Monday, 11 May, 2015


There may not be a more recent example of a continuous shift in future odds than what we are currently seeing in the NBA. Jalen Rose of ESPN made a great point. This year there will not be the Celtics, Lakers, Heat, Mavericks, Pistons or Spurs being crowned NBA champion. Title-bound potential teams have not experienced a championship.

We’re seeing great finishes left and right with buzzer beaters and true competitive playoff basketball.

With uncertainty lurking oddsmakers have been quick to supplant yesterday’s value with drastic changes in the future market. Days ago the Bulls had crept as high as the +400 range to win the NBA title. Now they’re back down in the 8-1 range and 3-1 range to win the Eastern Conference.

The large rise in title odds for the Bulls is because of the unexpected play of the Clippers. Sure they had won a tough series in seven games to the Spurs, but with Chris Paul injured, the Clippers were underdogs to the Rockets. Now up three games to one, they’ve changed the view of just about everyone. So much that they’re currently second behind the Warriors at +348 to win the NBA title.

All of this sudden market change can skew the true value of a team. Lets not forget there were two teams that finished with 60 wins in the NBA. The Atlanta Hawks and the Golden State Warriors. Rare accomplishments. Golden State is in a must-win situation tonight on the road similar to the Bulls. They are also in plus payout territory to win the NBA title for the first time in the playoffs.

Injuries can not be overlooked in a series either. Scheduling allots for typically two days to rest before the next game occurs. If Cleveland should advance past the Bulls the toll of the series could be more damaging than any typical round two series in recent memory. LeBron is coming off a 10 for 30 performance and has had to resort to his one-man show tendencies of five years ago. His team is banged up and he needs more assistance if they’re even going to get past Chicago.

With the Clippers there hasn’t been any assurance with Chris Paul’s hamstring just yet. He is skating by without having to truly sacrifice on the court for this team, thanks to his teams blowout performances. A team like Golden State will force Paul to run for the entirety of a game while the Grizzlies would be beneficial to Paul.

It’s a day to day future buyers market. Keep a close eye on it daily and see if you can step in and make a sound choice for a value buy.


Saturday, 9 May, 2015


Predictions in the handicapping world typically leave the option of “hedging a wager” on the table. At some point the thought should always cross your mind. When in position to get your ROI or make a small profit there is no reason not to pass that up. The Bulls are now up two games to one over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Readers that have followed my futures advice via blog and twitter are in shape to set themselves up in one of two ways.

One, you can split your hedge money by grabbing the series price on the Cavaliers and also hedge on the Cavaliers to win the Eastern Conference. Depending on where you are looking, currently the series price is near even or slightly on the Bulls side. The future to win the Eastern Conference currently has the Bulls at +177, Cavaliers +187, and the Hawks +225. Before game three the Bulls were in the low +200 range and the Cavaliers were in the low +100’s.

I still like the Bulls to win the Eastern Conference. Before tomorrow’s game four I likely will get the Cavs as a series/Eastern Conference future to hedge.

Of course you’ll be taking a bit off the table from any potential future that you have on the Bulls. At +750 you can’t be too upset with the value. They dropped significantly to around the +575 range before the playoffs and of course have steadily dropped in price.

In the handicapping world greed is going to hurt you more than help you. Grab the hedge advantage if you’re in position.

CBB Futures: Rapid Drop in Syracuse–From 200-1 to 50-1

Tuesday, 5 May, 2015

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Value in the futures market is typically tight in the majority of sports. Barring an injury, you’re typically not going to get anything higher than 25-1 in major professional sports. The collegiate market is vastly different. There is more uncertainty with recruits and obviously there is a larger pool of teams. Shifting of odds are constant and at a considerable higher benchmark. The difficulty to make it through an NCAA tournament in March presents that variable of such expanded odds.

Those that have followed my collegiate advice over the years, have seen that I’ve picked four of the past five college basketball tournament winners. Louisville and Duke were teams that I picked before their respective seasons. I liked the returning players from Louisville’s team and the coaching factor with Rick Pitino. Duke’s scenario had more to do with their incoming recruits and also the extra edge with Coach K. UConn’s title runs, I made both picks during the season. I grabbed UConn at 40-1 during their conference slide in 2011 and I grabbed them during their tournament run at 35-1 before the sweet 16.

Heading into the 2015 season I do not have an odds on favorite at this moment. This is where I typically probe the market and grab a few value plays. The only one I’ve made so far was on the Orangemen at 200-1 a couple of weeks back. Odds that have dropped down to 50-1 just two weeks later.

Odds April 21st

Syracuse certainly will not be a top 20 team to start the season, but they have the make up of a team that will get better as the season goes on. Obviously there were market indicators that caused their price to leap to 200-1. One, their season is marked a bit by the forth coming Jim Boeheim conference suspension of nine games. That is in the appeal process and I believe it will end up being reduced. Nonetheless, their assistant coach in Mike Hopkins has been Boeheim’s aide for a long time. He has been a finalist the past several seasons for Division I positions and should be fine running Syracuse if Boeheim misses the entire nine games.

Another factor was the reduction of scholarships for Syracuse basketball. They will lose 2-3 a season for the duration of the imposed sanctions by the NCAA. As Jay Bilas noted, a school like Syracuse is not going to be effected by this. Duke just won the 2014-2015 NCAA title with only eight scholarship players. Losing BJ Johnson and Ron Patterson as transfers is not an alarming issue for depth next season. Johnson did show some promise but I did not envision him becoming capable of starters minutes. Patterson is just not an ACC player. Both made wise decisions to step down in competition to increase their presence for their collegiate careers. Similar to DaShonte Riley when he exited Syracuse for Eastern Michigan; decisions to leave Syracuse are not going to cause a seismic decline on the court for Syracuse.

Syracuse has a top five recruiting class coming in, but I won’t even delve into how they’ll help next year’s squad. Instead the focus will be on the returning group of players.

The fact that Syracuse lost Rakeem Christmas to graduation and that Chris McCullough declared for the NBA Draft was another reason odds were at 200-1 in April. Over the last eight years, Syracuse has only had three seasons where they counted on point production inside. Last year with Christmas, a few seasons back with Rick Jackson, and the combo efforts of Jackson/Onuako in 2010. Fab Melo had one semi-decent year but was more of a mirage for production.

Syracuse has always been a program that counts on offensive production from their guards and forwards. The key for their big men is the ability to defend the interior and grab rebounds in the 2-3 zone. The best decision Syracuse made last year was to not rush DaJuan Coleman back. His last game on the court came against Virginia Tech in December 2013. It’s still not known how much he will be able to provide but he is expected to return. Maybe it’ll be in a limited role but 15-20 minutes a game on defense will go a long ways. Coleman and Chinonso Obokoh should be more than capable of protecting the rim for Syracuse.

Scoring 60-65 points a game typically is going to put you in position to win games. College basketball’s pace and poor shot selection leaves plenty of teams unwatchable. Syracuse has four players that should easily put them in position every game to score in that range. Seniors in Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinje had effective seasons in 2014. Their confidence should only grow with another offseason of preparation. Sophomore Kaleb Joseph went through his freshman slump but started to turn the corner late in conference play. Sophomore guards/point guards typically rise in level of play after their freshman seasons at Syracuse. Michael Carter-Williams, Johnny Flynn, Brandon Triche, Scoop Jardine, and even Cooney rose to higher levels their sophomore years. Joseph will be the x-factor on if Syracuse stays around the 25-35 range of top teams or ascends into the top 10-15.

I think we’ve seen the best that Syracuse will likely receive from Tyler Roberson. He is a tough guard inside for opposing defenders but will have to earn his points as the third to fourth option on the floor for Syracuse. Designed plays are going to run through Cooney/Joseph/Gbinje. Still, Roberson has the size and aggression to be an 8-10 points a game scorer.

200-1 was an obvious mistake from oddsmakers. When UConn received their one-year post season ban they came back and played with a chip on their shoulder. It took almost the entire season for UConn to find their way, but they did right before the tournament. It took a couple of beat down losses to Louisville in conference play for that to happen.

It’ll be a long season for Syracuse fans but don’t be shocked to see them make a run when March hits. If you didn’t get 200-1 odds a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t be upset. 50-1 are still solid odds. They have 5-6 veteran players and a good group of incoming freshman to make them a viable team in 2015-2016.

ATS Preview: Game Six Hawks vs Nets

Friday, 1 May, 2015


The first round of the NBA playoffs is just about concluded. Not many folks would have predicted the Hawks and Nets to last this long. Honestly, the first two games happened to fall the Hawks way or the Hawks could be at a deficit in this series currently.

After a 2-0 premium selection day here at, Thursday, Friday is officially a board pass. MLB seems like a tough board. I’ll instead use it as an evaluation day for future games. I’ve also passed on game six between the Hawks and Nets. Lets discuss game six briefly.

In a series that featured four quality games and then a bit of a pull away from the Hawks in game five, one has to wonder if the Hawks just put the dagger in the Nets Friday. They’re the #1 seed of course but clearly they’ve been a team that has not had the look of one. The Nets are not an offensive team yet have had contributions from a vast amount of players.

Inside they’re struggling to contain Lopez and have also had a tough time guarding the perimeter. On the other side of things the Nets aren’t a poor defensive team and have made a solid effort at getting after Kyle Korver. Lets not forget their head coach in Lionel Hollins was formerly the coach of the hard-nosed Grizzlies team.

From my eyes I just have not seen enough from the Hawks to back them in this game six spot. Likewise, there is no way I will back a below .500 eighth seeded team at this point in a series either. This is a low number for the circumstances but I’d rather use it as an assessing day.

Just because it’s the only NBA game on the board Friday does not mean it requires action. Saturday’s board should feature 2-3 plays here at

Let a Series Be a Series

Tuesday, 28 April, 2015


In the Eastern Conference the Hawks and Bulls are making things interesting in their respective series. Chicago has squandered their last two games against the Bucks, while the Hawks lost both road games to Brooklyn. Still, the Bulls are up three games to two and the Hawks have home court advantage.

Calm down people. Just because the Wizards and Cavs swept their opponents doesn’t mean a series can’t be a series. Coaches make adjustments and teams have to be able to respond throughout a series. Obviously, Jason Kidd is showcasing his abilities as a head coach to a level no one imagined.

At the same time this Bucks team is still too young. Maybe they even push the series to seven games but this Bulls team will prevail for the series we are all waiting for. Cleveland versus Chicago.

Atlanta’s problem has more to do with the matchup they’re in against Brooklyn. Brooklyn has the size inside with Lopez and aren’t a poor defensive team. They’ve shown the ability to contain Kyle Korver, Millsap, and Jeff Teague. Once again though, the Hawks have the coach of the year and home court advantage throughout the playoffs.

This series may be a bit trickier to predict the overall winner, but lets not over react on where both Eastern Conference series lie currently. The playoffs stretch from April through June. Rounds are not supposed to end in quick fashion like other sports playoffs. Enjoy the games and be sure to check out my daily plays available here at

VIDEO: Futures Advice NBA Playoffs

Tuesday, 14 April, 2015


The blog has been written on Zack’s advice for the NBA playoffs. He also decided to do a short video for those that would rather watch. Click below to watch. Any questions or feedback can be sent via email at or via twitter@cimini.

NBA Futures 2015 Discussion from Zack Cimini on Vimeo.