by that we mean close losses to quality teams, not necessarily straight up wins.

If we ever decided to do a sports gambling version of Snopes.com, we could start with late season NBA betting truths and myths.

In fact, lucky for you, we just did.

Joe Duffy’s sports betting selections are at GodsTips on OffshoreInsiders.com. He is former General Manager of the Freescoreboard scorephone network and CEO of OffshoreInsiders.com, the premier hub of world-class handicappers.