Successful sportsbettors are not politicians. Politicians take heat every time they change their opinion – flip-floppers! A politician who is pro-choice on abortion, for example, will take enormous criticism from both sides, and will probably lose his or her next election if he or she switches to a pro-life stance.
Sports bettors, like politicians, are inevitably going to have some wrong opinions – about teams, about players, about coaches. Bill Belichick was not a great coach with the Cleveland Browns, and was not highly regarded after suffering a losing campaign in his first year. Greg Popovich certainly wasn’t a high profile, top notch hire when the Spurs decided he should be their head coach. The Carolina Panthers weren’t taken seriously by most NFL analysts last year until they reached the Super Bowl. Steph Curry wasn’t a superstar...until he was.
Throughout the world of sports and sportsbetting, everybody – E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y! – is going to have some wrong opinions. But the differences in how bettors deal with those wrong opinions is fairly dramatic; often the difference between winning and losing, both short and long term!
I was wrong about the Cleveland Cavaliers coming into the playoffs. There’s no shame in that; I’m not embarrassed by being wrong about that team. And most importantly, I’m not locked into an untenable position where I’m forced to defend my anti-Cleveland position with my words or with my money. Things have changed. The Cavs are better now. Their competition, top to bottom, is weaker than expected. My opinion has changed. The Cleveland Cavs are ‘live’ to end their lifelong title drought and win a championship a month from now.
What was I wrong about? Nearly everything! Here’s what I wrote after the Cavs Game 1 win against the Pistons: “The Cavs once again showed us that they are vulnerable favorites in the East. On a weekend where every other elite team notched an easy blowout victory, the Cavs were in a battle from start to finish against the Pistons. Despite getting huge games from LeBron, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, the Cavs never even sniffed a pointspread cover; not a good sign moving forward.”
Since that Game 1 victory over the Pistons, the Cavs have gone 7-0 SU, 5-2 ATS. They are the healthiest team still standing in the playoffs. They are the most rested team still standing in the playoffs, and it’s not even close. Looking at a chart of playoff minutes played, LeBron James is sitting at 310 heading into the Eastern Conference Finals. Kyrie Irving is at 291. Kevin Love is at 274. Contrast those numbers, for example, with the minutes played for Toronto’s key players (Kyle Lowry 553, DeMar DeRozan 522) here in the playoffs and you can clearly see what I am talking about.
And, of course, the Cavs have – by far – the easiest path to the Finals, sitting in the -1500 range as I write this early Monday morning to knock off Toronto in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavs suspect defense has improved by leaps and bounds here in the postseason, especially when it’s mattered most – during crunch time. Their postseason offensive efficiency of 117 points per 100 possessions has blown every other team’s numbers away. The Cavs are loaded with savvy veteran role players. JR Smith, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, Matthew Dellavedova, Tristan Thompson, Richard Jefferson – all guys who have been on deep postseason runs before. Playoff virgin head coach Tyrone Lue hasn’t had any trouble coaching up his roster here in May.
The Cavs have tried to stay focused and in game shape during their post-series layoff between knocking off the Hawks and taking on the Raptors. Strength and conditioning coach Derek Millender put the team through brutal training sessions on the VersaClimber. Big man Tristan Thompson, talking about the experience: “That was pretty tough, but I thought it was great for us because the [players] could push each other. It’s great when all the guys are in the trenches battling that VersaClimber. We hate that machine. It was fun. I thought it brought us even closer together as a team. We’ve got to come out and kind of throw the first punch, especially at home.”
I was wrong about the Cavs, and have adjusted my opinion (and my power rating number) accordingly, before it cost my clients and I too much money. But the other end of the spectrum is worth discussing here as well, because I nailed my pre-playoff analysis on the Oklahoma City Thunder; a team that has made me money here in the postseason. And while it’s extremely important to be willing to adjust your opinions about teams that you don’t get right, it’s equally important that you maximize your profits betting on or against the teams that you DO get right.
Here’s an excerpt of what I wrote about the Thunder just before the playoffs.
“I don’t care what kind of metric you want to use – the Oklahoma City Thunder are no afterthought! The Thunder have at least three strong factors working in their favor moving forward. First and foremost, they’ve got two of the Top 5 players on the planet. Superstars carry teams to titles, and the Thunder have a pair of them in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Secondly, the Thunder are a truly elite rebounding team, the single best rebounding team in the NBA over the last ten seasons, dominating both the offensive glass and the defensive glass. Third, this team is no playoff virgin – they’ve got the requisite experience as well as some real hunger after last year’s injury plagued debacle of a season left them on the outside looking in at the postseason. Let’s not forget that the Thunder were tied 2-2 with the Spurs in the 2014 Western Conference Finals before losing in OT, allowing San Antonio to reach the Finals and win a title. That came on the heels of their 2012 run to the NBA Finals against the Heat. This team knows how to win playoff series, plain and simple.”
I cashed a handful of winning bets supporting the Thunder in their series victory against the Spurs. Quite frankly, I don’t expect those to be the last few winners that I cash with OKC in 2016. If you’re flexible enough to adjust your opinions when appropriate, and disciplined enough to fully take advantage of your correct betting opinions, the opportunity for significant playoff profits is both real and attainable.
Teddy Covers 10* NBA Warriors vs Thunder Game 1 Winner [63% All Sports Run] $20
Teddy is ready to deliver the goods for this Warriors vs. Thunder Western Conference Finals opener! OKC won twice in San Antonio; can they do it again at Oracle Arena? Or is this a spot for the defending champs to dominate? Teddy is in rock solid current form, riding a 63% All Sports Run into the new week, primed to cash another winner here! This play must cash or his next report is free!