Playing with NBA Futures Bets and Props

I rarely play future bets, because I’m too impatient. But I’m going to take a stab at some this year, and consider it an investment.

Who will be the 2012-2013 NBA MVP:

Chris Paul, with 8 people higher than him, becomes my “sleeper” pick

Lebron James +175
Kevin Durant +385
Kobe Bryant +800
Kevin Love +1200
Dwight Howard +1200
Deron Williams +1200
Steve Nash +1200
Russell Westbrook +1200
Dwyane Wade +1500
Carmelo Anthony +1500
Chris Paul +1500
Tony Parker +1500
Blake Griffin +1800
Rajon Rondo +2000
Dirk Nowitzki +2000
Kyrie Irving +3000
Danny Granger +4000
Chris Bosh +4500
David Lee +6000
Field +1000

I’m instantly ruling out the Laker trio. I can’t see how any of those three so clearly become the best player on that team let alone the MVP of the league. I’m immediately ruling out David Lee because his inclusion on this list is just hilarious. I can’t imagine a scenario where Bosh, Granger, Griffin or Parker win it either. Westbrook will forever be in KD’s shadow, and considering the fact that OKC’s team success is now expected, the season he’d have to have, assuming KD is healthy, to win the MVP award is unfathomable. Kyrie is somewhat intriguing, but at best he becomes considered a fringe top-10 player, and it’s a certainty that nothing special will be happening in Cleveland this year. I think people forget just how great Wade was last regular season, and even so, he only finished 11th in the MVP voting. The world has warmed up to LeBron as well, and it’s clearly “his team”.

The Candidates

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Weekly Football Picks (10/11-10/15)

It was a good weekend for me, in more ways than one. I had a solid week where I hit on 6 of 9 bets. I took a min-vacation to Bloomington/Indianapolis and saw the Colts beat the Packers in exciting fashion. I’m not terribly surprised with any of the losses I posted this week. I’m a bit surprised that Georgia got demolished, and even though I thought their offense would do better, they were playing a great team on the road. In hindsight, I’d probably just avoid that game. Northwestern over Penn State might have had some internal bias in it that skewed that pick. I was flat out wrong about Purdue.

Wins:

Utah (+13) vs. USC: 2 units
Pittsburgh (+1.5) @ Syracuse:  1 unit
Oklahoma (-5) @ Texas Tech: 1 unit
Tulsa @ Marhshall over 69.5: 2 units
WVU (+7) @ Texas: 2 units
Atlanta (-3) @ Washington: 1 unit

+9 units

Losses:

Northwestern (+1.5) @ Penn State: 2 units
Purdue (+3) vs Michigan: 1 unit
Georgia (+1) @ South Carolina: 1 unit

-4 units

+5 units on the week

YTD: + 5 units

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Northwestern (-3.5) @ Minnesota: 1 unit

The Golden Gophers have come a long way, and will win a few conference games this year, but they haven’t quite come this far. Northwestern has to bounce back strong in this one, and I still think they are far more talented than what they showed last week against Penn State.

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Week 3 NFL Picks

Week 2 record: 7-8-1
Year to date: 15-16-1

It was not really a good week, and it could have been a lot worse. I started off very poorly, but caught back up a little, especially with the totals. Chicago was a huge disappointment, the New England upset was unforeseen, Kansas City and New Orleans continues to play incredibly poor football and Dallas flopped hard. It was a weird week, but that’s the NFL for you.

No talk, let’s just get to the games.

Thursday September 20

New York Giants @ Carolina (pick) 

The Panthers want Cam Newton to keep running, but if the Panthers want to beat the Giants, they’ll need him to have a huge passing day

The Giants are 0-2 against the spread to start the season, as their run game has been non-existent, their offensive line has been porous and their secondary looks dismantled. They needed a big comeback to beat the Bucs, who were beating the G-Men soundly for the first three quarters. I still think the Giants will continue to waver up and down all year. There are a lot of holes on this team, and they’re holes the Panthers can exploit. Cam Newton can neutralize the Giant’s biggest defensive strength, their pass rush, and exploit their secondary, which is their biggest weakness. The Carolina defense did a solid job against Drew Brees and the Saints on Sunday, and I think that will carry over. They also ran for 219 yards, something they won’t be able to do as well against the Giants, but any semblance of a run game should open up the pass game a good bit. The total is at 50.5 right no which is the week’s second highest, and rightfully so. This figures to be a shootout, but I think Carolina comes away with the win at home.

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College Football Week 3 Predictions

I fared a bit better this week. It looks like I was very wrong about Utah and it looks safe to say that Wisconsin, Nebraska and Arkansas are not nearly as good as we thought they were. Week 3 brings us a few more big games than the previous weeks, but some top teams are still playing cupcakes (Oregon, LSU, Georgia, etc.).

Week 2 Record: 11-9
Year to Date: 18-22

Thursday, September 13

Rutgers @ South Florida (-8)

The line has shrank a bit, perhaps due to some injuries at running back and the loss of WR Sterling Griffin for the season. It’s hard to determine how impressive USF’s win at Nevada really was. On one hand it was a distant road game against a team that upset California at home, but on the other hand, they just didn’t look very good for most of the game. Initially my gut said to go with USF, especially because it seems that BJ Daniels finally has a favorite target, but I’m not so in love with their defense and I think Rutgers is a bit better than people give them credit for being. All the travel for USF I think will catch up to them a little. The line is just a little too high for me. 

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Week 2 NFL Picks

Week 1 Record: 8-8

I will take a .500 week for week 1. I felt very strongly about Kansas City, but perhaps I underestimated that Falcons offense and the significance of KC’s injuries. Philadelphia and New Orleans were wildly disappointing. I probably got a bit too carried away with my Jets hate and their slow preseason, and perhaps forgot that Ryan Fitzpatrick kind of totally stinks.

It seems like a common trend to overreact a bit after week 1 games, so I’ll try my hardest not to do that. Thursday night’s game is the first test…

All lines from 5dimes as of Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday September 13

Chicago @ Green Bay (-7)

The Cutler to Marshall connection is back

The notion that Chicago could compete with Green Bay in the NFC North was something that most laughed at the beginning of the season. Maybe I’m just being a prisoner of the moment here but I’m much more convinced now that it could happen than I was weeks ago. I look at Chicago and I see a team with a better defense, a rejuvenated pass attack with the addition of Brandon Marshall and a much better rush attack. The Bears offensive line looked solid, especially in the run game, and Cutler seemingly had more time to throw the ball on Sunday than he did most of last year. Conversely, Green Bay’s offensive line looked suspect, the run game did absolutely nothing and the defense was picked apart by Alex Smith. Even more importantly, San Francisco ran for 186 yards on them. Granted, the level of competition varied tremendously between these two team’s week one opponents. I think Green Bay will win – I can’t see how they lose back to back games at home – but I’m still taking those 5 points.

Chicago 27 Green Bay 31

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College Football Week 2 Predictions

Week one, as predicted, was predictably awful. I usually don’t dabble in many early season out-of-conference games.

Week 1 Record: 7-13

Not off the the greatest of starts. Oh well, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

The week one games weren’t full of many competitive games between good teams, and week two looks like we’ll see much more of the same. I’m going to change things up a bit from here on out. Instead of picking every top-25 game with a line, I’m going to omit some of the games that I look at the line and just shake my head. I’ll be a bit more selective. This also will allow me to add some more tasty non-top-25 games too. These huge point spreads aren’t fun to me.

A reminder: all lines are from 5dimes, my picks are colored and all lines are as of Wednesday.

Western Kentucky @ Alabama (-40)

Well, Alabama beat Michigan by 27 points. So, they should be able to handle Western Kentucky pretty handily, right? Western Kentucky is a pretty awful team. I think Bama covers.

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