Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 1:00 PM
It’s been a long time since the classic “zig zag” or bounce back theory of NBA playoff handicapping has worked so universally well for this many games in a row. That doesn’t mean it’s going to keep working. Miami may be in serious trouble right now in their Championship series against the Spurs. Or, the Heat may get things fixed and run the table starting Thursday Night (they ran the table last year vs. Oklahoma City, after Oklahoma City ran a similar table against the Spurs!)
What’s surprised me most about the Miami Heat in the last two rounds is their inability to build on success. It’s like the last thing they want to do is play two good games in a row. If they play well, they want to take their foot off the gas and see if they can get away with just coasting. Hey, maybe that works against the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls…two teams who wouldn’t have even been in the playoffs if they were in the Western Conference and had to play a tougher schedule. You can’t get away with that against top opposition.
Here’s Miami after a win in the Eastern Finals and Championship Round
MIAMI AFTER A WIN LAST TWO ROUNDS
Miami (-7) lost to Indiana 97-93 (missed by 11 points)
Miami (-3) lost at Indiana 99-92 (missed by 10 points)
Miami (-2) lost at Indiana 91-77 (missed by 16 points)
Miami (-5) lost to San Antonio 92-88 (missed by 9 points)
Miami (+2) lost to San Antonio 113-77 (missed by 34 points!)
Sorry Heat…that’s just LAME! You are way too talented to come out and play that far below expectations that many times in a row. Sure Indiana and San Antonio are very good teams. The Vegas prices reflect that…yet you still missed expectations by a combined 80 points in five games. I’ve been handicapping a very long time. That’s why I’m The Dean of Sports Betting and Handicapping. I can assure you that it’s NEVER been said about a TRULY great team that they never play well twice in a row.
Of course, the Heat are still in the thick of the championship picture because they play so well after losses. They only lost once in the first two rounds, so I’ll throw in that bounce-back result too.
MIAMI AFTER A LOSS IN 2013 PLAYOFFS
Miami (-13) beat Chicago 115-78 (covered by 24 points)
Miami (-2) beat Indiana 114-96 (covered by 16 points)
Miami (-7) beat Indiana 90-79 (covered by 4 points)
Miami (-7) beat Indiana 99-76 (covered by 16 points)
Miami (-6) beat San Antonio 103-84 (covered by 13 points)
That’s truly championship level basketball considering the competition. With a chip on their shoulder after a loss, the Heat have really clamped down on defense while posting dominating victories. They beat Vegas expectations by 73 points in those five bounce back spots.
Maybe handicapping Thursday’s fourth game and the rest of the series will be as simple as watching a yo-yo. Miami will come back up to even the series at 2-2…but will ultimately be heartbroken at the end when the Spurs win Game Seven in South Beach.
The fact that I’ve been around so long lets me know that picking winners is rarely that simple. Fate throws swerves when Vegas bettors least expect it. Miami couldn’t bounce back vs. Dallas two years ago, the last time they faced a truly smart and veteran opponent with so much on the line. That could happen again here if LeBron James can’t be a GAMEBREAKER three times in the next four games. On the other hand, the Spurs haven’t won a championship in a while because many playoff opponents eventually find a weak spot they can exploit. If Miami finds that tonight…the Heat could retain their title with a multi-game surge that doesn’t even take the series the full distance.
It’s important that students of my Advanced College of Sports Betting and Handicapping consider the possibilities from all angles in Thursday’s Game Four and the rest of the series. I will go on record now saying that I believe the “mental” side of things will determine the rest of the series. That’s something for you do-it-yourselfers to chew on from this point forward.
If you’d like some help daily with basketball and baseball winners, please remember that you can always purchase my top plays at this very website with your major credit card.
See you again early next week for our next class. I think it’s likely that we’ll have a Monday report that reviews Games Four and Five from the NBA Finals. If you’re a football fan, we’ll be mixing in football with baseball all through the end of June, July, and August as we gear up for another season on the gridiron. There’s always more to study and more money to win in Kelso Sturgeon’s College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping!