NBA Championship After 2 Month: Where's the Value?
Three weeks ago I looked at some "dark-horses" from each division which I thought offered good investment potential to win the Championship, and for hedging purposes throughout the playoffs.
After nearly two months of play, I wanted to quickly review those projections to see if they're still a viable option at this point:
This division is dominated by the Knicks and Nets early. However, the season is just under way, and the Sixers and Celtics will definitely have something to say about who wins what at the end.
I'd say Boston at 25/1 clearly offers some value. While down a key piece in Ray Allen, remember this is a team that pushed the Heat to a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals just last year. It's one of the better coached clubs in the league, and it feels it has something to prove this season.
After two months: Brooklyn has fallen way off, sitting at 13-12 SU. The Knicks continue to shine, 19-7 SU as of writing this.
Boston is 13-13 SU and 9-15-2 ATS after two months.
Philadelphia is 13-14 SU, while Toronto is 9-19.
It's still early, and there is plenty of time for the Knicks to implode. I believe Boston still has a legitimate shot at winning the division, and is still a viable option for a futures wager after two months of action.
While it's been reported that All-Star Derrick Rose won't be ready to play until February, I still believe that Chicago's current line-up has enough "fire-power", and defensive prowess to keep it in the hunt in what is turning out to be a pretty evenly matched division after one month. When Rose returns, this team can only get better, and at 18/1, the Bulls definitely offer up some great investment value.
After two months: Chicago now leads the Central at 15-11 SU, with Indiana at 16-12. Milwaukee is nipping at their heels at 14-12.
Clearly the Bulls are still a viable investment option. Their defense is rounding into form, and with Derrick Rose now a month or two away from returning for a late season offensive boost, all signs point to a post-season berth.
The only team in this division that will give the Heat and the rest of the Eastern Conference a race will be the Atlanta Hawks. As of writing this they sit just 2.5 games back of Miami at 9-5. They're one team that definitely enjoys a home court advantage, having jumped out to an early 5-3 SU record in front of the home town crowd thus far. At 100/1, Atlanta offers fantastic value right now.
After two months: The Heat still lead at 18-6 but the Hawks have kept pace, sitting at 16-9 SU and 10-14-1 ATS. Atlanta has been getting the job done by committee, and with stifling defensive play. There is no question that the Hawks still offer tremendous value after two months.
Memphis is in a neck and neck battle with San Antonio, and these two teams will be locked in a war for the division title until the end of the year. The Spurs are the fav to win the Southwest at 12/1, but Memphis is being offered at 18/1. The Grizzlies are 8-1 at home as of writing. You should definitely consider a second look at Memphis from the Southwest.
After two months: The Grizzlies are neck and neck with San Antonio at 18-7. The Spurs are 21-8, and the Rockets are 14-12.
Memphis continues to excel in front of the home town crowd going 12-2 as of writing this.
My early prediction definitely still holds strong in this division.
The Northwest is dominated by Oklahoma City, and there's no doubt it will be contending for the Western Conference crown at the end of the year. So where's the value in this division? Utah (100-1), Denver (50-1), Minnesota (100-1) and Portland (150-1) are all intriguing propositions. I'm going to wait another month before recommending one of these dark-horses.
After two months: The Thunder continue to pull away, sitting at 21-5. Minnesota is 13-11. Denver is 15-13. Portland is 13-12. Utah is 14-14.
Once again I'm going to have to wait another month before being able to recommend one of these other dark-horses as a potential investment opportunity.
The Lakers sit at 8-8, and are 15-4 favs to win the NBA Championship. The Golden State Warriors are 10-6 right now, and are 90-1 to win the y Championship. I'm definitely recommending a second look at the Warriors right now.
After two months: The Lakers are now an even worse 13-14. Meanwhile, the Warriors sit in second spot at 18-10. The Clippers are leading the division at 21-6.
The Clippers were a 12-1 favorite last month, and are an even bigger fav to win now. That means that Golden State is still the value play in this division.
- O (WIN at ANA)
- Larry Ness
- April 18, 2015 - 10:30 PM
- Offered at:
- allyoubet @ Over 5 -140
These two teams have now played FIVE of their last six games over the total when playing in Anaheim...
My free play is on Anaheim/Tampa Bay Over at 10:35 ET.
Anaheim rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the third period to defeat Winnipeg 4-2 in the opening game of this series. The Ducks' top-line of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf got rolling in that final period, as Perry scored twice while assisting on Getzlaf's goal that ended the game. It is hard not to conclude from that onslaught that Anaheim's superstars are a level above and beyond the capable but unspectacular set of defensemen that the Jets have to offer. The dilemma for the Jets’ head coach Paul Maurice is that if he focuses too much of his players and energies on that dynamic duo of Perry and Getzlaf, that will open up opportunities for Ryan Kesler who anchors a very powerful second line for the Ducks. The over is now 12-4-6 in Anaheim's last 22 games in the Western Conference quarterfinals after Game 1 of this series finished over the toatl of five. The over is also 5-1-1 in the Ducks' last seven home games against teams with a losing record on the road. Goalie Frederik Andersen was up to the task in the opening game by stopping 25 of the 27 shots Winnipeg peppered him. However, Andersen remains a question mark between the pipes given that he had a mediocre 2.56 goals against average and .906 save percentage after the All-Star break prior to Thursday's game. If it were not for John Gibson's upper body injury, Andersen may not have been head coach Bruce Boudreau's choice to be in net to begin this series. Gibson will be ready to go sometime during this series which means Andersen will be looking over his shoulder. He can blow up at any time in this series.
Winnipeg will likely play this game fast-and-loose after blowing that 2-1 lead on Thursday. Stealing Game 2 of this series remains a luxury rather than a necessity for this team, which should remain confident that it can win this series despite being an 8-seed. The Jets have now played NINE of their last 13 road games over the number against teams with a winning percentage over .600 on their home ice. However, the concern this team has but will not dare mention out loud is that goalie Ondrej Pavelec has lost his magic after an incredible second half of the season, where he culminated his 1.98 goals against average and .932 save percentage with three straight shutouts on the road. While Pavelec's play definitely put his team in a position to win the opening game of this series, the fact remains he gave up four goals on just 33 shots. His Game 1 numbers are reminiscent of his unspectacular 2.86 goals against average and .908 save percentage career numbers that he began this series with rather than the lightning in the bottle numbers he put up in the second half of the season after winning his job back from backup Michael Hutchinson. These two teams have now played FIVE of their last six games over the total when playing in Anaheim. Expect another game to finish over the number in Game 2 of this series. Take the over.
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