Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 9:53 PM
No matter who you liked in Game Five of the Philadelphia-Boston series, you probably hadn’t anticipated BRANDON BASS being the guy who set the world on fire with a fantastic performance! If you liked Boston, it wasn’t because you saw 27 points coming on 9 of 13 from the floor and 9 of 10 from the free throw line. If you liked the Sixers as a road dog, you definitely weren’t afraid of Bass rising up and beating you.
But, that’s exactly what happened. A guy who had large been invisible in the first rounds series against Atlanta, and only slightly more visible in the first four games against Philadelphia suddenly looked like a young Paul Pierce.
Check out Bass’s earlier performances…
8 points in 35 minutes
8 points in 31 minutes
8 points in 26 minutes
10 points in 31 minutes
14 points in 32 minutes
6 points in 34 minutes
That’s a very consistent range…with Bass largely being a disappointment with about 8 points and 32 minutes representing best expectations. Given how well Boston moves the ball, and how Atlanta’s defense had prioritized other threats…Bass should have been able to do a lot more than that.
Doc Rivers realized that, and reduced Bass’s minutes at first vs. Philadelphia
10 points in 24 minutes
12 points in 24 minutes
10 points in 27 minutes
15 points in 22 minutes
27 points in 37 minutes
What a very interesting progression! Bass realized he was getting docked about 20-25% of his minutes, and clearly became more aggressive because is point totals went up. When he showed decent form in that surprising Game Four loss in Philly (22 points in 15 minutes is the same as 44 points in 30 minutes rate-wise!), Rivers decided to let him play a bigger role in Game Five. Boy did he ever! Bass was the difference-maker in no uncertain terms. It’s like an extra 10-15 points fell down from the sky, in a game that Boston won by 16 after playing two one-point games at first on that floor.
Let’s see what that might mean about tonight’s “back-to-the-wall” spot for the Sixers on their home floor in Game Six…
BOSTON vs. PHILADELPHIA
Game Six Vegas Line: Philadelphia by 2, total of 175.5
BOSTON leads 3-2
This was the standard Sixers price in their first two home games in this series. They won by 9 and lost by 16, which doesn’t exactly split the difference…but does split the results at 1-1. There’s clearly a belief from the market that Bass isn’t going to repeat, or we’d see Boston as a favorite. In fact, given the game margins so far (16, 16, 1, -1, -9 from Boston’s perspective), you could make the case that Boston should be a slight favorite anyway away from home.
JIM HURLEY knows that the math points to Boston, but he also knows that the Celtics have been very consistent about relaxing once they get a series lead. Can they play 48 good minutes in this spot given what we’ve seen before in this playoff sequence? He’ll be working very closely with his on-site sources to determine the Boston mindset. If they’re going to relax again, even for just a quarter or so in the second half, then Philly offers value at -2 on this floor. If Boston’s motivated to close things out so they can rest for the weekend, they should be favored and this is a bad line.
The total has moved up from the 172.5 and 174 we saw the first two games at this site. Those landed on 198 and 175…with the latter sneaking Over even after one of the ugliest first halves the sport had ever seen! There are some interesting possibilities with this proposition. NETWORK will put you on the total if it qualifies as a value play.
GAME FIVE SUMMARY
BOSTON 101, PHILADELPHIA 85
Field Goal Pct: Philadelphia 47%, Boston 52%
Three-Pointers: Philadelphia 3/9, Boston 3/15
Free Throws: Philadelphia 10/16, Boston 26/33
Rebounds: Philadelphia 37, Boston 31
Turnovers: Philadelphia 15, Boston 10
Vegas Line: Boston by 5.5, total of 173
You can see how important Bass was in this game. He was 9 of 13 from the field….which means the rest of the Celtics weren’t establishing any distance between themselves and the Sixers on shooting. He was 9 of 10 from the free throw line. Take that out and the Celtics have a more typical performance…though it has to be said that the Celtics were doing a much better job of attacking the basket all night long. The Sixers were way too passive in terms of settling for jumpers. You can’t win on the road going 10 of 16 from the free throw line unless it’s a game where the refs have just completely swallowed their whistles on all possessions.
Note also that Boston did a much better job in the turnover category. That one stat has had a strong correlation to success in this series for the Celtics. In its three wins, Boston committed 13, 7, and 10, with a net advantage of +5. In its two losses, Boston committed 17 and 17, with a net loss of -7.
Very simply…Philadelphia has to play a clean game where they attack the basket if they want to survive, while forcing Boston into miscues and missed shots.
You can purchase JIM HURLEY’S final calls on the side and/or total here at the website Wednesday. Be sure you take care of business EARLY on Wednesday because of all the day baseball. Among the highlights Wednesday afternoon are Boston/Baltimore, Toronto/Tampa Bay, and San Francisco/Milwaukee. If you ever have any questions about our service, call the office at 1-800-323-4453.
With only one basketball game to preview, we have room once again to pop in some quick baseball. Let’s look at the top moneymakers and top moneylosers through Monday Night’s action…
Baltimore +16.5 units
LA Dodgers +15 units
Atlanta +7 units
Oakland +7 units
Cleveland +6 units
NY Mets +6 units
If you’re following baseball closely, the teams at the top aren’t a surprise. Those early runs have some thinking back to the glory days of the 1960’s when the Dodgers and Orioles regularly dominated their leagues. Can those teams keep it up? The Dodgers have the easier task in terms of their remaining schedule. In general, you should always be careful with early season outliers. We’ve seen too many June swoons to get excited about May heat. You probably weren’t aware that Oakland had been making money. There’s a chance your best shot to ride a hot team through the summer will come from the secondary squads listed above.
MLB MONEY LOSERS
LA Angels -16.5 units
Milwaukee -14 units
Colorado -13 units
Chicago Cubs -10.5 units
NY Yankees -10 units
Detroit -9 units
Philadelphia -8.5 units
San Diego -8.5 units
Minnesota -6 units
Some real disasters here…and we’re afraid many of you do-it-yourselfers out there have taken a real betting this year by chasing with teams like the Angels, Brewers, Yankees, Tigers, and Phillies who you figured couldn’t possibly keep struggling for so long. Those were supposed to be playoff teams! Well, there’s plenty of time left for the slow-starters to get moving and qualify for the expanded postseason. But, don’t even consider betting on them until you see results happening on the field. Albert Pujols isn’t back in form yet. The Yankees and Tigers have questions at the back of their rotations along with sluggers who are taking longer to get rolling than expected. Learn from your mistakes, don’t keep making them!
If you’d like some help finding the right teams to bet at the right prices…BIG JUICY WINNERS are always just a few clicks away thanks to industry legend JIM HURLEY!