Just when you thought sports, and the NBA, were starting to make some sense…
It is hard to describe the magnitude of last night’s upset from a Las Vegas standpoint. Sure, series-wise, it is probably of little consequence. The Cavs will likely win Game Four at home and wrap up the series at some point shortly after; be it in Boston in Game Five or back home in Game Six. But from a purely wagering perspective? Simply bananas. The Cavaliers went off at -1750 on the moneyline, the largest line I can recall in an Eastern Conference Finals game in the seven years I’ve been covering hoops and sports betting. College football games between Michigan and their annual September FCS opponent don’t get money lines of -2000, let alone the two ostensibly best teams in the Eastern Conference.
Yet the Celtics SHOCKED the sporting world last night on an Avery Bradley game winning three, and the dopey pundits are already out en mass; LeBron is fatigued, the Cavs were over-confident, etc. Here’s the best explanation – SPORTS. It was a weird night where LeBron stunk up the joint for the first time in his last 15 postseason games, and the Celtics dropped a ton of shots. I’ll take the over/under bet on Marcus Smart hitting SEVEN three pointers again in a game this series (or in his life…). You can panic if you want, but the best explanation is “fluky game” and the Cavs will still easily win this series.
A better question is what to make of TONIGHT’S game. Do the Spurs valiantly fight to extend the season without Kawhi Leonard, to avoid the embarrassing sweep on their home floor? Or is the end so inevitable that there is no stopping the unstoppable force of the Golden State Warriors?
We know what can happen when overconfidence creeps in to the mix, but does one insane statistical anomaly begat another??
Today’s NBA Pick:
Western Conference Finals – Game Four (Golden State leads 3-0)
Golden State Warriors -12 at San Antonio Spurs
Throwing aside the first half of the Game One stunner, the Warriors have straight up OWNED San Antonio for the last four meetings. And, as if it needs repeating, the Spurs are without their best player on both ends of the floor, their MVP candidate, Kawhi Leonard.
Golden State is 10-0 both SU and ATS in their last ten road games. And keep in mind, they are often having to cover massive double-digit spreads in these games. San Antonio has an interesting and earned “bounce back” mystique – they are 6-0-1 ATS after their last seven losses. But tonight feels different. The Warriors are just on another plane and even when teams hang around, Golden State seems to have a way to hit the gas in the final quarter and stretch the margin out to a comfortable margin, and one that covers the spread.
If the margin is too wide for your liking, the total has gone OVER in the last four meetings between these two teams as well…
I’ll stick with the simple play. I hate laying double digits against the Spurs, but the Warriors have covered ten roadies in a row, so no sense in trying to outsmart the room tonight.
Today’s NBA Pick: GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS -12