Tag Archives: Euroleague

Game 7 & a Final

Morning all we have an excellent day’s worth of basketball ahead of us:

Euroleague Final

If you don’t know what the Euroleague is, it’s basically like the Champions league for basketball. On Friday in the semis, Olympiacos beat CSKA, and Real Madrid, who are hosting beat Fenerbahce. So today, first up CSKA play Fenerbahce in the 3rd place playoff. 3rd place playoffs are pretty boring in every sport. The players don’t want to be there, but they are good for two things; backing the underdog if the odds are too long, check. And backing unders if the line is too low, check.

After that the Final is on with Real Madrid with HCA playing Olympiacos. I tweeted on Friday that I was backing Olympiacos to beat CSKA. The odds were way too low considering the final 4 format is such a crapshoot. A game of basketball is quite a random event, even more so when its a 40 minute, single game elimination where the pressure’s ramped up to 11. As a result Olympiacos, who are a good but not great team, have got to the final 3 out of the last 4 years, where they have been a heavy underdog. If they needed to win another playoff series to get to the final, it’s much more unlikely that that would have happened.

Real Madrid are the low priced favourite at 1.35 (-285 US), and are -7.5 on the spread. I’d prefer backing Olympiacos at +7.5 rather than outright, I feel it’s going to be close and low scoring but that Real Madrid will win. The points total is 154.5, despite Real having an average total of 163 at home this season. Olympiacos will try to lower the pace and minimise the number of possessions, otherwise they could get blown out.

Clippers at Rocket game 7

After the Euroleague final, the big lads are playing in America, with a Game 7 baby! I haven’t seen much of this series so far and many have been saying that it hasn’t been very entertaining. In fact eye witness reports have described it as being “dog ugly” and “sucking a fat one”. But I’m stubbornly looking forward to it nonetheless!

Despite having HCA, Houston are the underdog here at 2.25 (+125), and -2.5 on the spread. This is the first time, out of 92 game 7s, where the home team is the underdog…and I still wouldn’t fancy backing Houston! In a pressure situation would you trust a coach like McHale, or the mental fortitude or the ability to think clearly under pressure of James Harden or Dwight Howard? Of course not! I wouldn’t trust Dwight Howard to spell his own name correctly under pressure. Like the Euroleague final I’ll watch the game and wait if there’s anything I like the look of in-play with the moneyline or spread. With the points totals I’ve had a little bit of under 220.5.

Losing Streak

A couple posts ago I wrote the best post this blog has ever seen; about my NBA bets. I mentioned that basketball is my favourite sport to watch, and to bet on. Unfortunately my recent basketball bets haven’t been very good. I’ll be honest with you, they’ve been ball-breakingly bad. I’m currently in the mist of my worst losing streak betting on hoops. I’ve gone 4-22, which includes a losing streak of 10.

There’s been a couple of gut-wrenchingly bad beats along the way, including:

  • Charlotte managing to lose to Washington when leading by 4points with 14 seconds to play.
  • Kyrie Irving using a cheat code to beat the Spurs
  • Laboral Kutxa conceding 20 points in the last 6 mins to somehow lose at Nizhny Novgorod
  • Plenty of other final shots going against me

 So, how should you respond to a losing streak?:

  1. Quit betting
  2. Swear loudly and possibly punch something
  3. Blame someone else and claim that you’re a victim of a conspiracy to fix a sporting event
  4. Re-evaluate your bets and carry on

The correct answer is 4. Also constant re-evaluation of your bets is a good idea regardless of what streak you’re on. I’ve checked through my records and of those 22 loses, there’s only 2 bets that I’m not entirely satisfied with. The rest; under repeat identical situations, I’d bet them all again. It’s best to focus on the process rather than (solely) on the result. Looking at a larger sample size in my records prior to this horror patch, shows the level of profit guaranteed to cause increased blood flow to the downstairs department:

No axis labels, just deal with it.

Note the losing streak since the high point. It’s not like a graph of your accumulated profits is going to be a nice constant upward line. There will be bumps in the road. So it’s time to employ a stiff upper lip in the ugly face of variance.

The main point I’d like to make is that:

Losing streaks are to be expected. Bets that have positive expected value still aren’t guaranteed winners.