Tag Archives: LeBron James

NBA Finals

And then there were two…

Golden State Warriors v Cleveland Cavaliers

Here we are, the Finals are here. Usually I would be pumped to the max but this year’s playoffs have been a bit of a let-down. I think they’ve lacked real excitement. The only great series was Clippers v Spurs, but even then a few of those games involved intentional fouling DeAndre Jordan constantly…which I previously whinged about. The only series winners that weren’t predicted here on Winners Win was the Clippers over the Spurs. Rather than claim to be a Fucking Predicting Legend I think the reason is that this year’s playoffs have lacked surprises.

Current Cavs ‘coach’ Blatt could be the first coach the win the Euroleague and then NBA title back to back. Note the use of ‘coach’, I’m not impressed with Blatt. If you watch this team play it’s not like they even have a coach. It’s all through LeBron, his usage rate has been sky high and they rarely run an actual play. In his defence Love is out and Kyrie has been injured, so he’s had to carry this team to the Finals.

LeBron has now got to 5 consecutive Finals. He’s got to 6 in total with the spanking he received from the Spurs back in 2007. If he loses this one his record will only be 2 from 6. So when NBA ‘experts’ Skip Bayless and Stephen A Smith compare him to Michael Jordan, they’ll make it look even less favourable considering MJ won 6 titles from 6 Finals…not that anyone with a fully functioning brain would care what those 2 morons have to say on any topic.


The betting market has GSW at 1.44 (-225 US) to win. I’ve already got money on them at 1.67 to lift the title and I’m happy with this position. Even now I think they’ve got a greater than the implied 69% chance. Maybe if the Cavs win a game on the road from one of the first two games, then the market will overreact and lead to some generous odds again to back GSW, for anyone who hasn’t backed them already.

Basically for the Cavs to have a good chance LeBron needs to play awesome and play 40+mins every game. But GSW can choose from 4 guys that they can put on LeBron. So that counteracts any fatigue or foul trouble that one guy could suffer when tasked with the job of defending LeBron. It’s like a war of attrition.

I believe that GSW are clearly the better team, they’ve better than the Cavs on both sides of the ball, and they have home court advantage. So if I had to choose what I think is the most likely scoreline…then I would go with 4-1 GSW, which is available at 4.0 (+300). I was an earlybird and dutched the 4-1 & 4-2 scorelines at 4.5 and 6.5.

GSW -1.5 games on the series handicap is available at evens. I reckon that’s worth you putting some of your pocket money towards!

Looking at the odds for the Finals MVP was a waste of time. Curry is the obvious choice but he’s at 1.5 (-200)! I wouldn’t bother at those odds. LeBron is at 3.0 (+200), obviously there’s no point in backing a player who plays for the team you thinks going to lose. If you’re a total degenerate and can’t function without having a bet then you could back someone like Klay Thompson around 21.0 and hope he’s goes mental and has a couple of 40+ point games.

Prediction: GSW to win the title in 5 games, Curry to win the MVP.

Recommended Bets: GSW to win the title at 1.67 (pending bet from previous round). GSW -1.5 games series handicap at evens.

Update: GSW are the champs, winning 4-2.

Bets Summary: 2-0. +1.67 pts

NBA Playoffs – Conference Finals

I was going to write a preview on the Eurovision Song Contest…but then I thought “Fuck that, the Conference Finals are starting tonight!”.

All 4 Second Round playoff series were predicted correctly last time around. Including 3 correct series scores. Unfortunately we didn’t profit from it as the recommended bets turned a small loss as Memphis somehow won a couple of games against Golden State.

For all the chat about how open this year’s Championship was looking, here we are with the 1st and 2nd seeds in each Conference remaining. Over the course of the season the Hawks & Cavs have clearly been the best teams in the East. GSW have easily been the best team overall, and Houston are like a bunch of underage gatecrashers who haven’t been thrown out of the bar (yet).

Eastern Conference Finals

Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks

Wow, who predicted this ECF?!? /sarcasm

The Cavs are available around 1.50 (-200 US) to win the East, The Hawks are mostly around 2.75 (+175). I backed the Hawks to beat Washington in the previous round, and for the early part of the series that bet was looking like a loser for sure. The Hawks weren’t playing well and their front court doesn’t look healthy. Then John Wall got injured and things turned around from there.

I could easily talk myself into backing Atlanta to quality from the onset, I’ve rarely seen them fire on all cylinders in the playoffs so far. Plus I’ve got a major problem investing money in a team that plays Pero fucking Antic significant minutes. Seriously, I’ve watched this knobhead play in Europe and I thought he was stealing a living. Remember that Nenad Krstić is a quality player in Europe.

If one was to put their conspiracy theorist hat on (which would be made of tin foil ;) one could put forward the argument that the league would dearly love to see LeBron’s team in the finals, again. And would hate to see Atlanta there. So one could expect to see LeBron get all the calls…whether or not this exists is up for debate but I’m sure that the betting market reflects this somewhat. Coupled with the fact that the market is going to overrate LeBron’s team and underrate an unfancied team like Atlanta; I’m sure that there’s going to value in backing Atlanta along the way in this series.

Prediction: Still it’s hard to go against the best player in the world. Cavs in 6.


Update: Atlanta fell apart and got swept.

Western Conference Finals

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets

The Rockets came back from a 3-1 deficit against the Clippers, winning the last 3 games to qualify. Epic scenes! And what do they win?.. The opportunity to get spanked off Golden State! GSW have played Houston 4 times this season, and have thrashed them 4 times. Houston doesn’t have the defence to compete with GSW, and I simply cannot see a way that they’re coming out of this series.

Golden State are priced at 1.13 (-800) to qualify. It’s not often that I back really short odds. So a look at the series score betting and I see that the 4-0 is at 4.50 (+350). Considering they are 1.13 to qualify the 4-0 scoreline is too big for me. You want more? Ok some back-of-the-cigarette-packet maths:

GSW are 1.17 to win game 1, so imagine they are 1.17 to win game 2 as well. The last time GSW played at Houston they were just over evens. BUT that was after a back-to-back. The time before that they were 1.68 with Pinnacle to win there. So if we just say 1.70 for game 3&4 we get:


Even if GSW were 1.70 at Houston I’d be backing that.

Prediction is GSW in 5 this is the most likely scoreline, but the value play is in backing GSW 4-0 at 4.50 (+350).

Also backing GSW to win the title at 1.67 (-150). I felt that only the Spurs or Clippers could stop them. 1.67 implies that they have a 59.9% chance of winning it all. I think it’s more likely than that.

Update: GSW won in 5, so I missed out on the GSW sweep.

Bets: 0-1. -1pt

NBA Playoffs – Second Round

The bets for the 1st round on this blog did pretty well going 2-1 for a profit of 3 points. Not bad though a small sample size. 7 series winners were predicted correctly, the only exception being the Spurs failing at the Clippers. Although in fairness my grandmother could have predicted that the Cavs & GSW would have qualified. Still, she wouldn’t have bet on Washington to come through against Toronto.

The second round starts tonight. So this is what I reckon:

The East

Cleveland Cavaliers v Chicago Bulls

The big news coming into this series is that Kevin Love is out for the playoffs with a dislocated shoulder. What a pussy! While the Cavs will miss the floor spacing his 3 point shooting creates, they won’t miss his crappy defence. Also JR Smith is suspended for the first 2 games for punching Jae Crowder. They’ll be missing some of their shooting.

So there’s a great deal of unknowns in which lineups the Cavs will use and how successful they’ll be. Will they go small ball and play Lebron at the 4? Or play Thompson instead of Love? As a result I don’t want to put any money down until I’ve seen what Blatt will do.

I will say this: I expect this series to go to at least 6 games, and if I had to make a prediction I would go with the Cavs to come through as they’ve still got the best player on the planet.

Cavs in 6 Update: Cavs won in 6

Atlanta Hawks v Washington Wizards

Washington swept Toronto, Randy Whitman is a suddenly a coaching mastermind and this team is something special… or so the rhetoric goes. Toronto were pretty awful, so let’s rein the expectations back in on Washington.

Atlanta didn’t play to their early season standards against Brooklyn. Milsap and Horford don’t look 100%. But Atlanta did miss a load of open shots in their first round series. I feel that the Washington sweep and Atlanta underperforming has lead to the generous odds of 1.50 (-200 US) on Atlanta to qualify which I like.

Atlanta in 6 Update: Atlanta won in 6 +0.5pts

The West

Golden State Warriors v Memphis Grizzlies

With the Spurs out, and Love injured for the Cavs, the Warriors are justifiably the clear favourites for the title. First they need to beat Memphis.

Clash of styles here as GSW play fast & shoot 3s, while Memphis are slow and like shoot inside the arc.  Memphis has next to no shooting.  Mike Conley has a fractured face so it’s unknown when/if he’ll play. Another pussy! Even if he does I doubt it’ll matter as to who’ll be playing in the next round. The only question is if Memphis will win a game (or 2).

I firmly expect GSW to go through but I won’t be backing the best priced 1.17 (-600) odds. I would be interested in the 4-0/4-1 scorelines but no odds for that have been released at time of writing.

Update: I’ve dutched the 2 scorelines 4-0 at 2.4 (+140) and 4-1 at 3.5 (+250)

GSW in 5 Update: GSW won in 6 -1pts

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Clippers

Yet another series where there’s a major injury, with Chris Paul leading the Clippers past the Spurs on one leg. It’s unknown whether he’ll play in the first game, or how bad that hamstring is. As a result no bookie’s have released any series odds yet.

Clippers have played 7 games v the Spurs in an epic series, and now have to play 2 days after an emotional victory. Tough turnaround. While the Rockets have had plenty of rest after toying with the Mavs for 5 games.

I expect this series to go at least 6 games too. With home court advantage and Dwight Howard looking more like the Orlando-Howard, I would have to side with Houston. But everything hinges on CP3’s hamstring.

Houston in 7 Update: Houston won in 7, amazingly.

Bets Summary: 1-1. -0.5 pts

NBA Playoffs – First Round

The NBA playoffs start tonight. So I thought I’d write a quick post on the first round matchups and my predictions:

The (L)East

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics

Before the season who would have said that the Celtics would get into the playoffs? …Don’t’ lie. No one. This tells you 2 things:

  • The East is terrible, as has been compared unfairly to a dumpster fire. (Unfairly for dumpster fires).
  • Also it shows how good a coach Brad Stevens is by getting this rag tag bunch of scrubs and cast-offs to the playoffs.

I’ve watched the Celtics more as the season has gone on and Stevens can coach the shit out of every possession. With approximately 64 picks in the 2 drafts, and the best young coach in the game, the future looks bright for Boston…

…But in the immediate future I expect them to lose this series to LeBron’s team. In fact I would back the 4-0 series scoreline at 3.25 (+225 US) if I didn’t have such faith in Coach Stevens somehow winning at least 1 game.

Cavs in 5 Update: Cavs won in 4, no Stevens magic.

Toronto Raptors v Washington Wizards

Only people who live in these 2 cities, gambling degenerates and insatiable basketball fans will be watching this series. (I’ll leave you to decide which group I belong in!). I believe the value’s on Washington here at 2.6 (+160) and I’ve had a little of that.

Washington in 6 Update: Washington won in 4, surprisingly. +1.6pts

Chicago Bulls v Milwaukee Bucks

Bulls in 5. That is all. Update: Chicago won in 6

Atlanta Hawks v Brooklyn Nets

Atlanta have been coasting for a long time, everyone is well rested relative to the league except Millsap. I think people have forgotten what a great team Atlanta is and will show that a team like Brooklyn doesn’t belong in the playoffs.

Atlanta in 5 Update: Atlanta won in 6

The West

Golden State Warriors v New Orleans Pelicans

Amazingly the Pelicans beat the Spurs on the last day of the regular season to make the playoffs. What that really means is that after playing 82 games, their reward to play another 4. And that’s 4 games against the best team in the league. GSW have been historically good: they have the 8th best MOV ever in the NBA. Plus they have the best offensive and defensive eFG%. The only intrigue here is if New Orleans manage to somehow win 1 game, I doubt it.

GSW Sweep at 3.40 (+240) Update: GSW won in 4. +2.4pts

Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks

Every though it’s obvious that to stop Houston you need to target Harden, Dallas have been pretty awful for remainder of the season. Dirk is now totally immobile and teams know that there’s no point of guarding Rondo.

Houston in 5 Update: Houston won in 5

Memphis Grizzlies v Portland Trail Blazers

We’ve got 2 beat up teams here. Mike Conley looks likely to play so I expect Memphis to qualify, but no bets here.

Memphis in 6 Update: Memphis won in 5

Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs

The best first round matchup is definitely between the Clippers & the Spurs. The Clippers went 14-1 to finish the season and their reward is facing the Spurs. Unlucky. Blake Griffin wasn’t happy about it either:

You probably never want to play the Spurs in the first round if you had your choice

When the odds for the first match of Spurs @ Clippers came out they were 2.10 (+110). I’ve had a bit of that thank you very much.

Chris Paul is the Clippers. I’ve briefly posted previously about the MVP discussion, but CP3 will definitely NOT get the recognition he deserves for this season. He’s been amazing, on both ends of the court. If they are gonna get out of this series he will need to play well. Unfortunately for him the Spurs have the best wing defender in the game: Kawhi Leonard. When the reigning finals MVP isn’t guarding Paul, the Spurs will probably have their backup point guards hound him constantly. I doubt he’ll have an easy time bringing the ball across the court, and this is a player who’s played a shit load of minutes this season:


Another thing I’m sure we’ll see is Popovich using the hack-a-Jordan approach when trailing. I’m not a fan of this from a viewer point of view, and because I don’t think it’s +EV. But who am I to question coach Pop?!

Spurs in 6 Update: Clippers won a classic series in 7. Spurs lost the 1st game -1pt

Bets Summary: 2-1. +3 pts

NBA Season Bets

Basketball is my favourite sport to watch, and favourite sport to bet on. The vast majority of my bets are on Basketball.

If I hadn’t just started this blog I would have posted my NBA season bets sooner. As there’s only about 2 weeks left of the regular season I think I’ll put them up now.

(note that on this site I’ll posts odds in decimal format following by US odds in brackets)

Steph Curry Regular Season MVP 34.0 (+3300)

Currently Curry is the heavy odds on favourite to get the MVP. He’s the best player on the best team, a team that is on course to have a historically good regular season.

The MVP award you would think goes to the best player in the league. Well, not really. MVP winners are usually the top points scorer on a winning team. If it did go to the pure best player then Lebron would have won it every year for the past 8 seasons or so. Voter fatigue is a factor as Lebron should have more MVPs and Michael Jordan should have had more too.

Another factor on the MVP is that it helps if the player you’ve backed is clearly the star, or perceived as being the clear star player on the team. It’s pretty impossible for Kevin Love or Kyrie Irving to win MVP when playing on Lebron’s team. Russell Westbrook’s in the MVP discussion right now, which would never have happened if Kevin Durant was healthy. The same can be said, although to a smaller extent about James Harden getting MVP-like recognition with Dwight Howard’s absence. I backed Curry as he’s clearly the star player on a team that had a chance of winning a shit load of games.

Update: Steph Curry was named 2015 NBA MVP. Nice.

Anthony Davis Regular Season MVP 12.0 (+1100)

If the MVP award were to truly go to the player who has played the best over the course of the season, then it would go to Anthony Davis. This kid is good, and we’re talking HOF, capable of winning multiple MVPs & multiple rings good. This kid’s so good he can get away with having a monobrow. But MVPs don’t come from players that play for teams that don’t make the playoffs, and New Orleans aren’t making the playoffs this year.

Update: AD came 5th in the MVP voting.

Golden State Warriors Introduce Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr Coach of the Year 21.0 (+2000)

Remember in the classic horror film Scream when Randy listed the 3 rules for surviving a horror film? Yes? Good, cos I believe there a simple formula for winning coach of the year (COY):

  • It usually goes to the coach of the team that has won the most games.
  • or the coach of a team that has had greatly increased the numbers of games won from the previous season.
  • And nobody wins back to back COY. NOBODY!

Ok, using the above criteria before the season I decided to go with Steve Kerr. Golden State Warriors have a great team that had been held back by a moronic coach in Mark Jackson. With a decent coach I thought they could get the no.1 seed in the Western Conference. Kerr didn’t have any previous coaching experience, but as he played under Phil Jackson and more importantly Greg Popovich, I was fairly sure he at least wouldn’t be a dummy like Mark Jackson.

Last season under Mark Jackson GSW won 51 games and got the 6th seed.

This season under Kerr GSW had at the time of writing won 61 games and have secured the 1 seed.

There hasn’t been any major changes to the roster, no new players of note have come in or left. Just a great team allowed to play the game in a way to maximise their talents.

Basically right now I’d be amazed if Kerr didn’t win COY.

Note: can you believe that Phil Jackson has won 11 NBA titles as a coach but only 1 COY?!

Update: Kerr was robbed and finished 2nd behind Budenholzer. I reckon Mark Jackson counted the votes. 

LeBron James Regular season Points per game leader 4.0 (+300)

To be honest this is the only bet that I knew fairly soon that it was a mistake. I’m sure that it wasn’t +EV, and I certainly wouldn’t place it again.

The Big Lebronski is great, yeah we know. Player of a generation etc, but he’s only ever once lead the league in points per game. I was taking a chance of him dominating the ball as the Cavs were stinking it up when I placed this bet.

Update: LeBron finished 3rd in PPG. 

Kevin Durant Regular season Points per game leader 6.0 (+500)

At the time I placed this bet Kevin Durant was leading the league in points per 36 mins. If he played more minutes per game, and stayed healthy he could have won this award again for the 6th time in 7 seasons. Yes, this guy is very good at throwing a ball through a hoop. Unfortunately his foot is buggered so he’s out for the season. In his absence his sidekick Russell Westbrook is taking every other shot for the Thunder and looks set to win the PPG title over Harden from the Rockets.

John Wall Regular season Assists per game leader 4.5 (+350)

When I placed this bet John Wall was leading the league in assists per game. Then Blake Griffin got injured for the Clippers and Chris Paul decided he would up his usage and start getting 10+ assists every night. Plus as the season has progressed Washington’s offence has “matured”. Not in a good way like a fine red wine or when an ugly girl at school matures into a milf for no reason…but matures like in the way a curry left out matures.

CP3 is on 10.1 APG and Wall is on 9.8, with only 8 games left I think this bet is done for. It was a good bet at the time though.

Update: CP3 finished with 10.2 APG. Wall had 10.0 APG.

Portland to win the Northwest Division 2.5 (+150)

Portland is always one of those unglamorous, unfancied teams. I bet most people in England don’t know where Portland is anyways. Who cares as long as they don’t cock up winning their division. I placed this bet as soon as it was announced that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook would miss the start of the season. With only 8 games remaining Portland are 6.5 games ahead of the Thunder. Barring a collapse that even the England cricket team would be ashamed of, this bet is good.

Update: Portland won the Northwest by 6 games.

LA Lakers to win under 32.5 games 1.91 (-110)

If Portland is an example of an unfancied team, then the Lakers are the best example of a team that is always overrated. This team is terrible, and the coach is awful. I’m sure some crazy Lakers fan will offer to meet me in Temulca and claim that the only reason they’re not going to win more than 32 games is because Kobe got injured. Er no. Kobe is 37 has been injured for the last 2 years and is the best paid player in the league but was one of the worst. He’ll be paid $25 million next season to try and come back from another major injury. But Kobe will be back… and the Lakers may even convince a good player to sign in free agency… and the hype will grow…and I’m sure I’ll end up betting the under again!

Note: the Lakers were 12-31 until Kobe got injured this season: 28% win rate, which over the full 82 game season would give 23 wins.

Update: The Lakers only won 21 games. 

Bets summary: 3-5 +30.41pts