Game 7 from the Gambler

I’m Steven Kerstein and I’m the worst person to watch sports with.  Just ask these three other bozos.

When a pivotal game seven matchup between two, suddenly well-matched teams is on the horizon, most normal human beings would be pretty satisfied.

You see, I’m a gambler.  I play stocks by day and hedge soccer games by night (or day depending on your time-zone.)  There’s something about the notion of uncertainty that gets my heart rate going.  Kind of like most of you clowns who like jumping from airplanes. For degenerates like me, I need some type of financial contingency to truly captivate my interest.

Any savvy finance student would tell you that arbitrage opportunities can exist in the places you’d never expect.  While Vegas definitely has kids writing algorithms surely more sophisticated than me, it’s my duty as a degenerate to explore any potential profitable trade or wager.

Rather than give you my opinions and pull biased statistics that back up my claims, I’m just going to lay out the facts for you to make your analysis. Lies.

Let’s take a look at the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals Game 7 in Miami, Fl aka just another day for sports books around the world.

At 11 AM CST, the current moneyline for the contest are set at Miami -330 and Indiana +270.  For all you rookies to the world of sports betting, Vegas pays you as if Miami has a 73% chance of winning, compared to Indiana’s 24%.  So you’re probably thinking, shouldn’t those two figures add up to 100%.  This is why sports gambling is not a great long-term investment. From the get-go, the house has the advantage forcing its patrons to accept a negative expected value.  The second you stroll into the casino or log into your Bovada account, you’re a loser from Vegas’ point of view.

Why is this different from the stock market? In the stock market, you make money by playing off psychology and not solely off binary events.  Sports gambling is options trading without the trading part. This nuance limits your profit-making strategies.

When it comes to using historical data, I find that there is an abundance of biased information that can support nearly every hypothesis.

If your personal algorithm spits out figures greatly discrepant that outperform the consistency Vegas lines, maybe you’re the next Rain Man.  Otherwise, maybe you’re just another Stavi or Dave.

From the eye-ball test, I think that Indiana has about a 35% chance of winning if the NBA wasn’t rigged.  Even with the juice, I’d be inclined to pursue the Pacers money-line if sports weren’t fixed.  Even though I think the Pacers bet is undervalued, do I really think it’s undervalued in the sense I can only win if the Pacers win?  Decisions, decisions..

In terms of the spread, Miami’s -6.5 the favorite.  This number is relatively interesting.  I see two different ways Miami wins this game. 1) It’s close for 45 minutes, the Heat cover with the assistance of late free throws.  2) Blowout- Mike Miller does his stupid dance and I drink a fifth of vodka.  Obviously, the chance remains that Miami could win on a buzzer-beater or Indiana could slaughter them.  But miracles don’t come true.  This isn’t Disney World, well I guess it kinda is.  The Disney Corporation does control the world. Anyways, by this logic, I like my chances taking Miami and giving the points.

Let’s move on to the over/under total points scored in the game.  Right now, the line is set at 181.5.  In an elimination game, one critical factor you need to take into considerations is FT attempts.  While I might be a little bit radical when it comes to NBA conspiracies, there’s no denying the fact that if Miami’s cold they’re gonna get freebies from the charity stripe.  I don’t think David Stern is rooting for the mighty San Antonio-Indiana matchup.  So while Wade and Bosh are struggling, I actually think the over is a pretty solid wager tonight.  Both the Pacers and Heat have hit at least 90 in every game but one this series.  Throw in some home-cooking 3’s from Chalmers, Allen and Cole and that one’s a wrap.  About that opinion thing I said earlier…

While I’d love to come up with some crazy props, I’ve got to get back to work.  So enjoy the game and most importantly, don’t lose your shirt.

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