Monday, January 11, 2016

2016 NBA Betting Tips – NBA Betting Update

It was a good week for the frontrunners in both the Eastern and Western Conferences, with the first-place Cleveland Cavaliers entering Friday riding a five-game winning streak, and both Golden State and San Antonio also went undefeated last week. Golden State has won four straight while San Antonio has won six games in a row. Cavs and Warriors maintained their small but comfortable leads in the standings, with Cleveland 2.5 games better than second-place Chicago and Golden State three games better than the Spurs.

Division standings aren’t mentioned often, as most of the attention goes to standings within each conference. However, there are two divisions that are doing far better than the rest in terms of top-to-bottom quality. In the Eastern Conference, the Central Division has four teams currently slated in playoff position, and all four of those teams have at least 20 wins (just three teams in the other two conferences with at least 20 victories).

Over in the Western Conference, the Southwest Division also has four teams that are currently in line for a postseason berth, with the other two division having just two playoff teams each. This is an important piece of information to use when handicapping NBA games, as teams in the weaker divisions tend to look better than they really are. Likewise, a team like Detroit that is in fourth place in their division looks weaker than they really are – as they are still better than other teams that are in second place in their division. It’s no surprise then that the Pistons are the sixth-best ATS team in the league, going 20-15-1 at the betting window.

Betting on basketball has much to do with public perception – you’re not going to find many chances to get good line value backing one of the elite teams like the Warriors, Spurs, Cavs, or Thunder. And more than any other sport, the NBA’s betting lines are driven by individual star players more so than the team. For example, if LeBron James was going to sit out a game for rest purposes, the line could move five points or more. These line moves are usually an overreaction, and some star players carry more weight than others.

Kobe Bryant is in the downside of his career, although you wouldn’t know it by his All-Star votes. But because Bryant is still a star player, the Lakers have not had good line value this season even with their poor straight up record. LA is one of the worst ATS teams in the league this year, going 16-21 against the spread for a total loss of 7.1 units overall.

The Spurs have surged to a commanding lead as the best ATS team in the NBA this season, going 26-11 ATS for 13.9 units of profit. That’s an insane 70% ATS winning percentage, and they have earned more than double the profit of second-best Golden State (6.7 units of profit). Expect this online sportsbook to make it even harder for the Spurs to cover the spread, and for San Antonio’s ATS winning percentage to drop in the near future.
We’ll be back next week with another NBA betting update.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

CFB Betting – College Football Playoffs

The nature of college football is always controversial, as unlike any other sport the National Championship is based largely on opinion rather than on the field of play. College Football aimed to improve that, installing a new four-team playoff last season.

This year, we agree with the CFP committee in choosing Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State, and Oklahoma, as those were the four most deserving teams. However, being deserving is not the same as being the best. While Clemson is deserving of the #1 overall ranking and seeding, they are not the best team in the country and the online sportsbook obviously agree as the Tigers are an underdog against fourth-seeded Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

In fact, we don’t even think Clemson is among the FOUR best teams in the country, as we believe Ohio State is far superior based on the eye test. But as it stands, this game sets up as a trap line by the linesmaker, with many novice college football bettors grabbing the points with the top-ranked Tigers while more experienced bettors are laying the three points with Oklahoma.

What we don’t agree with is how the four teams were seeded. Oklahoma was given the #4 ranking but is arguably more deserving than both Michigan State and Alabama to be seeded higher. The Sooners look the best of the top four teams over the past month and have better wins than both the Spartans and Crimson Tide. In fact, Alabama is ranked second primarily because of their conference, but as we’ve touched on numerous times this season the SEC is vastly overrated and was not the best conference in the country this year.

Even on an international level, a korean sportsbook lists Alabama as a big 9.5 point favorite against Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl – already down a half-point from the opening number of -10. Crimson Tide have several question marks in their passing game, and they won’t be able to rely on their running attack against one of the best rush defenses in the country. We only need to go back a few weeks to MichiganState’s upset win at Ohio State to prove you need to throw the ball in order to beat the Spartans, and MSU is also equipped offensively to do some damage against Alabama’s secondary. Michigan State is only +300 on the moneyline – a low number considering this high point spread, which indicates an outright win by the Big Ten champions isn’t out of the question.

The winners of these two games will meet in the National Championship Game, and the online sportsbooks once again believe Alabama has the best chance at hoisting the trophy. Crimson Tide are listed at -125 to win it all, followed by Oklahoma at +200, Clemson at 4:1 and Michigan State the biggest longshot at 5:1.

Friday, September 18, 2015

College Football Betting – Week 3 Betting Lines

A couple of ranked teams face tough road tests on Thursday and Friday before the big Saturday College Football slate. #11 Clemson is a six-point favorite at Louisville while #9 Florida State is a 7.5-point road favorite at Boston College. Laying the points with both favorites looks appealing, with Louisville already 0-2 this year while BC has yet to face an FBS foe and should be unprepared for this level of competition.

The real fun happens on Saturday with a number of marquee matchups. The SEC took a big hit last weekend with three teams dropping out of the Top 25 and another team, Auburn, needing overtime to get past FCS Jacksonville State at home.

Auburn dropped all the way down to #18 in the AP Poll and has an incredible hard game this Saturday as they travel to #13 LSU. Despite little separation in the polls, the online sportsbook (()) list LSU as a sizeable 6.5-point home favorite. Auburn was a similarly-priced 6.5-point home favorite last year in this meeting, and crushed LSU by a blowout 41-7 winning margin.

Another big SEC matchup this week according to most college football betting website, pits second-ranked Alabama at home against #15 Mississippi. This is a big revenge spot for the Crimson Tide, as Ole’ Miss was the only team to beat Alabama in the regular season last year. Bama is a seven-point home choice with the added benefit of playing this game at night, which usually results in an even bigger home crowd advantage.

While those ranked teams face stiff competition, other highly-ranked teams have it pretty easy this week. In the Big Ten, #1 Ohio State and #24 Wisconsin are both favored by 34.5 points. Michigan State moved up to #4 in the rankings ((and even received two first place votes) after a big win vs. Oregon last Saturday night, and are 26.5-point favorites against triple-option Air Force.

As big as those CFB betting lines are, that’s not even close to the Oregon Ducks, who are a massive 45.5-point favorite against Georgia State. The next biggest line has TCU favored by 37.5 points against SMU, and they may cover that number as they look to beat the 35-point winning margin Baylor laid on the Mustangs two weeks ago.

Perhaps the most intriguing game of the weekend sees #14 Georgia Tech as a three-point road favorite at South Bend against the #8-ranked Fighting Irish. Notre Dame lost their starting quarterback for the seasonlast week, and if that wasn’t troubling enough they face what is widely considered as the best triple-option offense in all of college football.
We’ll be back next week to look at the high profile games for Week 4 of the College Football season.

Friday, August 14, 2015

PGA Championship Betting Preview

The question of IF Rory McIlroy has been answered – he has declared himself fit to defend his title after being out for more than a month with an ankle injury. Now the question centers on how effective he will be with that time off.
If you believe McIlroy, he believes his ankle is better than ever and this onlinesportsbook has responded by having him as the second choice to win it all at +650.

The favorite remains Jordan Spieth at +375, who has already won two majors this year. Dustin Johnson and Jason Day at +800, and Bubba Watson, who was an early 25:1 longshot, is all the way up to +925.

Phil Mickelson finished second last year, and like Watson was an early 25:1 longshot to win. His recent poor play has actually dropped his odds, and he is currently a big +3250 underdog to win it all.
This tournament really hinges on the top two players, however, and all eyes will be on McIlroy early to see how the injury and time off has, if at all, hurt his swing. Not only did he win this tournament last year, but he also won in 2012. Spieth obviously has the hot hand and has had a tremendous overall season where it seems foolish to bet against him at this point.

The last time the PGA Championship was held here in Whistling Straits, Marin Kaymer was the winner, with Bubba Watson coming in second (thus the surge on PGA bettors backing him). Kaymer is listed at 30:1, almost entirely because of his performance here in 2010.

There are different strategies to betting on golf, and while we normally employ the strategy of backing a few longshots and hoping for a big payoff, the recent surge of Bubba Watson’s odds has us staying away from that theory here. Spieth and McIlroy are deservingly the heavy favorites and more likely than not, one of those two players will emerge victorious.

Instead of backing a longshot, we would recommend playing some PGA matchup wagers. The online sportsbooks offer moneyline odds for two golfers against each other, regardless of where they finish overall. This is where we will look to back Bubba Watson, staying away from the bad line value in backing him to win it all.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Tour de France Betting Update

After Saturday’s Stage 14 run, we are a little bit past the halfway mark of the 2015 Tour de France, with the favorite Chris Froome making good on the online sportsbook choice to have him as 2:1 favorite at the start.

Froome is starting to build his lead, and with two more hilly stages prior to Tuesday’s off day, then the grueling mountain stages coming up next, it looks like Froome is well on his way to winning it all.

It hasn’t been easy for the leader, who has been dealing with public perception problems related to doping. Apparently, after the mess Lance Armstrong left behind, everyone is guilty of doping until proven innocent.

Froome agreed to undergo independent testing after the Tour de France is completed, but that wasn’t enough for one fan who threw a cup of urine at him Saturday.

Despite the distractions, Froome now leads the pack by 3 minutes and 10 seconds, but perhaps more important in terms of betting is the fact that Tejay van Garderen struggled late and fell out of second place.

Van Garderen was a 33:1 longshot at prior to Day 1 – the best odds of any American rider. There are two long stages Sunday and Monday before the rest day – covering 183 km and 201 km. Showing signs of fatigue this early is not a good sign for the American.

The new second-place rider is Nairo Quintana – one of the top four favorites. Not sure if he will be able to catch up to Froome, but we’ll likely get a good idea of those chances during the mountain stages in the middle of next week.

Quintana is currently listed at a 13:2 payout if he can overtake Froome, but the leader is a comfortable favorite at the online sportsbooks, with a cycling bettor needing to lay $1,000 in order to show a $100 profit.