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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 3:00 PM

It just has to be said that oddsmakers have largely done a very poor job of evaluating the NBA Playoffs here in the first two weeks of action. Now, it may not be hurting their bottom line much because sportbooks rarely suffer when underdogs are covering spreads. And, obviously we’ve had a lot of underdogs covering spreads!

But, think of the money sportsbooks could have earned from the public had they posted numbers more in line with reality. We have repeated cases of favorites in the -4, -5, -6 range going overtime. Had oddsmakers posted numbers a bucket lower…squares would have been pounding the favorites and giving away money hand over fist! Instead, squares are passing a lot of games they’d otherwise play, and sportsbooks are handing over a ton of money to sharps and other pro’s who emphasize underdogs in playoff environments.

Here’s a quick review of oddsmaker misreads:

*Oddsmakers priced Chicago like they were better than Washington in every single game. Chicago was eliminated in only FIVE games, losing every single time on their home floor. The “superior” team couldn’t even win a HOME game in three tries!

*Oddsmakers priced Houston like they were better than Portland, even though Portland established early that they were at least as good. Maybe the Rockets will still come back and win this thing. But, that will be because Portland’s short rotation ran out of gas over a long series, not because the Rockets were better all things being equal.

*Oddsmakers had San Antonio rated as the much superior side to Dallas. The Spurs have been as high as -8 or -9 at home, and have been -3, -4 or -4.5 on the road. Well, the Spurs haven’t covered a single game in this series against the closing price! Even though they lead the series 3-2 heading into Friday Night’s sixth game…they’ve been on the wrong side of the number all five times. Dallas has actually outscored San Antonio in the five-game composite even though three of the five meetings were by the Alamo.

*Oddsmakers made Oklahoma City the betting favorite in all six of their games with tough Memphis. Four of those six games would go overtime because these two teams are so evenly matched.

It feels very much to me that oddsmakers are pricing on auto-pilot. This is how they’ve always done it, so they’re not going to make any changes. Look at the standings…look at the seedings…toss numbers on the board just the same as if it were 2010, 2004, or 1997 regardless of the personnel matchups, coaching dynamics, or playing styles that are either well-served or poorly served in playoff basketball.


Serious handicappers can’t help but win money when oddsmakers are going on auto-pilot like this. I’m not saying you’ll win every single day. But, the money is there to be taken over a decent sampling because “the market” is BLIND to the realities of playoff basketball. I hope all of you regular students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping have been exploiting that blindness through these first two weeks. The classic analytical points of emphasis have really been coming through so far. I expect that to continue all the way through the NBA finals because sportsbooks aren’t being punished by public money. Enough “dumb money” keeps betting the WRONG TEAMS that the bean counters can look at the bottom line and not worry about the EASY money that’s getting directed to smart handicappers.

If you’d like some help finding the best plays on the board through the rest of the first round and beyond, you can purchase my BEST BETS right here at this very website with your major credit card. I have basketball and baseball available every day. And, don’t forget that THE KENTUCKY DERBY kicks off THE TRIPLE CROWN on Saturday. If you have any questions about packages that take you through the rest of the NBA Playoffs, talk to one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155.

I’ll be back early next week for another class discussion here in our College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. KELSO STURGEON is THE DEAN OF SPORTS HANDICAPPING, and is proud to be at the service of so many hard working students like yourself. I’ll continue reading and reacting to sports headlines through the month of May so that our coursework is relevant to the real world during this critical time on the schedule. That means a mix of basketball and baseball. Right now, I’d guess that we’ll be looking at “Round Two” handicapping in the NBA Playoffs in our next get-together. So much great basketball ahead!

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