Sports Betting Podcast 5-22-2013 with Handicappers Ian Cameron and Teddy Covers
|Tags: MLB NBA Ian Cameron Teddy Covers|
NBA Handicapping: Statline Data for Indiana-Miami series
Tags: NBA Indiana Pacers Miami Heat Stat Intelligence Submitted by Stat Intelligence
Here are the numbers for the Eastern Conference finals, using the data that’s helped us throughout the college and NBA postseasons. If you’re new to the blog, there are regular season numbers in:
*Made Treys per Game
*Ranking in Pace
This helps paint a picture for how the games are likely to play out given the strengths, weaknesses, and preferences of each team. Conference seedings are in parenthesis…
(3) Indiana: 44% two-point defense, +5.0 rebounding, -1.6 TO’S, 6.9 treys, #25 full season pace
(1) Miami: 47% two-point defense, -1.5 rebounding, +1.7 TO’S, 8.7 treys, #23 full season pace
Indiana was fantastic inside the arc defensively. A lot of very good teams were right at 47%, so that’s kind of off-the charts in a stat category that’s usually lumped together very tight. Indiana has a huge edge in rebounding. Some of that is because Miami will often eschew offensive rebounds so they can race back. If Miami decides to really emphasize rebounding in this series, then Indiana’s edge won’t be as big as it looks in that statline.
It’s telling to me that Indiana has a negative turnover differential even though we know they have a great defense. They have a lot of really bad ballhandlers, which gets exacerbated when their point guard is off the floor. Both teams can make treys, though Miami averaged almost two more made treys per game in the regular season. Both teams prefer a slow pace, though the media still tries to make the case every so often that Miami is a running team. It’s been a long time since that was true.
The statline at least suggests that Indiana can be competitive. A strong “defense and rebounding” combo always gives you a shot. Memphis entered with that same combo against San Antonio, and has been pretty uncompetitive. You just never know. Indiana hung tough for the first few games when these teams met last year before throwing in the towel once things went south in Games 5-6 (missed the spread by double digits in both of those games).
Here are my newest Power Rating Estimates based on market prices:
San Antonio 84
That's using an expected base of 3 points for home court in Miami/Indiana...and a projected base of 4.5-ish in San Antonio/Memphis. Miami tends to get respect on the road. Memphis has been getting respect at home. We'll see if the market shows us any tweaks in the coming days.
A look back at Chris Moneymaker's WSOP win
Hard to beat to a good oral history article. Grantland
just posted one on Chris Moneymaker's win at the 2003 World Series of Poker.
Moneymaker: Before I really started playing poker, I was down, overall, as a gambler. I'd say I was down about $30,000, lifetime. I might have been a losing gambler, but I was a profitable poker player. I started playing some in the casino down in Tunica, and down there, an old guy told me about online poker and I ended up getting on PokerStars.
MLB Betting News: Detroit's Justin Verlander hoping for better results vs. Cleveland
Tags: MLB Detroit Tigers Cleveland Indians Detroit (Verlander) -143 at Cleveland (Jimenez) O/U 8
Detroit's Justin Verlander looks to bounce back
after his worst start of the season (2.2 IP, 8 ERs vs. Texas). It sounds as if Verlander's main issue has been lack of command. Note that his velocity was way up in his last start as he managed to hit 99 on the gun. The betting markets however remain skeptical with Detroit opening -165/-160 and bet down to as low as -140.
“To me,” said Jones, “in his last two outings it’s just been a matter of locating his fastball. His breaking stuff has been good, his change-up has been good. He just went through a couple different periods where he lost his fastball location.”
“It went alright,” Verlander said of the bullpen work, “I can’t say it was great but it’s never really great until you flip a switch in the game. We will find out (Wednesday).”
MLB Handicapper Free Play: Los Angeles Dodgers at Milwaukee Brewers
|Submitted by Andrew Lange|Tags: MLB Los Angeles Dodgers Milwaukee Brewers Andrew Lange LA Dodgers (Ryu) -110 at Milwaukee (Peralta) O/U 8.5
Hyun-Jin Ryu has been solid thus far; like a lot of Far East products he features an arsenal of different pitches at different speeds. He's had a fairly favorable schedule with four games in LA and two in San Francisco and New York. In games at Atlanta, Baltimore, and Arizona, Ryu was a bit more hittable, allowing nine earned runs in 17 innings. Coming from the left side, I view today as perhaps his toughest assignment with the Brewers loaded with right-handed bats in a hitter friendly park.
Wily Peralta hasn't been the most fortunate starter in baseball but his 29-to-17 K-to-BB ratio in 50 innings certainly hasn't helped his cause. I like Peralta's groundball rate (54.5%) but his inability to consistently miss bats and avoid the long ball (6 HRs allowed) makes him a fringe NL arm in my book. Also note that his start in LA (6 IP, 3 ERs) was with Doug Eddings behind the plate.
And while everyone is quick to bash Milwaukee's bullpen, LA's has been far worse. As a unit, they sport a 5-13 record and 4.47 ERA. I've been saying it all season, unless you have two above average pitchers – which I don't think is the case this afternoon – the baseline total in Miller Park should be 9. It looks to be headed that way, which makes over 8.5 a solid bet.
Follow me on Twitter @LangeSportsmemo
Stanley Cup Playoffs Gambling Free Pick: Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks
|Submitted by ICC|Tags: NHL San Jose Sharks Los Angeles Kings Ian Cameron Los Angeles at San Jose -135 O/U 4.5
Recommendation: San Jose
San Jose has received new life in the Western Conference Semifinals after their enormous Game 3 OT win at home on Saturday night. I expect that momentum to carry over to tonight's Game 4 as the Sharks look to even up this series against the Kings. I'm not quite sold on LA being the better team in this series just yet. LA leads the series 2-1 but have been outshot in two of the first three games by a significant margin and are being outshot 106-78 overall in the series by the San Jose Sharks. San Jose's biggest issues in the first two games were finding ways to score against Jonathan Quick who has been the difference maker to this point but San Jose got two goals past him in Game 3. He was venting a ton of anger and frustration at the referees following a questionable call in OT which led to San Jose's game winning goal and I have a feeling San Jose will have more success against Quick moving forward in this series after we saw him visibly rattled. San Jose's power play came to life going 2-for-5 with the man advantage in Game 3 after not scoring in seven opportunities in the first two games of the series and when their power play is in good form, the Sharks are a much more dangerous team. San Jose has been every bit as good and dominant at home (22-2-5) as the LA Kings have been on their home ice. Los Angeles has struggled mightily away from home as of late which is a stark contrast from their road dominance en route to their Stanley Cup championship last year. The Kings are just 1-9 in their last 10 road games dating back to April. The price is just about right but San Jose is still worth a wager tonight as home favorites as they look to send this series back to LA tied 2-2.
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MLB Handicapper Free Pick: Kansas City Royals at Houston Astros
Tags: MLB Kansas City Royals Houston Astros Andrew Lange Kansas City (Davis) -125 at Houston (Norris) O/U 8.5
Kansas City's Wade Davis has probably been a bit unlucky this season (.393 BABIP) but you have to be careful when calling for a pitcher's luck to turn, especially when dealing with a fringe arm like Davis. Keep in mind Davis' struggles are nothing new. In 2010 and 2011, as a starter, Davis was a below average AL starter with xFIPs of 4.61 and 4.82 respectively. I've always been a believer of Bud Norris but I do have some concerns after he left his last start with back spasms. His strikeouts this season are way down (33 in 50 IP) after posting a K per inning in 2012. Some of that has to do with pitching in the American League but with only 4 Ks in his last two starts, he doesn't appear to be in great form. Neither offense is much to get excited about but I see the potential for a lot of balls to be put in play tonight and as a result, we'll take a look at the over.
Sports Betting Podcast 5-21-2013 with Handicappers Rob Veno and Erin Rynning
|Tags: MLB NBA Rob Veno Erin Rynning|
MLB Betting Recap: Monday Notes from a 5-Inning Perspective
Tags: MLB Stat Intelligence Submitted by Stat Intelligence
Quickies from the Monday card, going in schedule order…
*Both Philadelphia and Miami stayed Under 2 runs again in a 1-1 five-inning tie, cementing their stranglehold as worst early offenses in baseball. Miami hasn’t scored 2 or more in the first five innings against a regular rotation pitcher since they showed everyone why Roy Halladay had to go on the Disabled List more than a dozen games ago. Looking like a Double-A caliber offense.
*Marcum of the Mets has seen opponents score 8-3-6-2-3 in the first five innings of his starts. Mets are 2-10-5 their last 17 games in the first five. Meaning, only twice did the team lead after five innings in the last two-and-a-half weeks. Neither was with Harvey by the way.
*Kershaw allowed an early run for the Dodgers in Milwaukee tonight. That’s notable because his last five starts now look like this: 0-0-0-0-1. First run after four straight 5-inning shutouts. He’s allowed a grand total of eight early runs in nine starts this season.
*Corbin of Arizona is the only guy with a better stat line this year than Kershaw. Amazing. He threw another goose-egg tonight, in COLORADO! For the year, Corbin’s posted 2-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0. For real! Two runs allowed in 45 innings of first five ball.
*Miller of St. Louis stayed sharp in San Diego, allowing only one run in the first five. His statline for the year is now 2-0-1-2-0-0-0-0-1
*San Francisco took advantage of the very rusty Zack Duke of Washington, making his first start of the year. That helped settled down Vogelsong, who now has a pitching line of 4-5-3-3-5-8-6-10-0 this season.
*You’ll often hear comments about how getting an early lead is important to overall success. Cleveland’s recent surge in your newspaper standings has been keyed by great starts. Today was a 5-5 tie. That was their first tie in the last 22 games. Cleveland was 15-6 in the first five heading into today during that stretch. Not hearing much in the national media about anything the Tribe is doing. Let’s focus on offense for the moment. Here’s the stat line of those last 22 games…just looking at what Cleveland scored in the first five innings only game-by-game: 6-8-12-5-4-4-1-4-1-2-9-2-4-2-1-0-2-5-3-2-6-5. They reached at least four runs more than half the time. Stellar.
*Dickey of Toronto still hasn’t found his form. His overall ERA is looking better in recent outings. But, you can still get to him early on (TB scored 3 today early). Dickey’s statline for runs allowed this season is 4-8-0-0-4-1-6-3-2. Aces should have more 1’s and 0’s than that. (Kershaw, Corbin and Miller are extremes that we’ve seen tonight, Dickey needs to start at least drifting in that direction a bit more)
*Not much of interest in a 2-2 tie in Yanks/O’s. Maybe Bill Simmons will do a Ewing Theory article about how great the Yanks are playing without AROD or Jeter…
*Scoring’s picked up in Texas with the warmer weather. Total scoring on this homestand has added up to 13-3-8-9-7 in the first five for those of you thinking about Over/Unders. Interestingly, the highest came in the projected pitcher’s duel between Verlander and Darvish last week.
*Would you believe Houston’s 6-4 five-inning win tonight brought them to 6-1 in their last seven home games? They’re 13-32 in the full game standings. Their five inning record is a more respectable 19-23-3. We can deduce a lousy bullpen from that. Maybe some inexperience from the hitters too late in competitive games. Check this out. Houston is 2-7-1 on the road against Detroit, the NY Yankees, and Boston, but 17-16-2 in the first five vs. everyone else. Suggests they haven’t thrown in the towel even with that 13-32 overall start.
*Going to skip Boston/CWS and go to the Interleague game. I'll have to talk about full game stuff here because I haven’t been itemizing Interleague stats.
The schedule is scattershot with the new alignment, but there will be some bursts down the road. To this point, the AL isn’t showing their traditional dominance. In fact, there’s a dividing line near the .500 mark. AL teams with a winning record overall are 19-11 vs. the NL, while AL teams with a losing record are 10-17 vs. the NL. You can fade the worst AL teams in IL play. Minnesota lost tonight in Atlanta. Again, those are full-game records not five-inning.
Nevada nixes group and election betting
Tags: MLB Stat Intelligence
Nevada lawmakers shot down a bill that would allow group and federal election betting
within the state.
"As hard as the team was working, I guess they couldn't get everybody on board," Brower said Monday. "I think it is an idea that has a lot of merit."
"We don't object to new methods and modes to enhance the sports betting business in the state," Burnett said. "Be we have to do it carefully and we have to make sure it's legal so that state doesn't get embarrassed."
NFL-run website covers Las Vegas sportsbook odds
Tags: NFL Baltimore Ravens
This has happened before
, but we still find it humorous. On the Baltimore Ravens' official website
, which is obviously a part of NFL.com, a beat writer runs through some of the 2013 season over/under wins provided by Las Vegas sportsbooks. The over/under on the article getting pulled down is 10.5un-120 hours.
New Jersey looks into "free" sports betting
Tags: NFL Baltimore Ravens
New Jersey's Monmouth Park is working towards a free sports betting
concept for the upcoming football season. "Bettors" won't play for money but instead could win "prizes" such as free hotel rooms and meals.
“We want to have it up and running for football season,” Drazin said. “Right now, it’s already a little late for basketball and baseball is well underway, too. So we’ll gear up for football.”
Jimmy Connors nearly lost $1 million betting on himself
Tags: NFL Baltimore Ravens
In Jimmy Connor's new autobiography, he claimed he bet $1 million
on himself prior to a Battle of the Sexes match against Martina Navratilova.
Asked if he felt like vomiting after dodging such a disaster, Connors says: "No. But that's the feeling I was looking for. I was trying to find that daily thrill especially after I quit playing, even if it was just three seconds. And then it doesn't always happen. So then you just chase more. ... Whether it was watching a basketball game or a football game, or laying cards or rolling dice or whatever."
Betting odds on who will win the 2013 NBA Lottery
The NBA Lottery will be selected tonight followed by the actual draft on June 27. The lottery is weighted, giving more "chances" for the weaker teams to earn a higher draft spot. But despite the favorable odds, teams with the worst record have won the lottery only three times since 1990 – Orlando was the last team in 2004. If you like betting on events like these, The Greek posted odds on who will win the lottery. We broke down the moneyline, the odds percentage of the moneyline and actual percentage based on the NBA's sliding scale. Since Orlando's "win" in 2004, the following worst records have won the lottery: 6th-worst, 5th, 6th, 9th, 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 3rd (tie).
|2013 NBA Draft Lottery Odds|
New Orleans Pelicans
Oklahoma City Thunder (Via Toronto)
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MLB Gambling News: A Unique Look at Offenses
Tags: MLB Stat Intelligence Submitted by Stat Intelligence
As you probably know, I’ve been playing around with 5-inning options in Major League Baseball this year. Part of the fun of that is doing record-keeping that you know nobody else is doing. Helps you see things from different perspectives.
I’ve been logging all the results by hand because there aren’t any websites I know of that go in-depth with this stuff. That’s GREAT, because it’s easier to gain and maintain an edge over the market when information isn’t widely available. Don’t think I’ll be giving away anything to vital in this post…though creative readers may find a way to use the data.
Here’s the percentage of time that each offense has reached at least two runs in the first five innings this year, through the games of Sunday afternoon…
LA Angels 68%
Tampa Bay 67%
NY Yankees 63%
Kansas City 58%
Chicago White Sox 54%
No surprises at the top if you’ve been following baseball. Even though the LA Angels have been a disappointment in the standings, they’re still scoring some runs. Houston is probably better than you had expected. It’s a minor league team largely because of horrible pitching…and then some hitters who are helpless against the best strikeout pitchers. They’re about league average when it comes to getting runs on the board. And, that’s not because of a bandbox home park, as some of you might be thinking. They were actually at 70% on the road before posting 1-0 in the last two games in Pittsburgh this weekend.
Pay special attention to Texas down near the bottom. They play home games in a great hitter’s park, yet they still grade out as third worst in the AL by this measure. They’re worst on the road by quite a good bit, at only 40%. This offense has been very overrated in recent seasons because the media still pays too little attention to park effects. They can score big at home in the right conditions…but anyone would score in that park in those conditions.
Oakland’s also a disappointment. They’re just 50/50 on the road, so it’s not their home pitcher’s park polluting things. In fact, the West Coast pitcher’s parks haven’t been causing any troubles so far this season. Seattle and San Diego moved in their fences. But…up and down the coast, the normal influences haven’t been felt to this point.
Chicago Cubs 70% (who knew?!)
Colorado 64% (and I use 3 at home instead of 2 for them)
LA Dodgers 62%
St. Louis 60%
San Francisco 59%
San Diego 55%
NY Mets 49%
Wouldn’t argue with anyone who wanted to dock the Cubs for Wrigley. But, there haven’t been a lot of crazy wind days there yet this season. And, they’re at 63% on the road, which would still be fourth best in the league. Some off-the-radar consistency from that group.
Colorado is often a team you have to treat as two entities because of that home park. They’re only 55% on the road…but they’ve reached 3 runs at home 16 of 22 times at altitude. There’s been many a season where a relatively hapless road offense posted decent overall numbers because of that park. Keep an eye on that again this year.
Down at the bottom…Miami is a special kind of horrible. They just finished a week at home that went 1-0-1-0-0-0. That was after a Western swing that saw 0-1-0-3-0-0, with the 3 coming against Magill of the Dodgers in an off-rotation debut. They trailed the field BEFORE that!
The Mets have slumped after a decent start. They’ve reached two runs in just three of their last 13 first five. Pittsburgh just had a homestand where they only topped one run once, despite facing pitchers like Burgos, Lyles, Bedard, and Harrell.
Actually, the Pirates were one of about 20 Major League teams this past weekend that played like they attended a big bachelor party Friday night and never recovered. Getting to two COLLAPSED across the league Saturday and Sunday. Baseball math always gives you something to think about.
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MLB Handicapper Free Play: Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies
|Submitted by Andrew Lange|Tags: MLB Arizona Diamonbacks Colorado Rockies Andrew Lange Arizona (Corbin) -110 at Colorado (Garland) O/U 9.5
Arizona's Patrick Corbin has been flawless this season with a 1.52 ERA and solid 41-to-17 K-to-BB ratio. He’s a young lefty arm who has seen an uptick in velocity and plays on a quality team that is not overpriced in the betting markets. It would be foolish to think Corbin isn't going to regress some (see 3.91 xFIP) but despite his success the betting markets continue to bet against this kid and as a result his value has remained. He should be north of -125 in this particular matchup yet you can get him for as cheap as -110. Colorado's Jon Garland has thrown three straight games in which he's lasted only five innings and allowed three earned runs. With 26 strikeouts in 46 innings Garland simply isn't able to fool many batters at this point in his career. There are some metrics that suggest the starting pitching matchup is close but the eye test tells me to support the premium lefty arm at a discounted price.
NBA Betting Recap: San Antonio Spurs bomb from deep, take 1-0 series lead
Tags: NBA San Antonio Spurs Memphis Grizzlies Stat Intelligence Submitted by Stat Intelligence
Even when I was thinking the Spurs would need to shoot treys like the Knicks if they wanted to beat Memphis, I hadn’t imagined THIS for the start of the Western Conference Finals.
Three-Pointers: Memphis 5 of 12, San Antonio 14 of 29
That’s +9 in makes, which is +27 on the scoreboard, in a game the Spurs won by 22.
Don’t want to get too cute here. We had the KRIB Index for the Knicks when they were making a lot of treys while not turning the ball over (Knicks Re-Invent Basketball). San Antonio was actually +3 in that differential today. SPARE-RIB? SPurs ARE Re-Inventing Basketball? Nah.
And, besides, this kind of ball movement and brains is something we’ve associated with San Antonio for years. It’s important to remember that we were all associating it with them last year at this time, just as they were jumping ahead of Oklahoma City 2-0 before losing four straight. San Antonio plays a beautiful game…which is art when the shots fall. Memphis still has time to make some counter-moves. Plus, the Grizzlies lost the first games vs. the Clippers and Thunder before winning those series anyway.
The rest of the series may not look like this. If it does, it will be over QUICK!
San Antonio 105, Memphis 83
2-Point Percentage: Memphis 44%, San Antonio 55%
3-Point Shooting: Memphis 5/12, San Antonio 14/29
Free Throws: Memphis 14/20, San Antonio 11/14
1’s and 2’s: Memphis 68, San Antonio 63
Rebounds: Memphis 35, San Antonio 33
Turnovers: Memphis 12, San Antonio 11
Talk about art…San Antonio almost made half of their treys at high volume shooting…AND they also shot 55% on deuces! Or…from another direction…the Spurs were 14 of 29 on treys…Tony Parker didn’t shoot any treys, but was 9 of 14 from the floor. Not an exaggeration to say that San Antonio was running circles around the Griz. Heck, that’s literally what they were doing…and it kept freeing up open looks.
Spurs take a 1-0 lead. Game Two is Tuesday. Indiana-Miami doesn’t start until Wednesday.
For more blogs by Stat Intelligence, click here.
Teddy Covers' Las Vegas Wise Guy Report: Breaking down the NBA's Final Four
|Submitted by Teddy Covers|Tags: NBA Memphis Grizzlies San Antonio Spurs Miami Heat Indiana Pacers Teddy Covers
Only four teams remain standing in the NBA Playoffs; one of whom will bring home the title less than a month from now. With both Conference Finals getting underway, I’ll take a look at the two series, looking for hidden nuggets pointing towards future pointspreads success.
There’s no question that predicting series success correlates strongly with predicting pointspread success when it comes to the NBA Playoffs. This year’s results stand out in that regard. In the West, Memphis went 10-1 ATS through the first two rounds of the playoffs. San Antonio covered the spread in seven out of ten through the first two rounds.
In the East, Indiana went 8-4 ATS, including a perfect 6-0 SU and ATS mark at home in Indianapolis; five of those six wins coming by a double-digit margin. And the defending champion and prohibitive favorite to win the title, Miami, despite their public nature, has gone 6-3 ATS in their first two series, including a perfect 4-0 SU and ATS mark on the highway – the mark of a strong, veteran championship contender.
When we add it up, we’re talking about 67% or better ATS results here in the postseason from all four teams still standing, with an aggregate mark of 31-11 (73.8%) against the spread. If you can correctly predict the SU winner of any NBA playoff series and you support that team in every game, you’re likely to emerge with significant pointspread success. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the two series on tap for the next two weeks.
San Antonio vs. Memphis
I read some reports that the Grizzlies first ever run to the Western Conference Finals was the result of key injuries to their opponents more than any other factor. The Clippers Blake Griffin got hurt in the first round, and OKC was without Russell Westbrook in Round 2. That is true. But the Spurs have been in the exact same situation, getting to face a Kobe-less, dysfunctional Lakers team in the first round, and an overachieving but still relatively limited Warriors squad with David Lee and Steph Curry both hobbled in Round 2.
Healthy teams win playoff series; banged up squads often struggle in that regard – that’s simply a fact of NBA postseason handicapping. And it certainly wouldn’t be a stretch to say that any of the four remaining teams that suffers a key injury to one of their stars will be hard pressed to survive and advance to the Finals.
The Spurs opened at -135 over the Grizzlies at the LVH; bet up to -140 by tip-off of Game 1. That number was adjusted to the -250 range following San Antonio’s Game 1 domination. If Game 1 was the first game you’ve watched in the playoffs, you’d probably think this series is a complete mismatch. The Spurs ran circles around the Grizzlies, repeatedly breaking down the Memphis defense with dribble penetration from Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies defensive rotations were a mess, leaving wide open shooters on the perimeter as they packed the paint to stop San Antonio from driving for easy layups. The result was a franchise career playoff high 14 made three pointers from the Spurs as part of a 53% shooting effort overall, including four trifectas each from role players Matt Bonner and Kawhi Leonard.
On the defensive end of the court, San Antonio had the better gameplan as well, concentrating on shutting down the Grizzlies low post duo of Zack Randolph and Marc Gasol, a duo that tore up the Clippers and Thunder in the first two rounds. Randolph was held to 1-of-8 shooting without a single free throw attempt in a passive performance. His postgame quote: “Ain’t no excuse. They did a good job. You have to give them credit.”
The Spurs low post depth gave Randolph and Gasol problems all afternoon. Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter, Matt Bonner and Boris Diaw pushed the Grizzlies bigs around, and the Spurs usually had one of their guards ready and waiting to double team Memphis in paint, forcing their big men to kick the ball out to the perimeter. For a team that ranked #30 out of 30 NBA teams in three pointers attempted and three pointers made during the regular season, the sudden reliance on perimeter jumpers – reserve forward Quincy Pondexter was the only Grizzly to made a shot from beyond the arc – doomed Memphis’ chances.
We saw this once before in the playoffs – the Grizzlies Game 1 blowout loss in their first game of the first round at the LA Clippers. The Grizz weren’t ready to go then either, allowing 55% shooting while getting outrebounded by 24 in an ugly 22 point loss. Of course, Memphis bounced back strong, winning every remaining game in the series.
But Vinny Del Negro is no Greg Popovich. The Grizzlies also lost Game 1 at OKC in SU fashion, then won the next four games of that series as well. But Scott Brooks is no Greg Popovich either. San Antonio’s gameplan here in the postseason has been brilliant, and Coach Pop deserves as much credit as we can give him. I’m not convinced that Memphis has the appropriate adjustments in their repertoire. San Antonio might not have another game 1 type blowout in them, but their bench depth and gameplan give them a clear edge in the series.
Miami vs. Indiana
The Pacers gave the Heat a legitimately tough test on Miami’s championship run last year; taking a 2-1 series lead in the conference semi-finals before dropping each of the last three games. Indiana also gave Miami trouble during the regular season this year, winning two of the three regular season meetings by double digit margins. It is worth noting, however, that both of Indiana’s wins over the Heat here in 2013 came before the All-Star break; before the
Heat turned it up a notch for their stretch run.Here in the postseason, this series has been priced like a non-competitive first round matchup. At the LVH here in Vegas, the Heat are -750 at the opener to win the series, while bettors will get an attractive +550 price if the Pacers can pull off the upset. There’s no question that some of that price tag is based on reputation.
The defending champs have been a ‘hype’ team all year with household name superstars, while the small market Pacers are completely anonymous when it comes to star power. That being said, Miami has been to the Finals in each of the last two years, while Indiana hasn’t reached the Finals since the Lakers were three-peating more than a decade ago. Yes, the Heat deserve to be prohibitive favorites, even if that -750 price tag looks a tad bit high.
In theory, the Pacers match up fairly well with Miami. The Heat are not a dominant low post team while Indiana is big and bulky in the paint. In the three regular season meetings, Indiana won the rebounding battle by 33 boards; at least +5 in every game. Miami’s Big Three had modest success, but their supporting cast did not.
And I respect when Indiana head coach Frank Vogel is saying and doing to get his relatively inexperienced squad ready for the media crunch and postseason hype: “This is not about getting back at Miami. If you're in the final four, you're competing for a championship. You're competing for a championship. And they're just the next team that's in our way.”
Star power and championship experience go a long way when it comes to winning playoff series. Even though I expect Indiana to give Miami a battle – they’re not going to roll over – the value to support Indiana on the series price is only worth something if they can actually win the series, or come close enough to give bettors a chance to hedge off at a positive expectation price. And, frankly, that’s not something I think the Pacers are capable of doing.
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NBA Handicapping: Memphis vs. San Antonio Statline Preview
Tags: NBA San Antonio Spurs Memphis Grizzlies Stat Intelligence Submitted by Stat Intelligence
A new series starts Sunday. Let’s review regular season performance in the stat categories we’ve been studying in in the college and pro postseasons. Note that these are regular season only numbers. Prefer using an 82-game sample with similar strengths of schedule. Then we can pencil in what we’ve learned so far in the playoffs if need be.
(5) Memphis: 47% two-point defense, +3.7 rebounding, +1.5 TO’S, 4.7 treys, #29 full season pace
(2) S. Antonio: 47% two-point defense, +1.2 rebounding, +0.2 TO’S, 8.1 treys, #6 full season pace
Pretty clear differences there once you get past two-point defense. And, the whole world was at 47% in that category anyway if you’ll recall from our first round previews!
MEMPHIS is the “defense and rebounding wins championships” team, with a huge edge on the glass, and a proven ability to force a lot of turnovers. During the regular season we encouraged you to think of them as the Chicago Bears of the NBA because of that ability. Memphis won turnover differential against OKC by 22 in the last round.
SAN ANTONIO is suddenly the “they need to make three-pointers to compete” team, making this very much like Indiana-New York in a lot of ways. Well, if New York had any brains and personnel continuity. The Spurs can be bullied inside. Memphis is a bully team. The Spurs need to cash in that +3.4 differential in made treys on a continual basis. San Antonio won’t self-destruct the way the Knicks did. I'm a little uncomfortable comparing the Spurs to the Knicks after we just watched New York's tribute to cluelessness. But, not much has really changed since Memphis upset the Spurs in the playoffs two years ago. It will be stylistically similar to Pacers/Knicks with a much smarter team trying to avoid having will imposed on them.
It may prove telling that Memphis is the slow team while San Antonio is the fast team. Things get slow in the playoffs, which moves right into the Grizzlies’ comfort zone. Can San Antonio push tempo if they can’t rebound?
You guys know I prefer the power team as a general rule. I think Memphis has a slight edge that could prove to be a bigger edge than expected…regardless of what the current market odds are suggesting. We’ll see. The Spurs have home court advantage if the series goes seven.
My estimate of market Power Ratings for the last four teams…
84: San Antonio, Memphis
Haven’t seen an opener for Game One of Indiana/Miami yet. San Antonio/Memphis is being priced as if the teams are about even given what the market’s been doing for Grizzlies games thus far. Personally, I might stick the Spurs at 83 or 83.5. Let’s see how things look after three or four games. Memphis has dropped series openers to both the Clippers and Thunder, but are 8-1 otherwise.
Back with you Sunday night to run the numbers from Game One. I’ll put together statline notes for Pacers/Heat to run just before that series tips off. Thanks again for being a blog reader!
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UFC on FX 8 Gambling Free Pick: John Lineker vs. Azamat Gashimov
|Submitted by Alf Musketa|Tags: UFC Alf Musketa
UFC on FX 8
Saturday, May 18 – Santa Catarina, Brazil
Main Card starts 9pm/6pm ET/PT
Prelims Fuel TV 6pm/3pm ET/PT
Prelims Facebook 4:30/1:30 ET/PT
John Lineker -140 vs. Azamat Gashimov
This is another stellar UFC card on FX from Brazil. Back in January at UFC FX 7, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, we saw Brazilian fighters win eight of 11 fights including the headliner where Vitor Belfort TKO'd Michael Bisping. Home cooking and being able to fight in your home country seems to be worth quite a bit. I haven't put a number like 50 cents for a matchup or exactly what home advantage is, but the percentage of wins is close to 70% for non-USA events. Japan has the highest winning rate due to the extreme time change.
John Lineker (20-6, 1-1 UFC) is a gutsy aggressive Brazilian MMA fighter from Mao-de-Pedra. He lost his UFC debut to Louis Gaudinot a year ago and won his last fight this past November defeating Yasuhiro Urushitani by unanimous decision. What we like most about Lineker is his unlimited cardio. In the loss to Gaudinot it was a slugfest early on, and then and both fighters were trading positions on the ground. Lineker got caught in a guillotine choke but never gave up. He has knock-out power in both hands, hence his nick name "Hands of Stone."
Azamat Gashimov (7-2, 0-1 UFC) is a very tall fighter at 5' 9" and is dropping down in weight to flyweight for this fight at 125 pounds. He lost his UFC debut to a very good fighter Ivan Menjivar by submission, and he has the one main weakness that most tall fighters have. They get taken down very easily. Gashimov has a solid amateur wrestling background from Russia, but lacks the overall MMA skills and experience to win this fight in my opinion. Thus we see Lineker having his way in this contest with either a striking battle or getting the majority of the takedowns.
MLB Gambling Free Pick: Cincinnati Reds at Miami Marlins
|Submitted by Rob Veno|Tags: MLB Cincinnati Reds Miami Marlins Rob Veno Cincinnati (Latos) -155 at Miami (Fernandez) O/U 7
Sometimes you have to roll with plays that look simplistic and this game shapes up as one of those. Starting pitching figures to dominate here as the Mat Latos takes on young gem Jose Fernandez. Despite the fact that Latos’ history against Miami shows an 0-3 record, he had tremendous success earlier this season when he threw seven strong innings and allowed only one earned run and posting a 10:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. That game was in the hitter friendly Great American Ballpark so look for Latos to be just as effective tonight inside spacious Marlins Park. Miami’s offense continued its abysmal season last night getting shutout by the Reds 4-0 and they now own an MLB-worst 110 runs scored, .224 batting average, .322 slugging percentage, .224 OBP, and .608 OPS. While Fernandez certainly faces the superior lineup, he’s been brilliant over his last couple starts. He’s pitched a combined 13 innings and permitted only 12 base runners while striking out 16 and walking three. For the season he owns an extremely solid 1.16 WHIP. Bullpens are deep enough and strong enough to keep the back third closed here even if Aroldis Chapman doesn’t pitch due to his 26 pitches last night. Despite the low 7 number currently posted, this one sets up nicely for a play on the under.
Sports Betting Podcast 5-16-2013 with Handicappers Ian Cameron and Rob Veno
|Tags: NHL MLB Ian Cameron Rob Veno|
MLB Handicapper Free Play: Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres
|Submitted by Teddy Covers|Tags: MLB Washington Nationals San Diego Padres Teddy Covers Washington (Strasburg) -140 at San Diego (Volquez) O/U 7
The Nationals lineup has gone ice cold. They’ve plated just ten runs in their last five games, and nearly half of those runs came in three innings against Josh Beckett, who went on the DL following that outing. The Nats have 46 strikeouts during that span, while hitting .133 with runners in scoring position. Padres starter Edison Volquez threw seven innings of three hit, one run ball in his lone start against Washington last year. And Volquez has been dominant in each of his last two home starts here at Petco: 13.2 innings of work, nine hits and one run against two pretty good hitting lineups – Milwaukee and Arizona. It’s surely worth noting that the Nats have been held to three runs or less in six of their last seven games in the most pitcher-friendly ballpark in the majors.
Stephen Strasburg hasn’t won since opening day, and he’s allowed four runs in each of his last two starts; his worst back-to-back showings since right before he needed Tommy John surgery in August of his rookie year. Don’t think for a minute that something is not right with Washington’s ace – his peripheral numbers are just fine, and half of those eight runs allowed were unearned. The San Diego native is making his first career start at Petco tonight in front of hundreds of friends and family; an optimal spot for a gem against a Padres squad coming off a cross-country flight last night. I don’t play many Unders in this total range, but this is one spot where the Under is primed to cash!