Sunday, March 22, 2009

Brass Tacks Sunday

I'm afraid tonight's article will be slightly more brief than usual, due in great part to March Madness, and due at least some degree to the lack of NBA betting picks.  Obviously, hindsight is crystal clear, and I should have gone with my gut on Philly to cover in Sacramento for today's only line, but here we are.  I just couldn't bring myself to pick winners in these Sunday games, which, for the most part, featured games that were about as compelling as watching a dog make friends with a fire hydrant.  Clippers-Raptors and Thunder-T'Wolves were my personal favorites.  That right there is 96 minutes I'd rather spend getting a root canal from a cage fighter.

The Rockets did beat the Spurs in a battle for the division lead, and one of the teams almost broke 90 points.  Shane Battier deposited another "No-Stats, All-Star" performance with 6 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist in 33 minutes.  I suppose you truly must be an incredible basketball superstar (and bordering on clairvoyant) to stay THAT far away from the ball itself for nearly 3 quarters of a game.  I feel the only comparison I can draw that truly elucidates The Shane's perfection is to a standardized tester who scores below zero.  The law of averages states that a guess on every question would result in no points, but if you KNOW the answer to the question, as The Shane clearly does, you can consciously avoid it and become a champion.  

I'm also in a bit of a foul state, as, for the second consecutive year, I missed my fantasy baseball draft due to a prior engagement.  I really couldn't ask for a better time than Sunday evening, so it's no one's fault but my own for not looking ahead.  As I was saying to one of the site's regular readers, if I can take this baseball team to any kind of trophy, be it lustrous gold, shimmering silver, or rusty trombronze, I'll be pretty pleased with myself.  In an effort to promote the site (and save face!), I will enter an additional league (possibly public) with the express purpose of not looking like a jackass.

But enough bellyaching, let's make some fantasy.  In the greatest stretch of the century, tonight's theme...letters!

"S" (So curvaceous, there's not a flat spot to be found; also pluralizes just about everything, which is straight bad):
  • Rodney Stuckey - Returned from injury and clobbered over the weekend.  Get him and start him whether or not Rip Hamilton comes back this week.
  • Spencer Hawes - Really coming into his own now that Brad Miller is out of the picture.  The team around him still smells of elderberries, but despite the losses, the up-tempo style will lead to nice fantasy numbers.
"M" (A complex letter, large in both size and stature.  Holds down the midpoint):
  • Steve Novak - Laid an egg on Friday, but bounced back with a 3-for-4 night from downtown earlier this evening.  As I noted before, if you can deploy Novak in a high-scoring game, he could push you over the top in 3's for the week.
  • Keyon Dooling - Still an injury play with Devin Harris out.  Keep checking for updates on Harris's health, and if Devin's laid up on any given night, run Dooling out there for some nice across the board stats (minus blocks).
  • Francisco Garcia/Beno Udrih/Jason Thompson - It took some time for the lineup to shake out, but now that we're getting a clear picture of the Kings' main 5, they all appear to be fantasy relevant (much like all 5 starters in Phoenix).  Definitely give some serious thought before using this feisty litter against good defenses, but they'll be nice plays against offensive-minded opponents.
"H" (A letter without a true sound, just forcing its users to exhale; especially troublesome after an Outback Steakhouse "Bloomin' Onion"):
  • Hilton Armstrong - Do not be fooled by the double-double.
  • Aaron Afflalo - He may be good some day down the line; he certainly has the athleticism for it.  For now, though, he is merely benefiting from a berzerker barrage of injuries in Motown.  And even then his numbers aren't that impressive.
Picks at 10am tomorrow!


DW said...

Sorry left this on the wrong post initially. I will make a couple points that I have noticed in regards to your betting. You do make a very, very valid point that the general populace is usually wrong (this year being a very poor example of that). However, most of your bets have been in line with the general public. Do you really think that the public is routinely betting on Washington? Because I have seen you bet against them at least five times since the picks started.

Danno said...

I say, you seem to have caught me in a bit of a logic pickle, and right now Washington looks pretty good in their game, so maybe I should learn from my own remarks.

I should have clarified, but I wanted to get the picks up quickly, that the public is usually wrong when betting on two more evenly matched teams. It's tough to bet on the Wizards, even when they're getting a ton of points.

DW said...

I can't deny that it's tough to pull the trigger, but the public is going to share that same opinion. I would generalize your statement to say that the public is usually wrong period. The point spread usually does enough to make the teams "evenly matched." That's the point of the spread.

If 70%+ of the money is coming in on one side (usually the side vs. Washington) and only 30% is coming in on the other (usually Washington), who do you think Las Vegas would prefer to cover?

Danno said...

Of course that's the point of the spread, but if the spread was spot on, well, you'd get a couple of days like the last few. I'm going to try to do a better job of posting the daily tips before the line shuffles so much. If we miss the early morning shift, then we really lose our already meager advantage.

I also get the feeling the public tends to like the favorite in most games. The best move may be to just ignore the public's sentiment altogether. You can tell how people are betting by the line movement. The whole thing just ends up being a total cosmic psych-out. The more we think things through, the less likely we are to pick the winner. Just gotta put all the pieces together and run with it.

DW said...

You can't rely on the line movement alone for public perception. There are many other factors that play into that. For example a lot of sharp money can move the line. If the casino wants to take a stand on one game it can either move the line away from public money or hold it steady it light of a great deal of money.

That being said I think reading too far into things is a mistake. The ability to see a line and know something is amiss (thin slicing, if you will) is perhaps the best way if you are good at it. At the heart of though, you have to understand that Vegas casinos make a LOT of money. And they amassed those profits by having only 30% of people playing the Washington Wizards or the Detroit Lions because the public thinks shitty teams can never cover.

Danno said...

Haha - well said.

And now it's time we took some of it back. Not today, though, because the dogs look as awful as ever :)

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