13 November 2012

Fading the Bible Belt and Knicks 5-0

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Nothing is better than a college basketball binge. The Tip Off Marathon provided college hoops enthusiasts and degen gamblers a smorgasbord of nonstop action spread out over 24-hours. I welcomed the addition but deep down I knew the Tip Off was a cheap way for ESPN to generate programing that would bilk millions in revenue from advertisers. The commercials (and there were hundreds) comprised mostly of fast food franchises, new Hollywood movies, U.S. Military recruitment, Banks, and Doomsday Preppers. Yes, the bulk of the advertisers were the evil junta... the military-industrial-Banksters-fast food complex... who sponsored 24-straight hours of hoops.

We bet one game on Monday evening... Gongaza -10.5... which I protested and argued against for several hours before I was overruled by the rest of the Ocelot Group.  I finally caved in and I was totally wrong about my initial assessment. I was bitching and moaning over a meager point (I didn't like laying double digits) and the Zags went out and destroyed W. Virginia by 34 points. Not even close.

Hawaii played Houston Baptist at 4am ET or 1am PT. We bet Hawaii -12 because they were pitted against a cream puff... Houston Baptist... a school I never heard of and presumed a member of the obscure Bible Belt conference that boasted educational juggernauts like Galveston Fashion Institute of Technology and Jerry Falwell Bible University.

We bet Hawaii. Go Rainbows! I stayed up to watch Houston Baptist/Hawaii ... every single play... because what else are you going to do with chronic insomnia? Plus, I'm afflicted with the sickness to place a wager on the most meaningless contests in the world, so I was thrilled to have a live sporting event on at 1am which I could gamble on.

Hawaii was up by 15 at the half and coasted to a 13-point victory, but they barely covered. The last minute or so was a complete headache. 3am and I'm screaming at my TV yelling at those kids to "Hit your fucking free throws!" All the while, trying not to wake up my girlfriend or my neighbors.

I crashed after the game and didn't want to watch the "breakfast edition" of the Tip Off Marathon... a bunch of bush league teams. ESPN's suits found a few sucker schools (e.g. Stony Brook and Rider) who would do anything for a shot at a TV game, so they agreed to 6am ET tip off. Even Harvard played a game at 10am ET. I woke up in time to watch the second half of that game. They lost to UMass at the buzzer and I was kicking myself for not betting the wicked smart kids.

With the Zags and Hawaii wins, we started the day 2-0 in college hoops. Everything else was gravy and we were freerolling our other two bets... Kansas -2 and Long Beach State +8.5.

Bill Self's Kansas squad coughed up a lead and couldn't get their shit together in crunch time, as Tom Izzos' Michigan State crew bested him. Kansas lost outright and we slipped to 2-1.

Long Beach State looked better on paper than USC. I was hoping for a +9 or +10, but settled on +8.5. I almost went to the game because tickets were selling for $2 online! Yeah, nosebleed tickets flooded secondary sale sites. I almost went so I could chastise Long Beach players in person if they missed free throws or open looks. I didn't go and instead I just screamed at my TV instead.

Playing in a mostly empty arena on USC's campus, Long Beach kept it close for the first half, but they fell apart in the second half during a shooting black hole. They only hit 5-22 from inside the arc and 7-20 from downtown. It didn't hurt that USC's bench outscored Long Beach's bench by a redonkulous margin.

We finished the marathon day 2-2 in college hoops. By 4:20am we had a nifty roll, but gave all the profits right back.


On Monday, we had only one NBA game… Denver -4.5.

After the Denver Nuggets bailed us out the other night to end our Saturday losing streak, we wanted to back them again on Monday. The Nugs had won four straight and taking on the worst team in the West… the PHX Suns. Denver was up by 3 at the half… but they lost their mud in the 4Q and lost by 10. PHX outscored them 13-4 to end the game while Denver’s offense disappeared. The Nugs must’ve smoked too many nugs because they committed 15 turnovers. Bleh. Nothing is more disappointing that losing to a shitty team.

The "shoulda bet" on Monday was the over in TorRaptors/Utah Jazz, which went into triple overtime and the final score was 140-133. With that said, my first impulse on Tuesday morning was to fade the tired TorRaptors on back-to-back nights but they were playing a Danny Granger-less Indy squad. Sometimes the best bet you can make is not making a bet... and passing on TorRaptors on Tuesday was a wise choice.

I waited two weeks into the NBA season before I finally broke down and bought NBA Season Pass. Previously, I sweated out games online via one of those European streaming sites which meant sometimes I watched Knicks games through a Finnish sports station. I debated myself back and forth for about a month because I didn't want to give my cable provider any more money than they deserve, or I didn't want to give the NBA any more money they deserve. In the end, I was just being cheap and my girlfriend called me out.

"Don't you bet more on a single game than what it costs for the NBA pass?"

She was right about the money, but I was more worried about the easy access to games might encourage me to bet more of them.

"So, I finally bought the NBA League Pass and had access to every game from all 30 pro basketball teams..." is something that sounds like the opening to my Moth Storytelling tale, or what I'd say in a Gamblers Anon meeting.

Anyway... after my girlfriend told me I was being silly because I never spend any money on material items aside from books, so I needed to stop the bullshit and stop worrying about the cost of the NBA pass. I pulled the trigger and in less then five minutes I was a kid in a friggin' candy store with unfettered access! I dove in and fired up a couple of archived games (specifically the closing minutes in the Miami/Houston game and the previous Knicks game vs. Dallas).

Much like MLB.tv, you have the ability to watch four games at once on NBA Pass using a quad screen, which is a degenerate gambler's wet dream.

We made a trio of NBA plays on Tuesday: Knicks -6.5, Brooklyn -5.5, and San Antonio -1.

We did not Fade the Bobkittens because they were playing the Wiz at home. If anything, we were inclined to fade the dismal Wiz or bet the under. Wish we did either, but we passed altogether. When two bad teams dick around with each other, the results are disastrous and unpredictable.
Wisdom of the Ocelot
If undecided about two shitty teams playing each other, the best bet is not to bet.
The Bobkitties actually won the battle of futility, which proved that the Wiz are utterly awful. We should return to our Fade the Wiz agenda from two seasons ago.

In a game we actually took a side on... Melo and the Knicks went to the land of Disney in central Florida to take on the tragic Orlando Magic (heh, the Orlando Tragic). The Knicks won again to improve to 5-0 and remain the only undefeated in the league. The Knicks pulled away in the early 4Q and kept up the pressure late in the game to seal the deal. The dynamic duo of Melo and JR Smith led the Knicks to a double-digit victory as they covered once again (5-0 ATS this season).

The NBA League Pass is already paying off benefits. I now get to see Clyde's pimpin' suits like this...


Brooklyn took on another bad team -- the lowly Cleveland Cavs. We jumped on Brooklyn -5.5 shortly before tip off and they got off to a good start and never looked back. The easy Brooklyn win pushed us to 2-0 for the night and we were free rolling going into the West Coast games.

The late game we like was Lakers-San Antonio. The Lakers have a new head coach who isn't there... yet. Mike D'Antoni is recovering from knee surgery and will join the team in a few days. In the meantime, the gossip lines have been buzzing with Phil Jackson stories. Big Chief Triangle said he agreed to be the head coach but then got Shanghaied at the last second when the Lakers hired Mike D'Antoni (who conducted a phone interview while jacked up on pharmies post-surgery). San Antonio is a tough team on the road and I figured they'd be ready to catch the Lakers in a vulnerable spot.
Ugly scoring game in the first half. San Antonio trailed but slowly chipped away at the lead. It came down to the last three minutes... and both teams traded baskets but neither could pull away for good. San Antonio won by 2... and we covered by a frigging fucking point. Holy shitballs.

The Lakers lost and we improved to 3-0 for the day. Overall, in the NBA we are now  21-13-2.