Basketball

NCAA COLLEGE BASKETBALL BEST TITLE ODDS

Thursday, 13 November, 2014

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College basketball’s 2014-2015 season is here. Time just keeps flying but I can say over the years I have not lost my passion for college basketball. It truly is a special sport to watch and of course make some cash on. This year should be as exciting as ever. As I usually do, I like to layout three potential NCAA college basketball winners to showcase.

Best Odds on Favorite: Duke 10-1
Duke did lose Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker to the NBA. Both were only at the program for one season before departing for the lure of NBA money. Do not think for once that Duke isn’t capable of replacing them. Coach K knew Parker would be gone and Hood truly was the type of player that had maximized his college potential. The depth in the backcourt with upper classmen in Rasheed Sulaimon and Quinn Cook is impressive. Last year with Hood and Parker shooting the ball at a high rate Cook and Sulaimon did not get enough looks at the basket. That’ll change this season. The back line with Amile Jefferson, Marshall Plumlee, and freshman Jahlil Okafor will be tough for the ACC and rest of the country to contain.

Best Mid-Tier Team: Louisville 35-1
I truly do not have any idea why Louisville is this undervalued. Sure they lost Luke Hancock and Russ Smith but last year the team was bogged down a bit by both. Russ took a lot of bad shots and Hancock never looked healthy like he did the season prior. The balance just was not there with the unexpected release of Chane Behanon and Kevin Ware’s decision to transfer. This season the offense will go through Montreze Harrell. Harrell has been a force since his freshman year and will be the best big man in the country in 2014-2015. Add Coach Rick Pitino’s thriving defense and sophomore Terry Rozier’s improvements from his freshman season and you have another Pitino coached team that can make a deep run in March. The step up to the ACC will help this team endure bumps early and progress in conference play through March Madness.

Best LongShot: VCU Rams 60-1
In the early summer VCU was 40-1 to win the NCAA title. The drop down to 60-1 is peculiar to me. Obviously that move has more to do with people buying major conference teams as viable title winners. The Atlantic 10 last season was the most underrated conference in college hoops to me. VCU returns several players from last year’s team and I expect their defense to crank up even higher. Don’t be surprised if they get a true at-large bid this year and make a similar run that they did as an 11th seed years ago. There only current problem is scoring efficiency on the offensive end, but if they can alleviate those woes by March look out.

A LOOK AT THURSDAY’S NBA HOOPS ACTION

Thursday, 6 November, 2014

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TV ratings are a high indicator of where there true money is at. Just a few weeks ago Las Vegas finished in the top three on Monday Night football. Obviously with no major sports franchise residing in Las Vegas there is a main reason for this; finality in watching a legal sports wager fail or win.

Thursday ratings squarely will primarily be on tonight’s NFL Network broadcast of the NFC North matchup between the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. But lets not forget about tonight’s action on the court in the NBA.

There are two games in the Houston Rockets vs the San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Mavericks vs the Portland Trailblazers.

Houston returns home after extending their undefeated win streak to five games. If you followed me on twitter you would have seen I said to play the over on the Rockets win total of 49.5 and the under on the Cavs of 58.5.

San Antonio meanwhile is out the gate a bit slow. They lost to the Suns a few nights ago and barely defeated the Atlanta Hawks last night. Tonight marks just the fourth game for San Antonio and will be on consecutive nights. Oddmakers always adjust the Spurs line because of Coach Poppovich’s penchant to rest his key players. Hence the Rockets are 4.5 point favorites tonight.

I think the Rockets are out to make a statement on this season and tonight. The loss of Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin has actually helped the Rockets. Young and rising star Terrence Jones has been able to move better without the basketball and is getting more shots as well. Trevor Arizona has been able to get open shots which he is capable of making with proper floor spacing.

In the night cap the Portland Trailblazers are coming off a resounding home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. After a tied first quarter things unraveled quickly for the Cavaliers. Backcourt play was awful in that game from Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving, while the Trailblazers could not miss on the offensive end. Several players scored in double digits as things got out of hand in the fourth quarter.

The line on this game favors the Trailblazers by just two points and has a total of 207.5. Portland is a team that typically does not put away teams which is tough betting for or against them on a consistent basis. But on a totals side of things you can find high value on the first half with them. They are one of the stronger teams at scoring a high amount of points in the first quarter.

Tonight I expect them to have their shots falling again and to feed off of Tuesday’s performance against the Cavaliers.

Play the Rockets -4 and the over first half on Dallas and the Portland Trailblazers, which is 104.5.

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NBA SATURDAY ATS

Saturday, 1 November, 2014

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*** Until further notice I will be giving out free ATS NBA plays at a higher rate than usual. This is a way of giving back to readers of Notjustagame.com. Most people want to thrive on both college and the NFL until January and forget about the NBA. Be sure to follow me on twitter@cimini and if interested in any ATS packages send me an email at notjustagame23@gmail.com

There are a gauntlet of NBA games tonight. Don’t let how the college football games go today sway your sports betting later today. In the NBA there are some key lines and plays I’ll discuss below here. Enjoy your Saturday. I love hearing feedback so shoot me an email or follow me on twitter as noted above.

Stay away games
Lakers vs Warriors -15
Inflation applies in all aspects of life. Value is as bad as it gets right now for or against the Lakers. Betting is all about value and if you can’t find it, why play it? Los Angeles is in complete disarray but hung in ATS against the Clippers.

Premium plays I’d play tonight
Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz under 203.5
This young Utah Jazz team has some pieces in place while the Phoenix Suns continue to surprise folks. They’re 2-0 as they come off a win last night against San Antonio. That’s a huge win for this Suns team but I do not expect them to have their legs 100 percent tonight. As athletic as both of these teams are you have to expect 1 quarter or stretch of tough defense. This game figures to be a close battle and I think the money will come in on the under. One of the biggest mistakes bettors do on totals is getting swayed with the presumption of an “over” play on numbers in the 199-205 range.

Miami Heat -9 vs the Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia is going to hang in quarters versus NBA teams but it’s going to be an ugly battle to hang in games. Last year this 76ers team shocked Miami at home. That team was completely different with veteran players mixed with currently injured rookie of the year in Michael Carter-Williams. Miami has a clear obvious advantage here with veterans that remember the loss from a year ago. Expect Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, Chalmers and company to get out early in this one.

STERN LEFT AT THE RIGHT TIME

Sunday, 3 August, 2014

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News of David Stern’s exit from the NBA was known for a year and a half. Stern made the announcement publicly and stated he would be helping Adam Silver transition as the new commissioner. Time passed and his exit came swiftly. Silver has came in and dealt with a whirlwind situation with the Clippers and has done a few other things to win over NBA personnel.

What matters to fans is what the product represents on a night in and night out basis. In baseball there is lousy attendance throughout the franchises. The prime reason is because of the product on the field and the duration of the season. In football there are only eight regular season home games so teams primarily do well because it’s on a limited exposure basis. Sure there are some teams that draw blackouts every week but the ticket sales for those games pale in comparison to some numbers drawn in MLB and the NBA.

The product on the NBA court right now just does not suffice an 82 game season. It started to wane in 2000 and became noticeable on a nightly basis in the mid 2000s. Structure of the game has fled. Teams do not seem as focused on a nightly basis. Maybe it was the influence of higher paychecks. Surely there are several factors that have caused the decline in solid basketball.

Lets just run through the Eastern Conference as an indicator of how poor basketball is right now. We saw Miami turn into a shell of itself and literally get to the Finals as a one-man show in LeBron James. Indiana was considered a favorite to win the NBA title at one point last year. Months later they were getting beat by the poorest of teams on a night in and night out basis. Now they’ll be without Paul George and Lance Stephenson.

Chicago has been a steady team largely because of their head coach, but watching them play in the regular season can turn into a yawn fest. Pick out of a hat and you can go on and on about the nightmares of watching teams from the Eastern Conference play. The Knicks were a scrimmage style defensive team with one on one intentions on the offensive end of the floor. Atlanta and Toronto played with energy but lacked synergy and direction.

Let’s not even get into teams such as Detroit, Milwaukee, Orlando, Philadelphia etc.

I’ll give the NBA credit. They’ve done a great job masking the woes of the league currently. Marketing has been phenomenal. Of course the league is filled with talented superstars, any professional level sport is. They can hammer the name LeBron James and Kevin Durant 100 million times and keep printing money to the NBA headquarters.

But to watch the entire league fall in a year to year steadily decline is depressing.

It’s easy to see the difference from the premium basketball the 1990’s had. Veterans had bigger roles and a passion for the game. You did not see the amount of 2nd and 3rd year players getting starters minutes that you do today. Coaching was done on both ends of the floor and held a higher standard.

Now players passion dwindles when they get that first big paycheck. All out talent that was on display in college and high school has been scaled back to turn up the effort when they need to.

Out of all the major sports none appear to be on as big of a decline as NBA basketball. Hopefully Adam Silver can ignite some major changes to franchisees that seem to care more and more about the dollar than their product. It only can last so long before heads start to turn to another outlet or sport.

NBA SUMMER LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP FREE PLAY

Monday, 21 July, 2014

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The NBA summer league has been a reversal trend for many bettors that got in on the eight day action. Favorites and obvious sides seemed to cash at will the first four to five days. Once tournament play began though upsets have been occurring left and right.

No one would have picked this championship between the Charlotte Bobcats and Sacramento Kings. Charlotte looked like a team that had no offensive weapons at all. Sacramento on the other hand has a talented roster, but looked like a team mailing it in like a preseason NFL game.

For Monday’s championship the draw from Vegas and offshore likely will be very small. Baseball is back in action with a full slate of games Monday.

For those that want to finish out the summer league, I’ll side with the Bobcats. They have went from an 0-3 start to a sudden reversal of a four game winning streak. Players that were down and out have come alive. Players such as Justin Brownlee, Noah Vonleh, and Cody Zeller.

This is another revenge matchup for the Bobcats. During their three game losing streak one of their losses was to the Kings. They started off the first quarter of that game in with a woeful nine points. It became a competitive game but that first quarter proved to be an uphill battle too much to overcome.

Look for the Bobcats to dig deep in this summer league championship and snare another avenging win. Against the Knicks a team that blew them out of the water they turned a one point 1st quarter lead, into a 11-0 run start to the second quarter.

Grab the Bobcats to close out the summer league.

SATURDAY FREE PLAY: BOBCATS VS KNICKS

Saturday, 19 July, 2014

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YESTERDAY’S FREE PLAY WON ON THE UNDER IN THE ANGELS AND MARINERS. TODAY I HEAD BACK TO THE SUMMER LEAGUE IN LAS VEGAS. THE TOURNAMENT PART OF THE SUMMER LEAGUE IS DOWN TO THE FINAL EIGHT TEAMS. LETS FOCUS ON THE BOBCATS VS KNICKS.

ONE THING I FULLY BELIEVE AS A HANDICAPPER IS WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET. SOMETIMES PEOPLE WILL DIVE TOO MUCH INTO TRENDS INSTEAD OF TRUSTING THEIR EYES. DURING THE PACERS HEAVY SLUMP IN THE SPRING, ODDSMAKERS WERE STILL BELIEVING THE PACERS OF DECEMBER AND JANUARY. IT LED TO SPORTS BETTORS DOING THE SAME WHEN THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN TRUSTING THEIR EYES.

JUST A FEW DAYS AGO THE BOBCATS AND KNICKS MET IN THE SUMMER LEAGUE AND IT WAS THE MOST LOPSIDED PLAYED SUMMER LEAGUE GAME IN VEGAS. NEW YORK WAS WINNING BY 35 POINTS AT THE END OF THE THIRD QUARTER AND HAD A HALFTIME LEAD OF 33 POINTS.

THEY USED THEIR TRIANGLE OFFENSE TO RUN CIRCLES AROUND CHARLOTTE. THIS CHARLOTTE TEAM’S BEST OFFENSIVE WEAPON IS PJ HAIRSTON. HAIRSTON HAS COME ALONG THE LAST FEW GAMES ALONG WITH CODY ZELLER. THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THIS TEAM’S STRENGTH IS DEFENSIVELY.

THE TRIANGLE IS TOO MUCH FOR AN OFFENSIVELY CHALLENGED TEAM TO OVERCOME IN THE SUMMER LEAGUE. TRUST THE RESULTS OF THE BLOWOUT A FEW DAYS AGO AND PLAY IT AGAIN HERE.