30 November 2012

Soggy Fields, the Orlando Tragic, and Aussie Soccer

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

The weasel dick Cobra Commander (Commissioner Stern who I'm now dubbing "Cobra Commander" because he's a deadly reptile and I'm having an overdose of childhood nostalgia) needed to show off his small penis, so he fined the San Antonio Spurs $250,000 for resting/sitting out/flying home four starters in a game against Miami. The Spurs will be shipping their fine to NBA HQs in nickels and pennies, just to piss off Cobra Commander.

How about the Knicks?

The Knicks spanked the Wiz and improved to 6-0 at home... one of best starts in decades. The Knicks are still doing this with Amare. I got scared and didn't think the Knicks could win by double digits. I thought they get too over-confident (while the 1-12 Wiz were playing with a winning streak). Alas, they proved me wrong.

I saw a few troubling things in the game... mostly how the stagnant the other four Knicks' players get when Melo gets the ball in ISO and puts his head down and goes to the hole.

Now, when Pablo Prigioni passed to other players not named Melo, he made it look like buttah. JR Smith had a sweat reverse dunk which he caught from a sweet pass from Pablo.

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Friday night Sweat: Brooklyn -4, Sixers -3.5, Denver +5

We went 2-1 in the NBA. I'm not thrilled, but it is better than 1-2. Hey, 2-1 is .667... which is god-like over the long haul. We have too many 1-1 and 2-2 nights. Dreadful. 2-1 makes me feel chipper... and a cosmic pat on the back to let me know I'm doing something right. It's math, right? All math. The computers have no bias. They simply crunch the numbers and we're supposed to interpret them as humans. But in the end, we're still betting on fellow humans. Injuries occur. They might be tired and sluggish. Their heads might not be in the game. Or on the flip side, they are fired up and energetic and as focused on revenge as a scorned gunslinger out of a Spaghetti Western.

Brooklyn easily covered against the Orlando Tragic and won by 12. Tale of the bombs. Nets went 11-20 from three point range and the Tragic went 1-11... with Gerald Wallace dropping 5 of 6 from waaaay downtown. Balanced scoring attack from all five Nets starters who scored in double digits.

The Sixers were added at the last second because I could not resist to Fade the Bobkittens. Jrue Holiday is fun to watch. He only scored 13 points but dropped 15 assists. Evan Turner also had a banner night with 25 points and 15 rebounds.

And then enter the Lakers. Had we bet the Lakers -5, they would have won by 1 or 2 points and we woulda whiffed on a cover. Alas, we took a side with the Nugs, but they got off to a slow start and were trailing by double digits early on, Whenever the Nugs got within 5 or 6 points, the Lakers would pull away and push the lead back over 10. That went on for three quarters until the Lakers flirted with a 20 point lead in the 4Q.How bad did it get for the Nugs? Iggy blew a wide open dunk, fought for the rebound with two Lakers, then missed a wide open layup. D'oh!

The Lakers ruined a perfectly good evening. We finished the night 2-1.

***

We had two other wagers.... one in college football and the other in Australian football.
My buddies are in Vegas and they wanted to bet a college football game... specifically the Pac-12 championship. I was originally leaning the OVER, but when we saw all the rain in NoCal (it was such a huge storm that SoCal caught some of it) the last two days, and rain scheduled during game time, we figured it would be a sloppy field and slippery ball. Had I lived on the East Coast and did not pay attention to the weather, I would bet the OVER 47. Instead, we were on the UNDER 47. I almost tore up the ticket in the 1Q. Too much scoring early. The defense showed up to play in the 2Q, but everything shit the bed in the second half. Meh. Fucking UCLA screwed us again!

We got a tip on Aussie soccer and found some value in fading the Brisbane Roar and backing Newcastle Jets. I was hesitant because of their nickname... the Jets. Yikes, all I could think of was Mark Sanchez and the Tim Tebow debacle. But my buddy BG lives in Brisbane and he was confident in the numbers. We took a shot at Newcastle +425 and missed. They lost 1-0. On a penalty kick no less!

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The PK (see pick above) led to a 1-nil lead. Then came the red cards after a schoolyard like pushing match. They played 10 on 10 for the rest of the match. It was a stalemate in the second half and Brisbane won 1-nil. I watched most of the game after finding a steady stream online. I shoulda been resting/sleeping but I just had to sweat the action. Game started around 1am PT.

So far this year, we're 0-2 in betting random soccer tips. We had one on Tijuana a few weeks ago in the Mexican leagues, which ended up in a draw.

29 November 2012

Brees Grounded and Pop’s Sleep Plan

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

The Spurs-Heat line jumped from -5.5 to -12 or -13 in some places. It was a are rainy afternoon in SoCal and went to a viewing of Lincoln. Before the previews started, the theatre showed one of those bits about turning off your phone, including texting. Of course at that precise moment, I was bombarded with texts about the line moving from -5.5 to -13.

Before I left for Century City, I got a tip that Tim Duncan and Tony Parker were both sitting out. I pulled our order on the Spurs (I wanted +6 or better). A few minutes later, word got out that Popovich sent Duncan and Parker on a plane back to Texas. A few minutes after that, a trusted source revealed the straight dope... Pop shipped four starters back to Texas.

Holy shit!

Green and Ginobli were also told to go home and rest, while Pop took the remainder of the Spurs to Miami to battle the Heat.

We liked Spurs +6 playing in Miami. I'm glad I didn't pull the trigger on the overnight line. I scrambled and put in an UNDER 205 bet before the line moved. I sent out a few texts to our clients and friends of Ocelot Sports advising them about the line move and to jump on it before the public found out. I walked into the dim theatre and as I took my seat, the public had found out when the bookies moved the line to -13.

Too many texts. I turned off my phone and settled into the film.

Popovich is a former Air Force guy and understands the concept of "troop rotation" which he astutely applied last year during the lockout shortened season. Pop often scratched veteran players (listing them as "OLD" on the injury report), particularly on back-to-back nights. He opted for that strategy this season against the Miami Heat because his vets were road weary.

The Spurs spent most of November on the road, and were on the tail end of a 10-game road trip playing four games in five nights. Pop not only scratched four starters... he sent them back to San Antonio so they didn't have to bother with making the trip to Miami. Rest is the key for old guys, plus Pop had faith in his bench, which is one of the deepest in the West (which begs the question... were the Spurs always that deep, or did they get deep because Pop played his bench, who in turn got much better because they got the necessary playing time to keep them fresh and effective?).

Hubie Brown had a strategy when he coached the Kentucky Colonels in the old ABA in the 1970s and he played 10 guys as much as possible, that way everyone was happy to get playing time. A happy team was an effective team. Hubie knew that he'd have to install an uptempo offense and defense in order to get all 10 guys in any given game. Oh, and about those other two guys on the team? Hubie said the 11th and 12th guys were marginal players thrilled to be on a pro team, so they wouldn't bitch about playing time.

Flash foward forty years later. Pop's strategy is simple... don't wear down your troops during the regular season so they are tired and infective in the playoffs. Pop incorporates his bench by limiting his starters' minutes during the regular season. During last season, he rested Duncan outright. Sometimes he sat the Big 3. The stars get rest and don't roll the dice with getting a freak injury, while the bench feels needed, which is a psychological edge. They might get not minutes all the time, but they'll get their number called eventually.

Pop asked his second string to take on the defending champs Miami Heat. They held on in the first half then went on a rush in the 3Q to open up a 7-point lead! Miami rallied and won the game... but it was close for a good 45 or 46 minutes. Is the Spurs bench that good? Is Pop an awesome coach and can take any 5 guys to compete against the best team in the NBA? Or did Miami fuck around? I'd say it's a combo of all 3.

We got screwed because of the end of the game looked more like a college affair with too many fouls in the last 2 minutes (instead of making defensive stops and hitting shots). I thought our 205 UNDER was a lock, but Miami kept hitting FTs and Spurs kept fouling. We were lucky to push when Miami won 105-100.

The hoopla surrounding the game came from lame duck commissioner David Stern. I betcha some suit at TNT heard about Pop's move and called up Stern to bitch and moan about losing viewers because the Spurs' big stars were not playing. Hey, TNT's contract with the NBA is worth a pretty penny and you can't knock a TV suit for freaking out about a potential non-competitive game going up against Thursday Night Football. TV suits kvetch. It's what they do. However, Stern's reaction was abysmal. He sided with the suits instead of defending one of the most respected coaches in the NBA.
An incredulous Stern released a statement before tipoff and said that he was going to get those meddling kids! Actually, he threatened to fine the Spurs because their move threatened the integrity of the game.

That's when Twitter blew up.

I don't think a sane person (under 60) agreed with Stern. I think even the old coots were against Stern, because they knew what it felt like to wake up in the morning with achy bones. Shit, I've survived two car accidents since 2008 and I wake every single day with soreness and stiffness and have to fight pain throughout the day. I can only imagine how much pain professional athletes must endure, especially on the butt-end of a 10-game road trip.

The only folks up in arms were TV execs. Stern defended their opinion, but he sounded like a cranky old man sending back a cold pastrami sandwich Carnegie Deli.

If Stern really wanted to fine someone, he should fine the Miami Heat for playing like crap against a bunch of second stringers. Hey, let's be honest, the majority of people were tuning into that game to see LeBron James and not Manu Ginobli.

The best response came from @haralabob who said if Stern really cared about the integrity of the game he'd refund ticket fees to everyone who went to see games that ref Tim Donaghy had fixed.

Ouch!

Stern? Old and out of touch defending sleazy TV execs who only care about the bottom line.

Pop? He's trying to win a championship for the city of San Antonio. He smells blood in the water. He knows that the Lakers are struggling, but they're still a  dangerous matchup in the playoffs. He knows his vets will have their hands full with Durant-Westbrook and OKC come this Spring. And he knows that even if he gets through all those guys and returns to the NBA Finals, he will not have a cake walk against Miami.

Then again, I can't think a better psychological edge than Miami freaking out about barely beating second stringers. If the second team only lost by 5, what would a full squad do?

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Zach Lowe is the best writer covering the NBA. Check out Zach's article... San Antonio vs. Stern: Making Sense of the Spurs' Benching Controversy.

*****

We didn't want to make a play on the Thursday Night Football game -- New Orleans vs. Atlanta -- but I couldn't resist.

The best move of the night was passing on the OVER. I felt it was too high and that New Orleans defense is much better now than in the first half of the season. Our play was NOLA +3.5 only because Atlanta is prone to playing close games. We figured this one would be close... and if Drew Brees did not throw 5 INTs, New Orleans might have won this game.

The way I see it... every time Brees throws an INT, it kills an offensive drive and that turnover takes points off the board. If he threw 2 fewer picks, I'm convinced Brees connects on at least one TD pass to keep his TD streak alive. Alas, one more TD woulda put the game within reach for us.

Kudos to Atlanta's secondary. They were like swarming yellow jackets. This is the same crew that forced Peyton Manning into throwing 3 picks in a game earlier this year.

Anyway... I didn't watch the entire game. I got back from Lincoln in the middle of the 1Q and watched most of the Spurs-Heat game. I really wanted Spurs and Pop to win so they could stick it to that blow-hard Strern. He's got nothing else better to do then pass sanctimonious judgement against a coach (and former military veteran) trying to do his job.

28 November 2012

Cat Scratch Fever: Rondo-Kardashian Claw Fight

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

It was supposed to be a calm and quiet night. I had a ton of work to do and didn't really have the time to sweat any games, which is why I originally wanted to take the night off.

But we know better than that.
 
Action is action. Junkies are junkies. Buy a ticket, snort the ride. Or something like that.
I took a break early in the day and quickly scouted Wednesday's lineup. One lean (Knicks) turned into four leans which turned into 6 NBA games that popped up on our radar.

We should have just picked one. Instead we picked 6, but then freaked out and cut it down to four. Murphy's Law was in full effect. The two we passed on were winners. And the four we played? 2-2. Meh. I loathe losing "just juice" to the dam shylocks.

Wednesday night NBA action: Knicks -1.5, Brooklyn +4, Portland -2.5, and Atlanta -8.5

We went full steam ahead for a couple of fade operations: Fade the Wiz and Fade the Bobkittens. But, we passed on Fade PHX, who were playing on  the road in back-to-back nights. Passing on that fade proved disastrous.

Congrats to the Wiz. They won their first game by picking off the Blazers. It only took 13 games! Man, the bench-less Blazers should be embarrassed for pissing away an easy win... and  in the process, they gifted the Wiz their very first victory of the season. 1-12? Yes, that's the stuff championship dreams are made of. We lost that battle, but we'll continue to Fade the Wiz until Wall and Nene are both 100%.

If you want to read more about the hapless Wiz, check out this Grantland article... A Fate Worse Than Death.

The Bobkittens continued to give us headaches. We passed on Atlanta -9.5 because the line was too high, even though HAL420 insisted they'd win by 12 or more. When the line moved to -8.5, we pulled the trigger. We figured the Bobkittens would still be suffering from that blowout debacle from the other night. And they struggled.... but Atlanta choked down the stretch. Meh. Both "fades" made us 0-2 for the night.

We should have went for Detroit -3 against PHX, but we had qualms about backing a crappy Detroit squad, so we passed.

I also love Memphis this year, but laying double digits against TorRaptors scared us off. I was waiting to get a better number, but that never happened so we passed. Alas, Memphis easily won by 20 and covered.

We shoulda passed on what we played, and we shoulda played what we passed. Yep, one of those nights.

It was up to both NYC teams to win. The Knicks had another easy game against Milwookie and coasted to victory (and a cover).

Meanwhile, Brooklyn brawled with the Celtics (watch video here). Rondo is a tough mofo and took on Kris Humphries after Mr. Kardashian gave KG a hard foul. I thought Rondo overreacted because back in the day, that "foul" was a mere love tap. You shoulda seen those Knicks-Heat games from the 90s or the Pistons-Celtics games from the 80s. Or how about any ABA game when bloody noses and fisticuffs happened in the warm ups!

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According to Mr. Kardashian's Twitter feed, Rondo scratched him pretty good.

Rondo got tossed after the cat fight, which changed the dynamic of the game. Boston is a team that struggles night to night because you never know which team is going to show up. There's a fine line between being a squad a savvy veterans and a team of old guys that are a few years past their prime. Boston wants to fast forward four months and just play playoff games, which is why that mentality of "getting through the regular season" has made them a perfect target. Boston is a team that gets significant amount of public money, not just from New England market, but across the country. Much like the LA Lakers, Boston is one of the teams I look to fade on weeknights that do not have a pro football game.

Both the Knicks and Nets won (and covered) so we could save face with a 2-2 record. Dammit. I hate giving juice to the bookies!

By the way, you know about our affinity for Golden State and how they are the Wolf or bail out team for us... well, looks like the rest of the league is catching on after this article about the much-improved defense from Steph Curry... Warriors Come Out and Play.... Defense.

Since I'm dropping links in this post due to lack of hardcore degen content, check out the latest 30 for 30 short documentary film about the origins of the Arnold Palmer drink (lemonade + iced tea). As an iced tea connoisseur, I 1000% approve of the short film.

27 November 2012

The Unbearable Likeness of Joey Crawford

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

NBA zebras come in two forms... 1) crooked hardcore gamblers manipulating outcomes for their own personal gain like Tim Donaghy, or 2) ego-maniacs who think they are God.

And then there's Joey Crawford, the controversial zebra that is often mentioned in the same breath as the worst official all of pro sports. He's been around so long that when he started reffing games, the NBA did not have a three point line. Crawford might have been one of the best zebras at one point in his 35-year career, but now he's a stubborn, cantankerous hot head who always must have the attention on him.

Here's a NY Times interview with Joey Crawford... Whistling His Own Tune.

A friend of mine, huge Bulls fan, used to bet on a lot of NBA games. He said he saw Joey Crawford make bad calls on purpose so coaches or star players would pick a fight with him, and then he's get more TV time. He had another theory that Crawford was just a dickhead and control freak that he made controversial calls so he could give players technical fouls, or throw coaches out of games.

Wow, this Crawford guy sounds like a major league dick.

The Joey Crawford Show reached Hollywood on Tuesday night. He was schedueled to roam the floor and use his golden whistle during the Lakers-Pacers game at Staples Center. As per usual, Crawford was total ham all night and tried to steal the spot light away from the Lakers... which is tough to do with a new limping coach jacked up on painkillers (Mike D'Antoni), and the Big 3: Dwight Howard, Metta World Peace, and that Kobe clown.

My girlfriend is in show biz and she said there's an old theatre saying... "Crawford was chewing up scenery all night."

I have no fucking clue what he's doing here...


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I see hippies dance like that at Phish shows, but they are usually on a couple doses of really good acid or ecstasy.

Crawford looked like he was auditioning for Dancing with the Stars, or maybe he's shopping for a new agent at CAA?

I watched the Lakers game because we bet on it as a bail out game and because my girlfriend Nicky wanted to watch it. She rarely requests to watch sports aside from her alma mater's football games, only because Northwestern had a half-way decent team this year. Anyway, Nicky is a Lakers fan and she wanted to watch the game, which was fine for me because we had a wager on it after we were 1-1 for the night.

Within a few minutes of the opening tip, Twitter was flooded with Joey Crawford comments. Pretty funny. I don't think I could name more than five or six NBA zebras (is Dick Bavetta still working? Remember Eric Neis from the Real World? His dad was a ref back in the 90s.)

We were on the Pacers at +8.5. The Lakers are overrated and word on the street was that Kobe had the sniffles and might not play. Well, he might have been flu-like, but he played the entire second half! All 24 minutes.

Kobe also had a boobie triple double... 40 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 turnovers.

Typical Kobe me-me-me-me night. Kobe loves D'Antoni's new offense because he gets to shoot whenever he touches the ball and missed 16 shots but (5 out of 11 from downtown) and dropped 40. The Lakers scored 77 points, Kobe contributed 40 of them, whileDwight Howard scored 17 and Gasol added 10. That trioscored 67 out of the Lakers 77 points. The rest of the team did jack shit. That's why they lost.... against the Pacers without Danny Granger. George Hill had a good night and David West added a double-double.

Tuesday NBA action: Pacers +7.5, Cavs +2.5, and Mavs +3.5

The goal? Less is more. I only liked one game, yet bet two and didn't like the 1-1 results because I have an annoying habit in which I can't "break even" and have to either end the night with a profit or a loss. This break even stuff does not sit well with me. Besides, I hate being down "just juice."

The Pacers won outright and covered 7.5. Easy money. That got us out of the doldrums of a break even day. We split out Cavs-Mavs ticket. We took all dogs today and I particularly liked the Mavs getting points in Philly. They were down by 10 late in the game, but stormed back to almost force OT. They lost by 1 but we had them +3.5. The Cavs got blown out by PHX Sols. What the fuck? Sure, Cleveland is not a good ball team, but they are better than PHX, who is horrible on the road and one of the worst teams in the NBA ATS, which is why I was shocked they won by 13 on the road.

We made a costly error and got humped by the pooch. The sharp play? Bet the UNDER in PHX/CLE. It's one of the many pearls of wisdom from the all-knowing Ocelot. I posted this once before, but it's so important that I need to post it again because I did not heed the sagely advice!
Wisdom of the Ocelot
When two horrible teams play each other, bet the UNDER.
The good news is that PHX is playing again on Wednesday and we're gonna faded them to get our money back!

The Lakers lost and we finished 2-1 for the day. Overall in the NBA we're 39-32-2.

26 November 2012

Philly Brown Bags, the Winless Wiz, and a Bobkittens Blowout

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Monday Night Football. What a shit show. The suits must've been bumming. Preseason, the game looks great on paper because both teams were projected to be a lot better than what actually happened. Philly was supposed to be on top of the NFC standings with Cam Newton and Carolina coming to town. But Carolina sucks because they can't play defense and Cam Newton throws too many INTs, and Philly is well.... Philly.

How bad has it gotten in Philly? The brown bags were out in force. It was a trend that started in the 1970s when fans were so embarrassed to be a fan (insert crappy team here _____) that they hid their shame with a grocery bag over their heads because they didn't want friends at home to see them sitting in the stands.

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We were all over Carolina -2.5 and they locked it up for us despite a rare offensive outburst by Philly. I honestly thought Philly's D was going to step up and play hard only because they had shit-stained team with only 2 wins visiting them on their own turf. If there was ever a team to blowout on national TV, it's the Carolina Panthers. Even under those circumstances, Philly's D failed to show up in the second half. They got lucky with a few Newton-induced turnovers, which translated into a free Philly points in the first half. To Newton's credit, the kid reduced his turnovers in the second half and Carolina won the battle of the trenches. Carolina got their third win while Philly players went diving for paper bags to put over their heads as they walked off the field.

It can't get any worse than what drunken, bitter Jets fans did by trolling their own players at halftime with "Tebow save us!!" That was the Jets "good job, good effort" moment.

We whiffed on our UNDER 41 bet but we saved faced when Carolina covered. We finished a sick run in the NFL over the last two weeks at 17-5-2.

***

We had just a single game in the NBA... San Antonio -5.5 in our operation Fade the Wiz.

Of course, as soon as we stop Fading the Bobbkittens, they get absolutely blown out of the water during a trip to OKC. I was worried that OKC would struggle covering 12.5 even at home. I usually lean "dog" whenever NBA spreads get over double digits. But we decided to play it safe and pass.
Boy, were we wrong!

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Yes, that's not a typo or glitch. I thought something was fishy when I was on NBA Season Pass and saw that the Bobkittens only scored 24 points and it was 2 minutes into the 3Q. WTF?

I watched for a few minutes and OKC jumped out to a 51 point lead. I had never seen an NBA game with a lopsided score like that. It reminded me of those 1980s teams from Georgetown when Coach Thompson scheduled cream puff games versus D-III squads like Sr. Mary's of the Immaculate Bleeding Heart.

Everyone bombarded me with texts... "WTF mate? Why didn't we Fade the Bobkittens!"

Hey, we faded the Wiz and that wasn't even close. Spurs were up by 20 for most of the night and won by 26... covering by 20! The Wiz are still winless. Yeah, they have Nene back but he's playing limited minutes and they desperately miss John Wall. But even with healthy Wall and Nene, they are still a break-even team. For now, keep fading the Wiz especially on the road.

We also decided to re-tweak our position on the Bobkittens.... pass on them at home, but fade them on the road.

Anyway, we went 1-0 in the NBA... which is a part of our new approach of less is more. It seems when we only bet 1 NBA game a night, our record is much better than when we opt for 3 or 4 games a night. Right now, our record is a crap-tacular 37-31-2 and my goal is for us to go 13-4 over the next 17 picks instead of 10-7.

Oh, so I watched all of the battle of NYC hoops... the Knicks went to Brooklyn to take on the Nets. It was cool to hear Marv Albert broadcasting the game in his home borough. The Knicks  had an off night and choked. The let the Nets beat them in OT when they ran out of gas. Melo and Ty Chandler scored 60+ combined, but no one else on the team scored in double digits. That lack of "spreading the ball around" hurt them because no one else could score. Ray Felton had an awful night from the floor and the Knicks actually missed Jason Kidd's presence. Kidd played very well in the last couple weeks... and when Kidd makes positive contributions, then the team wins.

Now the Brooklyn Nets are ahead of the Knicks in the standings.

Check out Zach Lowe's latest column about Andrew Bynum and the 10 things he likes and doesn't like in the NBA.

25 November 2012

4th and 29 and Fireman Ed's Swan Song

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

"It was a one outer," I tried to explain to Joe Speaker about how we won a wager on the Baltimore Ravens.

The Ravens were backed up and Flacco opted for a screen pass on 4th and 29 to their veteran RB Ray Rice... except Rice scattered and scampered 25 plus yards and then dove for the last few inches. Did he really run 30 yards for a first down?

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It looked close.

Rice was brought down by the converging pile just short of the imaginary yellow line. Of course in real life, Rice only has the yard marker on the sideline as a guide. One zebra gave him the first down while the others conferred. It took several minutes before the zebras got the call right and awarded Baltimore the first down.

First fucking down!

Several plays later, Baltimore kicked a game-tying FG and send the game into overtime. Both teams struggled in OT and we were getting Balt +1, so we were actually pulling for a tie. We already saw one unnecessary tie (SF/St. Louis) a couple weeks ago, how about another one? Alas, Baltimore finally got enough mustard on their hot dog and kicked a FG to win it with less than 2 minutes left in OT.

We won the bet, but more importantly, it came to fruition because one of the craziest, sickiest, most amazing efforts by a player to make a 4th down and 29. Ray Rice's remarkable run was the proverbial one-outer that propelled us to 4-2 in the NFL or 8-3-1 since Turkey Day. If you go back to last Sunday... we're 14-4-2... and running good.

***

Sunday's NFL Sweat: Atlanta PK, Baltimore +1, Seattle -2.5, SF -1.5, OVER 37.5 STL/AZ, and OVER 48.5 ATL/TB

We made 5 picks and added a 6th (SF) when things weren't progressing like we had hoped in the early games.

Seattle was up big, then choked against Miami. Maybe their momentum was thrown off by those wacky and wild sprinklers that went off during the game? Someone on the Dolphins' groundskeeping staff must've been toking up and forgot to shut off the timer. Anyway, I shoulda known better... fade the Seachickens on the road, but bet the farm on them at home.

OVER in the ATL/TB missed by 1.5. We had a shot at the last second when ATL attempted a FG... but they missed (they actually ran a run play on third down for a loss of 5+ yards, which pushed them a smidge out of range). I can't complain about that one... knew it was going to be a squeaker/coin flip and all I can ask is for a shot at covering.

We started 0-2 and delved into PANIC MODE, which was why it was time to call in SF -1.5 as a late game bail out to settle the nerves.

We won only one of the other early game wagers (Atlanta PK) and swept the late game wagers (3-0) to finish up 4-2 for the day.

The easiest wager was on the OVER in St. Louis/Arizona. HAL420 spit out a big number and we were surprised to see a line under 38. It was a gift... or free money as the saying goes.

Baltimore +1 was a tough sweat considering they were down 10 points late in the game. But then again, we were not betting on Baltimore as much as we were FADING NORV TURNER. Yes, fading the Norv was profitable once again as one of his teams choked in crunch time.

Lastly, we had the big matchup between an upstart New Orleans team and the Niners embroiled in a mini-QB controversy. Was Alex Smith going to be Wally Pipp to Kaepernick's Lou Gehrig? The kid looked good in his debut against the Bears, which was impressive because it was against the Bears! Smith has always struggled since he was drafted by the Niners. However, ever since Harabugh became coach, Smith has flourished mostly because Harbaugh played QB and understands how a QB thinks. But all of a sudden, Harbaugh has more confidence in Kaepernick. That's gotta rattle Alex Smith just a little bit.

Anyway... it was the Niners defense who really won the game. They figured out how to stop Drew Brees and picked him off a couple of times which lead to instant scores for the Niners. Kaepernick played a solid game and made a few plays that made you go "WOW!" but he also played like a rube at other times. I'm sure he'll only get better with more snaps, but he's definitely the future of the Niners.

The Niners won and we covered. That game pushed us over 4-2 for the day. Can't complain one bit. The Niners became the difference between us with a meager and medium profit.

We passed on Sunday night football and we're fading Philly for Monday Night Football.

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The saddest news blurb I read? The Cheering Stops for Fireman Ed.

On Sunday night, word got out that Fireman Ed (aka the Jets Superfan and a retired NYC fireman), hung it up and will no longer go to games because he's sick of drunken Jets fans and haters picking fights with him during games. Thats what happens when he switched jerseys. He used to wear Bruce Harper and now he went with Sanchez. In one way, I don't blame Fireman Ed.... he put his life on the line for 20 years saving people from fires and he doesn't deserve that shit. On the other hand, it's so fucking sad that Jets fans are divided by a rift caused over Tim Fucking Tebow and those fucking suits in Connecticut driving the wedge into Jets' nation because of the ESPN's prime directive to talk about Tebow every 15 minutes or someone gets fired.

*****

NBA Sunday Sweat: Brooklyn -5.5, UNDER 196.5 Raptors/Spurs, and Sixers -3.5

Rough Sunday in the NBA. We went 1-2 and lost both games in tragic fashion.... double overtime and a half a point.

We easily won Brooklyn -5.5 as they cruised to an easy victory, but we took a horrendous beat on the UNDER 196.5 in SA/TOR. The game was coming in waaaaay under and both teams struggled to score 90 points each as the clock ticked down in the 4Q. But something bad happened and the Spurs gave the TorRaptors a shot at tying up the game.... which they did and it went into OVERTIME. That sucked, but somehow we still had a chance to cover.... so long as there was not a second overtime. Well, guess what happened? A rookie on the Spurs missed a free throw in the closing seconds of OT and the TorRaptors forced a second OT. We lost the UNDER in the opening minutes of 2nd OT. So fucking tough.

We added a third game to try to get out of the funk. Except the Sixers beat PHX by only 3 points. We were laying 3.5. If we didn't wait to almost tip off, we woulda got a much better number and pushed.

We slipped to 36-31-2 in the NBA this season. Such is life. We're barely keeping our head above water in the NBA.

24 November 2012

Turn a Deeper Blue

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

What a difference a week makes. Last Saturday, we began what would be known as The Streak. This week, we wobbled into this weekend on the tail end of a nasty losing streak in college football after whiffing 0-3 on Friday. I dragged everyone through the muck when I brought my personal life into the work place... and what followed was a series of bad decisions. I personally needed to step up and plug the life leaks, which meant not making as many mental errors. Those cost us big time on Friday.


College Football Sweat: Miss St -1, Louisville -10.5, Memphis -3.5, Stanford -1.5, OVER 78 Baylor/Texas Tech and OVER 79.5

I tailed a wiseguy pick with Louisville and it shit the bed. That's all I have to say about that. Usually when I tail them blind at the last second, I lose.That often happens when I lost all confidence in myself and have to rely on someone else's wisdom. I know friends do the same with us, but we cannot stress enough... do your own research but don't fall prey to "confirmation bias."
Wisdom of the Ocelot
Never tail someone's pick totally blind. You can use it as a starting point, but always do your own research.
With that said, we got a tip from @roll1967 about Memphis playing So. Miss. I checked with HAL420, who liked it too, so we pulled the trigger. That made up for the bad L'ville pick. And yes, L'ville fooked us twice this month.

In the Egg Bowl, Miss St took on Ole Miss. I must have been the only non-redneck watching that game. I drew suspicious looks from my girlfriend when I searched the farthest corner of the cable domain looking for the Egg Bowl. I found it... finally. I dunno why I stuck with Miss St after they screwed us over a couple of times in the last month. Maybe I wanted to give them one last chance to make it up. The biggest play of the game was early in the 2Q. Miss St had the ball in the Red Zone. 4th down and 2. They went for it instead of kicking a FG. If they get the first down and then score, it's a totally different dynamic in the second  half. Alas, they took a shot and missed... and Ole Miss opened up a six-pack of whoop ass in the second half.

Stanford easily manhandled UCLA. The line shoulda been at least a TD. I was a little too suspicious about the line. Something similar happened last month when Stanford took on Cal, and I was wary that it was a trap game and I passed. Not this time. We jumped on it and our only regret is that we did not double down on it!

Our big bet was the Over in Baylor/Texas Tech. We were something like 5-0 betting on Baylor's totals this year. It was the largest wager we made since Oregon. We even doubled down on Saturday morning even though we were getting a bad number, yet felt confident that the total would be mid-80s, so we had no qualms firing away. Those Big 12 teams can rack up points but can't play a lick of defense. Maybe it was also because RG3 was roaming the sidelines for his alma mater? I probably woulda skipped the second pass at the OVER if we did not have such a dreadful Saturday (0-3). The first bet was to get unstuck from Saturday and the second bet was an attempt to get profit. We shipped the mönsterbetten which more than got us unstuck. We actually turned a profit despite finishing 3-2 on the day. Martingale is sitting at the end of some dive bar and would be proud of our exploits.

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NBA Saturday: Utah -1.5, Bobkittens +3.5, OVER 188.5 Bobkittens/Wiz

If I was solely betting the NBA, I'd sit down and overhaul our system. Right now we're all distracted with the home stretch of NFL games, meanwhile we're still testing out HAL420 in the NBA realm, who has produced mediocre results. HAL420 was originally a college hoops bot that got tweaked for other sports. It's still early in the season but the goal is to get rid of any bugs in our basketball system by early 2013. We'll be done with football and can focus 100% on NBA and college hoops.

Anyway, our new operation Fade the Wiz was in full effect. They took on the upstart Bobkittens. I watched every Bobkittens game this year so I can tell you that they are deceptively good. They can't finish off games. Last year they never got into a position to win but this year they are playing three great quarters of basketball, yet freeze up in crunch time. They've played inconsistent in 4Q all season. But... they were taking on the lowly Wiz. The winless Wiz. And they were getting +3.5.

Fade the Wiz. Even though Nene was back. He was on a Starsburg-like pitch count and the coaching staff relegated him to 20 minutes of playing time. They're easing him back into the lineup. Until Nene and John Wall are both 100% you should considering fading the Wiz and jump on those overnight lines. The public has caught onto the fact that the Wiz are a shit-tacular team, so do what you can to stay a step ahead of the herd by betting that overnight line.

The Bobkittens needed OT to cover the OVER. 92-92 at the end of the 4Q. I prayed the Wiz would miss their last shot.... and they did. The game went into 2 OTs. we hit the OVER at the start of the first OT and the Bobkittens pulled away in the second OT. The Wiz remain winless. We hit two bets on that game.

Utah played at Sacramento, which was one of the worst teams in the league ATS. Except Utah forgot how to hit their free throws and trailed for most of the 4Q. Ugly night for the Jazz and we flushed that turd down the toilet. We finished up 2-1 in the NBA. Slight profit, but losing against Sacramento put me on tilt.

Overall... we got back on track after an abysmal Friday. It feels 10000% better when you follow up a terrible day with a profitable one. 3-2 and 2-1 wasn't pretty, but we hit our mönsterbetten and heading into Sunday with much more confidence.

23 November 2012

Black-Hearted Friday

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

This is Rex Ryan from Turkey Day's loss to the Pats. It sums up my Friday...

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Sometimes there's a monkey on my back and I can't get it off. I shoulda listened to my gut and only bet on a single college game all weekend, but the Friday after Thanksgiving offered up a few games and I could not resist the urge to take a pass on a couple. The monkey led me astray and the bankroll took a hit.

Friday's college football: UW -10, LSU -10.5, and Arizona -2.5

My Seattle friends and UW alums urged me to jump on the line before it went to two touchdowns... and it did. They were right. 10.5 to 14 for a Friday game? Yikes. Everyone and their mother was on UW and fading Wazzu in the Apple Cup. I usually prefer to bet the dog in "rivalry week" but Wazzu was just awful.

Of course, Wazzu waited until the 4Q to wake up and start scoring TDs. UW blew a sizable lead and that's all she wrote. I choked on a big fat apple. Oh well, we had so much value at -10.5 compared to -14 that there's nothing you can do except shrug it off.

LSU was abysmal. I watched some of that game and they shoulda blown out Arkansas... one of the bottom feeders of the SEC. HAL420 projected a 20-point blowout. It looked like LSU was shaving points to me. Too many blown tackles or missed opportunities on offense. Plus Les Miles had a chance to score a TD late to push the game over the spread... but he opted for a FG to keep it under 10. What a dick! If I ever meet Les Miles in New Orleans, I'm gonna kick him in the nuts.

Arizona was just throwing bad money after bad choices. It wasn't pretty. FUGLY. Arizona came back in the 3Q after being down most of the game and looked like they were going to pull away with a win, until ASU stormed back and that's all she wrote. 0-3 in the college for the day. Ugly. Ugly. Ugly. FUGLY. I knew I shoulda stuck with the one game I had circled a few weeks ago.... Baylor/Texas Tech.

*****

NBA Sweat: San Antonio -3.5, Knicks -4.5, and OKC -3

We only won one game in the NBA... when the Spurs came from behind in the 4Q to beat the Pacers and cover. That saved us from going a big fat donut for the day.

The Knicks were absolutely blown out by Houston after surrendering 72 points in the first half. Unreal. The Knicks had the game close and Melo was playing well until he picked up a few tickey-tack fouls. As soon as Melo went to the bench in the 2Q, Houston went on a 17-2 run and the Knicks never recovered. Looks like Linsanity got some revenge against his old team. I never finished this game and turned it off in the 3Q!

OKC surprised me. They shoulda beat Boston by ten but they were flat in the 2Q. TO Boston's credit they played well... and kept Durant/Westbrook in check in crunch time and never let either get too hot to lead a comeback.

I watched the Lakers/Memphis game instead... and my gut said fade the Lakers, but I was worried Kobe was going to get extra pumped up for the game and torch the Griz for 60+.
Meh day in the NBA. 1-2.
Wisdom of the Ocelot
Never place bets when you're angry or dealing with a wave of emotional turmoil. You will not be operating with optimal decision-making skills.

I was definitely off the mark on Friday. When I used to play a lot of online poker I had a rule... never play angry... because you'll make bad decisions. Well, I was having a bad day on Friday from the moment I woke up. Got caught up in some personal stuff. At one point I was so enraged with someone that I actually flipped over the desk in my office. Pens and manuscripts went flying everywhere. I was on life tilt most of the day and barely got any work done. I also made a few bad decisions with wagers... I simply shoulda took the night off and took a pass on everything until my head was straight.

Believe me, after that ass whopping, I snapped right out of the funk. Nothing gets your ass into gear that the harsh reality of the worst losing day I had this year. Such is the gambler's life. One day, you're riding high on a 12-game winning streak, and a week later, you're 1-5 in a miserable, depressing day that makes you feel like one of those morbidly sad rain dogs in a Tom Waits song.

*****

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I finished reading Loose Balls, an oral history of the ABA which inspired a post on Tao of Pauly... Red, White, and Blue Balls. I even posted a video to a short documentary about the ABA. Take a peek.

22 November 2012

Turkey Day and LOL-Jets

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Turkey Day. Three NFL games including the Jets. I had so much to be thankful for... so watching the Jets get dismembered and humiliated in front of the entire nation was freaking awesome.

This Mark Sanchez ass-fumble sums up the Jets...

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Yep. Fucking Sanchez. Running into someone's ass. It got so ugly on Thursday night that the fans started chanting for Tebow.

"Tebow! Tebow! Tebow! Tebow!! Tebow!!!"

You woulda thunk Skip Bayless paid off 5,000 faithful members of Gang Green to start a mutiny. He didn't have to dole out $5 bills. Several weeks of vented-up anger was being released vociferously. Even some of my girlfriend's relatives (who don't know much about football) were calling for Sanchez's head, "Why doesn't the dude in the sweater vest put in Tebow?"

If Tebow didn't hurt his ribs, I betcha Rex Ryan woulda pulled Sanchez out of sheer frustration.
Anyway, I'm sorry for the tangent. I'm not going to turn Ocelot Sports into a circle jerk for Tebow.

That's what ESPN is for.

But hey... I'm so glad we faded the Jets.
Wisdom of the Ocelot
If you're gonna be a Jets fan, always go for the emotional hedge and bet against them. Fade the Jets every time. That way you'll win enough money to cover the bar tab that you'll run up trying drown away your misery of the Jets' level of suckage.

Hey, it's a holiday, right? Turkey Day is reserved for turkey, gobble, gobble, gobble, gamboooooooooool! 3 sides. 3 totals. And a ton of biscuits.

Turkey Day action: Houston -3, Washington +3.5, Pats -6.5, OVER 48.5 Houston/Detroit, UNDER 47 Wash/Dallas, OVER 48.5 Pats/Jets

The first game on the slate was Houston/Detroit. The NFL has played a game in Detroit on Thanksgiving every year since before WWII. Holy shitballs! Too bad Detroit loses year after year after year.

I did not watch the game... I actually volunteered to work and had been up since 6am writing something for a deadline and I was covering a final table of an online poker tournament. I filed all of my work around noon and got everything done by 1pm.  I left my office and checked the score. 31-31. Are you shitting me?

31-31. Another overtime game for Houston?

Houston got lucky when Hansen shanked a FG and gave them a chance to win the game. Houston had already missed a chance to win the game in OT with a FG, and they didn't blow their second chance. Graham drilled a FG and Houston won 34-31. We were laying -3. Boooooo. Push. The way Houston played all game, we're lucky to get a push, but man... I was pulling and praying for a TD in OT.

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By the way... you'll see in the above GIF that Schaub gets kicked in the nuts by one of the dirtiest players in the league that incorrigible troublemaker Ndamukong Suh.

That Houston team likes to live on the edge, eh? Now 10-1 and #1 in the AFC. They won 2 overtime games in the last five days. Unreal. Too bad they didn't cover. Oh, and the OVER 48.5 wasn't much of a sweat only because I was working and didn't see any of the game until the start of overtime. The combined for 62 by the start of overtime and we had secured the win. Perfect way to start a 6-bet bender.

We were 1-0-1 and already ahead by the time Washington/Dallas had just kicked off.

I saw something that Dawn Summers tweeted about how the Cowboys playing the Redskins on Thanksgiving was kinda racist. Funny joke, but very disturbing on some levels. America and the NFL is all about... 1) killing thy enemy, and 2) field position.

I caught almost all of Washington/Dallas or the RG3 Bowl. Luckily the inlaws live fairly close to us in the Slums of Beverly Hills with zero traffic to West L.A. I was chowing down on appetizers while watching RG3's first touchdown drive. It would be one of many, which made the afternoon go by quickly because we were on Washington +3.5

Washington was up 28-3 at the half, but the knock against them is that they can get out to a lead, but they always blow it. Conversely, Dallas often starts out slowly and gets their shit together in the second half. Almost exactly on script, Dallas stormed back in the second half.... but came up short. RG3 and Washington held off Romo and Cowgirls. We lost a bet on the UNDER 47 and it would be the only lost wager of the day. Washington held onto win by 7 and easily covered +3.5. After two games, we were 2-1-1.

By the way, RG3 is the real deal. 4 TDs? Yep. He's totally overrated, right? Shit, I wished the Jets had RG3 instead of that assclown Sanchez. Here's a sick fake that RG3 totally sells...

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A memorable moment at the in-laws happened during the halftime of the Washington/Dallas game. The room was filled with my girlfriend's family mostly show biz types... and Kenny Chesney was introduced as the halftime entertainment. He started singing a country song (all country song are essentially life's bad beat stories). I didn't let Kenny get ten seconds into his first number before I walked over to the television and shut it off, then walked out of the room. Everyone laughed.

The late game was the Pats visiting the Jets. The Pats and Jets went into overtime earlier in the season... which surprised everyone, especially the Pats. Without fail, the Jets lost that game in OT and really set the tone for the season. It's one thing to get shutout at home against the Niners, which you can justify was a shitty performance against a defensive juggernaut, so you can throw out your worst game of the season, but losing in OT on the road against a heated division rival sucks the life out of you. The Jets were toast from that moment they had a victory snatched out of their hands in Foxboro.

I saw the LOL-Jets live in Seattle a couple weekends ago and they were lifeless, particularly their offense. I've seen shit stains with more pizazz. The Jets lunch-meat offense is just atrociously inconsistent, or most of the time it was nonexistent. They can't run. They can't pass. They can't do anything right on special teams. And don't even get me started about their inefficient red zone offense. Plus, the Jets fucked up the Tebow situation more than you'll ever know.

Just remember this... Jets' owner Woody Johnson is the heir to the Johnson & Johnson company. Every time you buy a box of band aids, you pay for Mark Sanchez's salary.

We bet the Pats -6.5 and the OVER 48.5 because we love fading the Jets. I figured the Pats would win by at least double digits. Plus, even if the Jets posted a big fat donut, the Pats are a team that... 1) could put up 50 on their own, and 2) likes to run up the score.... especially against the LOL-Jets.

We had finished dinner just before kick off and watched the first quarter. We took a short break and adjourned to the dinning room for a round of dessert and coffee/tea. We were gone for no more than ten minutes in real time. I looked in at the game and the Pats had just scored to put the score 28-0 with almost 8 minutes left in the 2Q.

Wait... what? 28-0? What the fuck, mate? 7-0? 14-0? 21-0? 28-0? All of that happened when I wasn't looking? Did someone dose me and spike my iced tea with acid? Is this real life? I know the Jets suck... but 28-0 points in three minutes? Whaaaaaaat?

Yes, it was true. My brother clued me in on a couple of fumbles from the Jets and a couple of Tom Brady bombs made it 28-0. Super glad we bet the over, eh?

The outcome was dunzo in the 2Q when the score was 35-3. The rest of the game was glorified garbage time. Everyone started whispering about Tebow. The smug announcers. The drunken fans. Everyone on Twitter. Even the dinner guests.

"Is Tebow hurt?"
"Could he play if he is?" 
"Is the crowd really chanting for Tebow?" 
"Time to bench the damn rapist!" 
"Why doesn't Ryan pull Tebow?" 
"Tebow. Tebow. Tebow. Tebow."

My girlfriend's sister went to school in Colorado so she's a huge Broncos fan... which also means she has an affinity for Tebow after witnessing some of his magic last season. She knew what Tebow could accomplish on any given Sunday.... given the chance. That's the one thing Tebow never got in a Jets uniform... a chance.

Doesn't matter if Tebow or Sanchez is under center. The Jets suck so let's just stop skirting around the issue and figure out how we can rebuild ASAP or trade Tebow and a bag of bibles to Jacksonville for Justin Blackmon.

I was having a turkey feast a stone's throw away from UCLA's campus and sitting in a room of diverse people who were united for their vehement hated of USC, which meant that they had a special disdain for USC quarterbacks, especially Mark Sanchez.

"Did you know Sanchize supposedly date-raped a passed out drunk co-ed back when he was a freshman? USC and the boosters covered it up. They paid off the girl. Gave her free tuition and tons of cash."

That was a sample of the few anti-USC stories I heard over Turkey Day dinner. I couldn't tell if they were serious or totally fucking with me.

"So which QB is your favorite again? The date rapist or the Jesus Freak?"

"Ummm..." I stammered on like a slippery politician struggling to find a "safe" answer a tough question. "My favorite Jets QB is... Eli Manning."

Good recover. Deflection with humor. The crowd ate it up. More laughs.

The USC-haters shelled me all night for being a Jets fan. A ton of guff rained down on me, which is useless because I don't give a shit. Nothing that bullies can say will ever hurt as much as the pain I endure as a Jets fan. Waking up every day as a Jets fan is extremely depressing, humiliating, and psychologically damaging. Being a Jets fan is a badge of courage because it takes balls, loyalty and heart to stick with a team so badly that you stomach atrocious seasons year after year after year, while the Giants add another championship to their trophy case. The easy part is ignoring the slings and arrows targeted at you by dickhead friends, cantankerous relatives, and mean-spirited strangers. The hard part is sitting down week after week to subject yourself to the insane butchery called the LOL-Jets.

That's why I love betting against the Jets. I get paid to be miserable.

To keep the Sanchez-haters occupied during dinner, I shared couple of conspiracy theories: a former pope who used to be a salesman for IG Farben and sold cyanide to the Nazis during WWII, Stanley Kubrick's faked moon landing and Tebow's contract with the Jets. Supposedly, Tiny Tim wasn't getting any real playing time because the Jets didn't want Tebow to play too many snaps or put up any big stats which would facilitate random bonus clauses (like snaps played or TDs) that they didn't want to pay. Yeah, it looks like the Jets are not benching Sanchez for Tebow because they are just being cheap. They forked over a shit-ton of cash to Sanchez in a contract extension, so the last thing they want to do is let Tebow grind out a bunch of playing time to lock up those bonuses.

Anyway, it was an ugly game but we won both our bets and the fans left in droves starting in the 3Q. Toward the end of the game, I noticed one fan waving with a "BYE BYE REX!" sign.

We finished the day 4-1-1 in the NFL... or 2-1 in totals and 2-1-1 in sides.

21 November 2012

Eating the Bar and Stealing Patrick Ewing's TV

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Some days you eat the bar. Some days the bar eats you.

Or something like that quote from The Big Lebowski. We went 1-4 in the NBA. It shoulda been just 1-3 but I went chasing after a loss on a game I should not have bet, but that's what happens when you're on tilt. The sad part? I was working on an assignment and didn't even see the end of either Lakers or Nets games.

Wednesday night sweat: San Antonio -1.5, Bobkittens -2.5, Atlanta -9.5, Lakers -5.5 and Brooklyn +2

We won the first game on our slate when San Antonio easily manhandled Boston in Beantown. The Celtics have been horrible ATS this year and the Spurs look solid this year, so that one was a cakewalk. We shoulda bet 4x on that single game instead of playing the other games. Less is more, right? But we found edges in a few other games so it was tough to resist the math.

We bet numbers and not teams... and HAL420 and the math indicated it was time to start backing the Bobkittens, which was a reverse of our initial plan to Fade the Bobkittens in 2012-13. It was uber-profitable last season so we wanted to continue that trend this year... except it hasn't been working out. We decided to abandon the original plan and stick with whatever HAL420 suggested. So, we found a spot... the Bobkittens at home against the lowly TorRaptors. Alas, the game was not pretty in the 4Q and we missed a shot at a cover. Fucking shitballs. Shit. Balls.

Then things got ugly. After starting 1-0, we shit the bed on the next four bets. The Bobkittens made us 1-1 for the night and it was all downholl.

Normally I don't like to lay more than a TD in pro hoops, especially on the road, but the Wizards have yet to win a game this year. We enacted a Fade the Wiz selection and went with Atlanta -9.5. That was an another ugly game. The Wiz had chances to win it in regulation and again in overtime... but they whiffed on both opportunities. The poor poor poor Wiz are still winless.

Here's the final play of the game that got waved off...

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Atlanta won, but didn't cover. That's not right. C'est la vie.

Earlier in the day, I recorded a podcast with Jesse May and I said something about fading the Lakers because... 1) the Lakers are heavily bet public team, and 2) the Lakers as a team are horrendous free throw shooters, particularly Dwight Howard.

Free throws. Free. Throws. Free. Let me say this again... free throws. They are fucking free, so take advantage of free fucking points!

So why the hell did I back the Lakers at -5.5 when I knew they couldn't hit free throws to save their lives? Well, they were playing the Sa-crap-mento Kings and the numbers indicated a blowout. Except someone fed the Kings some powerful pills because they destroyed the Lakers in the second half. Ugliness abounds. So much for the genius of D'Antoni. The offensive guru's team looked lost.

We chased bad money by throwing more bad money at it. Hence, the Brooklyn Nets. I also went against my gut and faded the Golden State Warriors, when they had been my bail out team all season. If there was ever a time to call in the wolf and bet Golden State... it was last night! Nope. We bucked tradition and tried to shake things up by listening to the math.

Had I stuck with my gut, I would have... 1) faded the Bobkittens, 2) passed on a -9.5 spread, 3) faded the Lakers, and 4) bet Golden State. We woulda been 4-0 had I listened to my gut.

The gut beats math on most days.

Overall in the NBA we slipped to 32-26-2.

*****

Check out this hysterical story about the time Jalen Rose stole Patrick Ewing's TV...


20 November 2012

Melo Elbows

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

We only bet one game. The Knicks.

Some of our crew liked the Lakers playing Brooklyn in L.A., but I was dead set on the Knicks. I bet them -6 on the overnight line. The spread opened at 5.5 and moved to 6.5 in the morning and then late afternoon word got out that #1 pick and rookie stud the Unibrow was going to sit out with sore ankle and the line moved to 7 and then 7.5.

It wasn't much of a game. New Orleans held on for the 1Q and then the Knicks tried to pull away in the 2Q. At one point, they tried to get a little rough and Melo got a little "playground" on everyone by flailing a few elbows.

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 In the second half, the Knicks pulled away courtesy of efficient three point shooting. The Knicks drilled 14 treys and Ray Felton dropped five. Melo put up 29 points and Felton/J.R. Smith combined for 30. For NOLA, We didn't get to see the Unibrow, but rookie Austin Rivers (Doc's offspring) played somewhat impressive.

The Knicks are now 8-1 and they won by 22 points. I was worried about covering 6! Melo made it look easy. I mean, are the Knicks really this good? Probably not. But hey, they're a shit-ton better than I expected. I thought they'd struggle to stay above .500 and win 45 games. Most impressive? The Knicks did this without Amare.

We're now 31-22-2 in the NBA.

*****

Two weird incidents in the sporting world which I found out through Twitter.... 1) Macho Comacho was shot in Puerto Rico and rumors swirled that he had died, and 2) some kid named "Jack Taylor" dropped 138 points for Grinnell (it's in Iowa) against some Bible College.

Macho was one of those fighters I only knew about because back int he 80 it seemed like he was fighting some random palooka every month in some bloody battle. Anyway, seems like something weird happened in Puerto Rico... a drive-by shooting of sorts... and Macho was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The 138 story reeked... it seemed fake... like one of those wacky internet hoaxes like Stanley Kubrick admitting to faking the landing through The Shining. Anyway, even the kid's name sounded fake... Jack Taylor. Didn't his dad play catcher for the Indians... twice?

Once ESPN started reported the 138 points, it must've be legit, right? I tried to watch some of the game "on demand" but it looks like the school's server was overloaded by other curious folks who also stumbled upon the peculiar story. I eventually got it to load and watched some of the game. It was super sloppy at times and Taylor scored a ton of points but he missed a ton of three-pointers too.

Supposedly, Grinnell runs a crazy offense called "The System" in which they hoist up a three-point shot as soon as they get the ball over the court. They also run a relentless full press court and give up a ton of fast breaks, but they prefer a rapid-fast pace because they'll gladly give up 2 because they will get 3 right back. By looking at the box score, everyone on Grinnell logs minutes. It's almost like a hockey team that runs out line shifts of five new players every forty-five seconds. It would have been fun to play on a run-like-an-antelope team like Grinnell. We ran the "flex" in high school and it wasn't as sexy as this insane turbo-speedy-run-and-gun corn-fed white-boy offense from Iowa.

19 November 2012

Safety Dance

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Back to normalcy, which means you lose by a fucking safety.

Such is life. Sometimes you have the world by its balls, and the next, it has you by the gonads.

Monday Night Football. Battle of backup QBs. Kaepernick looked a thousand times more comfortable than Jason Campbell. The score reflected the transitions of backups; for the Niners and Kaepernick, it was smooth... but for Bears and Campbell, he struggled, stumbled, and looked totally lost. We shoulda bet the Niners at home. But the UNDER looked like the safe bet. Both teams had two of the best defenses in the league and they were facing backup QBs. Points would be hard to come by, right?

Well, it was hard to score for the Bears, yet the Niners scored at will.

What ever happened to the Bears D that scored all those points off INTs? The Super Bears looked... human. They didn't make any big plays. They looked tired. That happens when their offense goes three and out time after time after time.

The score was 30-7. We had the UNDER 38. All both teams had to do was just sit on the ball... running out the clock. The Bears were having such a horrible day that they gave up a safety in the 4Q. Safety. A fucking safety. Two fucking points. The final was 32-7. We lost by a point.

Here's a Niners superfan jamming out at Candlestick park... another acid casualty who ate waaaay too much of Owlesy's sunshine back in the 60s.

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NBA Monday Sweat: Milwookie -4.5, Indiana -2.5, Houston +8

We had a pair of Fades going on. One good. The other ugly. The Wiz have yet to win a game. Tickets for the game in Washington were selling for 39 cents! Despite Indiana struggling in the last week or so, we couldn't pass up a chance to Fade the Wiz. David West had a monster game and they covered. That was our only winner of the night.

Time for us to stopping Fading the Bobkittens. We're 4-4 this year. The fucking Milwookie Bucks blew a double digit lead and let the Bobkittens back into the game. Milwookie was down by two and got the ball back for a shot at putting the game in overtime. That was our only chance to cover.... by pushing the game into OT. But... Milwookie took a three and missed. Game over.

Houston, with a sick James Harden, struggled in the second half... and it wasn't pretty. Linsanity missed 10 shots and the entire team was way off the mark. They were down by 20 and came close but lost by 11. We were getting +8... and came up short. That sucked ass. We finished 1-2 for the day. Meh.

*****

Here's an interesting perspective about teams that get stuck with terrible owners... specifically how the Buss family is on a collision course to ruin the Lakers.

And this is Jalen Rose dishing about the high-stakes poker games held on private planes during NBA road trips...

18 November 2012

The Streak, Cadillac Rainbows, and Lots of Spaghetti

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Streaks come and go. You win some. You lose some.

Every once in a while, you catch a Halley's Comet-like streak and experience something outta this world that comes around once in a lifetime for most people. Whenever a rare moment like that happens, you have to hold on for dear life and surf that magical tidal wave for as long as you can before the ride is over and you come crashing down. And when you eventually crash, you pray that you don't get sucked into the undertow and drown.

Whatever goes up... must come down. It's the law of gravity and sports betting.

On Saturday, we snapped an embarrassing losing streak in college football (see yesterday's post titled "Sometimes It Rains"). When you go 0-4... then 0-5... then 0-6 (which we were since cashing the monsterbetten on Oregon), you immediately lose faith in yourself, and second guess everything and everyone. Logic falls out the window and paranoia strikes deep. In those dark and despondent moments, you have no choice but to take a step back to re-evaluate everything. In the modern era of instant stats, you can often over-analyze a situation and incorporate too many statistics. Information overload!

We went for a zen-like approach of clearing the mind and embracing simplicity. We returned to the A-B-C basics of handicapping and busted our slump. Most importantly, we got our mojo back... which was vital heading into Saturday night with four NBA games on our slate, and at least 6 NFL games on Sunday offering up favorable edges. We picked the best possible time to regain my confidence. There was free money out there ready to be plucked away... but only if I had the balls to go out and get it.

We were en fuego... 11-0 (combined NBA and NFL) going into Sunday Night Football. Due to a weird situation with Big Ben's injuries (see last week's post titled  "The Curious Case of Byron Leftwich"), the line on Baltimore jumped from +3.5 to -3. We got +3.5 in on Monday nigh just before they bookies took the game off the board when word got out about Big Ben's shoulder/rib issues. Our crew was conflicted over taking Pitt +3, or trying to sweep with Balt -3. In the end... we decided that Byron Leftwich was way too rusty and that the outcome would come down to Joe Fucking Flacco stepping up against the iron-clad Steelers' defense.

11-0. Those double digit streaks happen once every four or five years. You have to go way back to March Madness 2008 for my last mega-streak, when I went to Vegas with my brother and Senor, and we hung out with Miami Don at Red Rock for the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games. We had tons of fun that trip, mostly because I was in the middle of a double digit heater and we got schwasted during a four-day bender.

Our current streak began on Saturday night. With all the college football picks in (and finishing up 2-2), we eyed a quartet of evening NBA games. We swept them. All of them. 4-0. Helluva way to end the day! I had to work late and woke up late on Sunday, but we went 4-0 in the morning games. We had only one cakewalk (Cincy -3), but on three close close close games (GB -3, TB -1 and Cleveland +9.5) and two of those were decided in overtime. The afternoon games went much smoother (New Orleans -4.5 and OVER 53.5 Pats/Colts) and we went to 6-0 in the NFL. We had only one NBA game on our radar and Brooklyn covered. We improved to 7-0 for the day overall or 11-0 in the last two evenings.

Holy shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!We were all thrilled to go 8-0. Never expected to hit ten in a row, let alone 11.
It's all downhill from there, right?

Would the streak continue, or get thwarted by Sunday Night Football? Baltimore at the Pittsburgh Bumble Bees. If Baltimore won by 4 or more, we'd go 13-0.

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Pittsburgh wore their throwback uniforms once again. Al Michaels called them a cross between "bumble bee pajamas" and "prison uniforms." My girlfriend was horrified at the matching black and canary yellow stripe socks.

The Bumble Bees stung first and got off to a 7-0 start. Baltimore was in the hole and I had yet to finish dinner and settle into the game on my couch. Baltimore answered with a FG, and then added a dazzling Jacoby Jones punt return for a TD to make it 10-7. At the start of the 2Q, I hurled cuss words at Baltimore's kicker when he shanked a FG attempt. He could put them up by 6.... yet it remained a three point game.

Both teams traded FGs in the 3Q. It was 13-10 heading into the 4Q. Joey Flacco had yet to throw a TD. In fact he had the same amount of yardage (153 yards) as Byron Leftwich. Flacco was due for a big play, but he struggled to pick apart the  Bumble Bees' gritty defense.

Going into the last five minutes, Baltimore was up by 3... but they could not get in a spot to get any insurance points. Baltimore had the ball facing 3rd and 2 on a couple of instances, and both times they opted for pass plays instead of handing the ball off to Ray Rice and letting him rumble through the trenches for the first down. Nope. Flacco threw an incomplete pass on one and got sacked on the other.

The Bumble Bees got the ball back with a minute left. Crappy field position, but it was up to Leftwich to lead his team to the promised land... or the least... into FG range.

Big Ben's backup faltered. Dreams crushed. Comeback? Never happened.

Baltimore won 13-10. We shipped the +3.5 bet, however, we pushed the -3 wager and slipped to 12-0-1.

Streak over. Dunzo.

Or is it? Johnnie insists it's still on. We pushed a single bet and haven't lost... so technically he has a valid point. I appreciate his sentiment, but in my eyes, the streak halted at 12.

Heck, 12 in a row is one of the most memorable runs I've ever had spread out over two pro sports. 12-0-1 over a 13 game stretch inside of a 30+ hour time frame? Outstanding performance that touts could only dream about selling. I'd love to replicate a sizzling streak like that every time... but it's never that easy. Blind luck? Dumb luck? Who cares.

We finished "Halley's Comet Sunday" with a 7-0-1 record in the NFL. In the last three weeks, we've found a terrific rhythm in the NFL and went 16-5-1 (which breaks down to 11-2 on sides and 4-3-1 on totals). We're ecstatic about those much-improved results after a rocky start with a shit-tastic record of 17-15-3. Around Halloween, we had a meeting and tweaked a few things with HAL420. Ergo, we got our proverbial shit together. Let's hope it lasts the rest of the year.

Okay, this is a total side tangent, but did you see sickest catch of the day? A.J. Green. Love the guy. Cincy's #1 wideout had been hooking me up with at least one TD a week in fantasy football.

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Moving on...

We had only one NBA play on Sunday: Brooklyn -3.

The bet I wish we made? The UNDER in Indy/Knicks. I woke up too late to get it in because finished up a deadline around 2:30am and didn't fall asleep until 5am. I woke up after tip off (9am PT) and forgot to set an alarm. Those early-riser games at Noon ET scheduled on the weekends are rough for me, let alone NBA guys who are accustomed to playing in prime time games.
Wisdom of the Ocelot
When NBA teams are playing at noon on the weekends, look at betting the UNDER, especially West Coast teams because they are not used to playing so early.

Bookies factor in the "west coast teams traveling east" into football point spreads and most of the betting public is aware of that trend, but I don't think the public pays as close attention to that rare situation for NBA games. Anyway, betting trend totally blind is not the best way to make a buck, but if you can find a good number, then there's inherent value in betting the UNDER in noon NBA games.

Anyway, the Knicks bounced back after losing to Memphis the other night. 7-1? Not too shabby for Melo and company. They did all of that without Amare. I know... I know... Amare, who?
Our only wager? Brooklyn laying -3 in Sacramento, which seemed like a gift from the offshore bookies. Free money. Who among us doesn't like cherry picking NBA games off a slate of 8 or so games? We faded Sacramento because their coach Keith Smart ain't so smart. The game was not much of a sweat and only made me anxious for a few minutes at the end of the 3Q, when Brooklyn coughed up a big lead and Sacramento  got within 2. That's as close as they'd get. Brooklyn shut the door and won by nine.

I watched the Brooklyn game on via NBA Season Pass and got to scout some of the OKC/Golden State game. NBA Pass is my new favorite toy. The Brooklyn game was perfectly scheduled in between the afternoon NFL games and  Sunday Night Football.
After a 4-0 clip on Saturday, we're riding high with a 5-0 streak.
MLB: 22-11
NBA: 29-20-2
NFL: 33-20-4
College Football: 22-17

17 November 2012

Sometimes It Rains

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

It's been raining all day. That's rare for Southern California. How rare? The last time USC and UCLA played each other in the rain was back in the early 60s. Holy shit that's almost a half-a-century.

In the immortal words of Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh: "Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains."

Saturday college football: USC -3, Miss St -7, OVER 74 KSU/Baylor, OVER 65 Oregon/Stanford

Yes, we made a wager on USC-UCLA. Don't ask me why, aside from the fact that I tailed a pick from a trusted source. It was a game I'd normally ignore especially because I don't like betting on a team that spawned Mark Sanchez and Matt Lienart. I usually prefer to fade USC, but in this instance we backed them -3. It was ugly. Fugly. Although USC got close and got within 3 (which would've set up a perfect game winning TD that would help us cover 3), but then choked on the ensuing drive and let UCLA waltz into the endzone.

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We split both OVER total bets. At halftime, I was ready to tear up both tickets. Somehow, Baylor opened up a six pack of whoop ass and unleashed an offensive flurry. They upset Kansas State and in the process hit the OVER 65. We needed that backdoor cover since Oregon-Stanford were bogged down in a defensive struggle. They were tied at 14-14 at the end of regulation and needed overtime to determine the outcome.

And how about Mississippi State? We loved them in the first few weeks of the season, but they burned us in consecutive weeks and we stopped backing them. However, Arkansas is just plain ass. HAL420 suggested that was going to be a blowout and we bet the game on Monday morning. Except... I totally forgot about it too until we saw the winning wager show up in our account! Ooooops. The line closed at -5. Had I known we were on Miss St and saw the line move 2 points in our favor, we probably woulda doubled down on them.

Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains. Sometimes you forget you made a bet and it wins.

That "forgotten" bet actually snapped a losing streak. We were something like 0-6 since the monstrous Oregon bet from a few weeks ago. We desperately needed a slump buster, which is why we jumped on Miss St (more so fading Arkansas) when I saw the opening lines.

We finished up 2-2 for the day in college football. Normally I'd be irked at a 2-2 day but considering we snapped the longest losing streak of the year, I'll gladly walk away with a moral victory.

*****

NBA action: Utah -3, Memphis -5.5, UNDER 199 Dallas/Clev, UNDER 202 Miami/PHX

We swept the NBA. Wow. How fucking cool is that? Whenever I win a big bet, or sweep a series of bets, I get pretty excited and run around my apartment like I'm getting down and dirty on the set of Soul Train.


Best part of the NBA action? I did not sweat a single game. I pulled double duty and had two work assignments on Saturday evening. I barely watched football, let alone any hoops. So it was very cool to get word from my girlfriend that I had won all four NBA bets.

We originally made three picks, but we discovered LeBron had the sniffles and was under the weather for the game in Phoenix. Miami was already going to be without D-Wade as he sat out another game with a bum foot, so we opted for an UNDER wager. Even if Lebron played, the Heat were taking on the worst team in the West and we expected a low scoring affair. That's exactly what happened... sort of. The total went under 202 and that's all you need to know.

HAL420 selected the UNDER 199 in Dallas/Cleveland. That covered by a point! Holy shit.... had I been sweating that game, I would have had a heart attack.

We went 2-0 in NBA totals, which has been a not-so-good category for us. At least we improved to 7-6 in totals.

We embarked on two missions: Fade the Bobkittens and Fade the Wiz. That's why we went with Memphis and Utah.

Utah was playing on back-to-back nights and we lost backing them the previous night, so we wanted to get our money back. They were playing a struggling Wiz that had yet to win a game. Utah won by 7 and the Wiz are still winless.

Memphis did an excellent job dismantling the Knicks on friday night. They looked so good that I didn't care that they were playing on consecutive nights. We backed them against those Bobkitties, who were giving us some problems. We were only 3-3 fading them this year so you can only imagine how much sweeter it tasted to win that wager.

4-0 in the NBA? Doesn't happen very often, but when it does, it's a glorious feeling. Just yesterday, I was lamenting over my lackluster handicapping skills and vowed to do a better job by tightening up our system and plugging those leaks. So it feels wonderful to go back to basics then bounce back with a profitable  day.

Overall, we're 28-20-2 in the NBA or (21-14-2 with the spreads).

16 November 2012

Hawaii Covers and the Knicks Finally Lose

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I started a 10-day work project the other night, which makes it a little tough to sweat all the games I want to watch. But sometimes, not sweating a game is the way to go because if you win the bet, it's like free money falling out of the sky. But if you lose the bet, you don't feel like puking because you did not watch it live.

That's what happened on Friday night. We went 2-2 in the NBA and 0-1 in college football. I normally would be punching holes in my wall, but in this instance, I shrugged it off and scrambled to find Saturday's schedule.

So... Friday night college football... we've been on a horrid losing streak ever since the huge Oregon win a couple weeks ago. I shoulda went with my gut and shut down college football for good because I knew we were just going to give all of it back. But we didn't... and kept betting college football.

We tailed a wiseguy pick: Air Force -21.5 against Hawaii. I mean, no one in the right mind backs either team unless they are a 1) degenerate sports bettor, or 2) professional gambler. Sometimes I wonder if both of those categories intersect each other. At any rate, we jumped on Air Force  because Hawaii struggled to score. Alas, Air Force won 21-7 bit failed to cover. Actual HAL420 was correct in that game... and projected Hawaii would lose by only 2 TDs instead of 3+. Maybe we should take HAL420 out of the dog house?

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Friday NBA action: Knicks +6, Jazz +1, OKC -6, and OVER 190 ATL/Sac

We had four plays on Friday and only got to sweat one of them. The Jazz shit the bed. Dunno why they couldn't squeeze out a win against the lowly Sixers?

The Knicks ended their 6-0 run and finally lost a game. They were in it for the first half against Memphis... and it was a heated first half... with the intensity of a playoff game. JR Smith threw a few elbows at Bayless and who woulda thunk that Rasheed Wallace would be the peacemaker and be the coolest head on the court when the shit hit the fan? Unfortunately for the Knicks, they imploded in the 3Q and could never recover. They made a run in the 4Q, but that run fizzled out and we lost any hopes at a backdoor cover when the Knicks lost by 10. Memphis looked good... very good. I was writing at the time, so I didn't get to see the second half ugliness.

After starting 0-2, we won the next two. OKC easily covered and won by 15. Easy money. I wished it was always that easy.

In the Atlanta/Sacramento game, I was kicking myself for not taking Atlanta in that spot. At least both teams scored at a decent clip and we secured the OVER to break even for the day (thanks to reduced juice Fridays, we lost a little less to the house).

Overall in the NBA, we slipped to 24-20-2. That's kinda embarrassing and we have to go back in and tweak the system. At the same time, we personally feel that less is more... and we should be making less plays per day and going big on the single play we like. Easier said than done. Less is more, eh?

P.S. Mitch Albom is a fucking moron. Good job by Drew Magary for taking Mitch behind the shed in his piece: Mitch Albom Is the Meat in baseball's Dumb Fuck Stew.

15 November 2012

Eurotrash Dildos and Knicks 6-0

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Thursday Night Football! Not so exciting. Two atrociously shitacular AFC East teams... ironically neither named the Jets.... hard to imagine that, right? Miami at Buffalo. Talk about flipping cow turds. I'm glad I had to work on an assignment so I didn't have to witness that shitshow.

I went with Buffalo in my pick'em pools only because they were the home team. I didn't back either side of futility, even Miami getting points because that seemed utterly hopeless.
Wisdom of the Ocelot
When two shitty teams are playing each other on a nationally televised game... bet the UNDER.
Yep, we heeded the sagely Ocelot and went for the UNDER 45. After seeing the first quarter score... 13-7... I was shitting bricks. On pace for 80 fucking points?

Not to fear. Both teams were horrible so neither could put up more than a touchdown in the next three quarters. Final score 19-14. Yep that's 33 points and waaaaaaay under. Ship it. Felt awesome to finally win a totals bet in the NFL. We've been struggling with getting the right sides all season.

The football game was our big bet of the night. We skipped college sports and just stuck with a trio of games in the NBA.

Thursday NBA action: UNDER 192 Brooklyn/Boston , Knicks +5.5, Denver -3

Felt great about the UNDER in the Nets/Celtics game because Rondo was sitting out. The damn computer HAL420 simulator spit out a total in the mid 180s. Thought we had an outside chance in the last minute... but never happened. Fucksticks on the fucking Nets couldn't play defense and blew it. 0-1 to start the night.

But then... the impossible continued to be possible. The Amare-less Knicks won again. 6-0 to start the season after toppling the mighty San Antonio Spurs. Yep, the Knicks went deep in the heart of Texas and whooped the Spurs in the shadows of the Alamo. Melo had an off night, but the bench carried the team with J.R. Smith shouldering the bulk of the scoring load, and old man Rasheed Wallace getting some actual playing time (without getting into verbal fisticuffs with Spurs announcer and provocateur Sean Elliot), but it was Jason Kidd, who stepped it up with a sensational shooting spree in crunch time to put the Knicks ahead for good.

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Kidd threw a monkey wrench in the plans of the Spurs. Hey, he's old... older than me... which is old for the NBA... but every once in a while, a former star like Kidd can still bring it. He doesn't have to do it every night, but he stepped up when the Knicks needed someone to hit some clutch shots with the game on the line.

The Knicks covered +5 and are 6-0 S/U and ATS. Unreal. They are playing like a legitimate Top 3 team from the East. More importantly, they pulled us even in hoops at 1-1.

The Knicks are 6-0 to start the season? The only undefeated team in the NBA? In the immortal words of Clay Davis... "Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!"


The Denver/Miami game was going to determine if the night was awesome, or if it was meh. I was leaning Denver -3 and the UNDER 202 because...
1) Miami was on the road playing back-to-back nights.
2) Miami was playing in the mile-high altitude of Denver.
3) Colorado now has legal weed, so all the groupies were hooking up Miami players with Colorado's phinest herbs in the shire.
4) Dwyane Wade was going to sit out with a foot injury.
5) We backed Miami -1 the previous night against the Clippers and lost, so we want fucking revenge!
We skipped the under because Miami's defense blows, so I estimated a 100+ from both teams. The play would have been the over then, but I got gun shy. Instead, we went with Denver -3. We had faith in a home team against a team on the shit end of a back-to-back.

I missed most of the game because of a deadline. I finished with about 4:20 left in the game. Denver was down by 5, but on the verge of a wicked comeback. They got close.... so very close... but Kenneth Faried almost gave me a heart attack with some missed free throws, but it was an ex-Knick who made me want to punch a hole in the wall.

Down 1 point, that fucking clown Galinari aka the Italian Rooster chucked up a three on a fast break. BIG FUCKING AIRBALL! He missed and that was the last real chance the Nugs had to win. The airball sucked the life out of me. I could feel a migraine erupting just below the surface of my forehead. The game was over. The Nugs lost. Miami won. We lost our wager.

Welcome to my shit list, you fucking Eurotrash dildo.

We finished the night ahead after a 1-0 big bet in NFL but a bitter 1-2 in the hoops realm. Overall in the NBA, we slipped to 22-18-2.