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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 3:00 PM

The 2014 NBA Championship Finals featuring the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs will be easy to handicap in some ways, but almost impossible in others. This will present a tricky challenge for do-it-yourself handicappers hoping to cash tickets on a game-by-game basis this weekend and beyond until a winner is crowned.

The easy part? It’s the same two teams as last year! Same stars. Same head coaches. Some of the role players have changed, but the roles they’re playing largely haven’t changed. Both organizations know how to build champions. It’s easy to replace complimentary parts when it comes to role players. You know these teams inside and out. There are no secrets about how good these teams are.

The tricky part? Because these teams are so evenly matched, both head coaches will constantly be tinkering with adjustments in hopes of finding the edge that puts his team over the top. Neither Gregg Popovich or Erik Spoelstra is the type to say, “If we play are game, the other team doesn’t have a chance.” Both coaches have great respect for the other team. Both coaches know they have to come up with something special as a tie-breaker in each game. That’s going to set up a give-and take back-and-forth that could prove very difficult for handicappers. How could you know in advance which wrinkles will be attempted? Or, which will work?

Here’s my best advice for students in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping for trying to pick winners in this series.

*Spend a lot of time reviewing last year’s series. The boxscores for all seven games are readily available at various internet sites. There are clips on youtube. It’s mostly the same guys! Your “base” work for this event must be a complete understanding of what happened the last time they played for a championship. That’s certainly on the mind of both coaching staffs and the star players.

*Review the strengths and weaknesses of each team. Both are great, but neither are perfect. You know that both coaches will be trying to attack weak spots. Frankly, that’s they’re only option! Isolate the weak spots, then determine as best you can how the opponent might be positioned to take advantage. The media is going to spend a lot of time talking about intangibles. I can assure you that this series will be won and lost by something tangible that the winner did to the loser.

*Prepare to handicap in the fly…this series more than ever. If a key player suffers a minor injury, you have to know what that means in the big picture…and you have to know it immediately. If a coach makes an adjustment that works in Game Two, you have to anticipate what will or won’t be done about it in Game Three. This series is going to feel like a chess match. You can’t pick winners hoping that Power Ratings, stat averages, or trends from the 1980’s apply. You’re handicapping a chess match that will likely stay complicated all the way to the end.

I won’t talk specifics about how I think the series will play out here in the coursework. I owe those insights to my paying customers. But, as you can see above…I’m already aware that I can’t plan too far ahead in this series. There are too many unknowns within the adjustment/counter-adjustment sequences. I do have a plan for Game One. I have a tentative framework that I’ll be adjusting from that point forward. You see…KELSO STURGEON vs. the oddsmakers is just as complicated a chess match as Gregg Popovich vs. Erik Spoelstra!

My game day selections will be available for purchase right here at this very website with your major credit card. If you have any questions about packages that take you through the rest of the NBA Playoffs or to baseball’s All-Star Break, talk to one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to check on Saturday’s BELMONT STAKES as well.  

We’ve done a lot of coursework in the NBA this past season, and over the years on these pages. That preparation has positioned you to find edges as they present themselves through the best-of-seven championship round. The Dean of Sports Handicapping is fully confident that you’ll do well with your side and total assessments over these next couple of weeks. Don’t be afraid to pass if you haven’t found a worthy advantage on any particular night. Profit comes from discipline. Both of these teams are playing for another league championship because they’re so disciplined at the keys to winning. You must aim for the same!

This will be it for this week. I’ll be back early next week to reflect on the first two games from Thursday and Sunday evenings. See you then.

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