As is the case in all sports, everyone and their sister
are doing NBA season previews. This is very much true even with those in the
handicapping industry. From a spread bettor’s standpoint, these forecasts can
have little value.
As we point out similar examples in every sport, San
Antonio could have the best record in the NBA and Atlanta
could have the worst. Yet it’s still
conceivable that the Hawks could have a better spread record.
Being right about projected divisional standings assures
little in spread betting. Just imagine
the gambling bloodbath when such predictions are wrong.
This year’s NFL is an aberration where the two of the
three teams widely considered being the best in the NFL before the year
started—Indianapolis and New
England—also have great spread records. How quickly we forget the
Chargers were among the big three preseason favorites, though we know they will
be heard from. But let us get back to the NBA.
Elite handicappers look for fluid tendencies rather than
handicapping an entire season before it starts. This is a big reason why we
minimize futures bets and even playoff series bets, to eliminate the danger of
being even subconsciously biased in our day to day soothsaying.
we compile pages of notes for our betting “cheat sheets” on every
team, updated daily. So here are some highlights of early tendencies we are
looking for in our every day NBA handicapping:
Golden State: “Predictably Unpredictable”
One of our many Golden Rules of sports handicapping is
that square players avoid erratic teams, sharp players love them. In short, the
angle is that we bet against such teams the hotter and bigger favorite they are
and wager on them the colder and bigger underdog they become.
Yes, professional gamblers know there are many situations
to go with horrible, slumping teams and go against elite teams during their
winning streak. Why will the Warriors be a team squares hate and sharpies love?
Well, yet another Golden Rule that has made you and us a
fortune this college football season: it’s easier to be the hunter than the
hunted. Golden State
enters the year as a chic team fresh off a 16-5 straight up run to close out
the regular season, followed by the historic upset of Dallas.
is a high flying, up-tempo team that lives off the three-point shot. Last year
they led the league in three-point attempts and their average went up after the
Jan. 16 trade in which they acquired Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington.
Riding the hot hand, they shot the three-pointer even more
in the playoffs, averaging a stunning 31 attempts per game in the post-season
compared to 23.4 attempts before the aforesaid trade. This is even more
significant because defenses tighten and the pace slows in the postseason.
This formula means they will look like a lottery team one
night and a championship contender the next night. Perhaps it’s the Golden
(State) Rule. Watch them drive 90 percent of gamblers nuts, yet be “Golden”
going both for and against for wiseguy gamblers, depending on the situation.
Grizzlies Built to Improve as the Year Goes
the worst record in the NBA last year, but they have a fresh coach, new GM, and
a plethora of new to the job players.
And we do mean “new”. Their coach Mark Iavaroni has his
first head coaching job. Other than Damon Stoudamire, the average player has
less than three years NBA experience. They will be better in January and
February than in November. Best of all, their early season struggles will lower
their value with the offshore and Vegas sportsbooks just in time for them to
Look for us to ride them as huge underdogs after their
first 15-20 games of abysmal play. We eye them as one of the top dichotomous
ATS and SU squads. Again, the script and
a successful evergreen one at that: we discount 98 percent of trends, but this
has proven to be the exception to the rule. If a team has a great SU record but
horrid ATS record or visa versa, we bet for that to continue as it is the sign
of which teams are most under or overvalued.
Mavericks an Early Season “Over” Team
Avery Johnson transformed the Mavericks from a shoot and let God sort them out
team to a squad that thought defense first, second and third. The result was
one of the great postseason failures in sports history.
Johnson learned that having Dirk Nowitzki thinking defense
foremost is the equivalent of trying to make Peyton Manning or Tom Brady a
thousand yard rusher.
Not only will Dallas
correct that blunder, but the focus this offseason was improving their
weakness: their offense against the zone. New assistant coach Paul Westphal was
hired to do just that, among other things focusing on execution rather than
trying to outsmart their opponent with new fangled looks. This is a wise move
considering Dallas has the
offensive weapons. Look for point guard Devin Harris to be among the most
improved players in the league offensively.
Nets Will Come Out of the Gates Quickly
The Nets point guard and leader Jason Kidd is what a point
guard should be. He makes players better
and brings into play his weapons. He has a lot more to work with this year.
Jamaal Magloire, Sean Williams and Malik Allen have been added, Josh Boone is
rapidly improving and Nenad Krstic is back from injury.
The team has gelled in camp and in the preseason. Buoyed
by all this, we look for the Nets to look like world beaters early on.
The author, Joe Duffy is CEO of OffshoreInsiders.com
and a handicapper for GodsTips, exclusively on that site. Check out
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