Posted Sunday, March 28, 2010 10:03 PM
Just when we go a whole month without having to hear anything from Brett Favre. . . .
Phil Jackson says that the Lakers' recent loss to Oklahoma City moved him closer to retirement. Or not. Then he says whether he comes back next season depends on whether the Lakers win the title.
Thanks, Phil. We thought you might leave the Lakers and take on the challenge of turning the Clippers into a competitive franchise. Or maybe even the Nets.
We all know that's not Jackson's M.O. The really hard work is for the Larry Browns of the world. Jackson likes his teams ready-made, with either the best player in the league (MJ) or second-best (Kobe). Pippen and Shaq don't hurt, either. Phil is the Leona Helmsley of the NBA, and doesn't like to get his fingernails dirty.
If the Lakers don't win the title, Favre will probably have some company. Pass the brown bag.
Posted Friday, March 19, 2010 02:19 PM
Matching up the ref assigments for Friday night leaves some unappetizing possibilities.
Dick Bavetta is regularly kind to road dogs and he's got the Utah-Phoenix game, Suns -5.5. Problem is, the Jazz are banged up and Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko and Wes Matthews are all game-time decisions, and how effective will Williams be chasing Steve Nash for 35-40 minutes? Also, Phoenix needs this one bad to catch Utah for the 4th playoff seed.
My personal favorite ref Tony Brothers (home teams 13-42 ATS this year with him working) has the Washington-Portland game, but the Wizards are as cold as the Blazers are hot, so even Wash. +12 looks dicey.
The other possibilty is Boston-Houston. The Celtics have strung a couple of good games together against bad teams. The number (Boston -2.5) doesn't look good, but the refs working the game (Derosa, Willard and Wood) tend to go over, and 202 seems reasonable with Houston averaging 116 in its last three games (all at home).
Crossing my fingers that the Wizards can stay competitive and taking Brothers and Washington at +12 for one unit, and spending the other 2 units on Boston-Houston over at betjamaica.com.
Last play was Tuesday and a 3-3 split, so overall playing the refs we're at minus 4 after 15 plays.
Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2010 09:46 AM
So far so not so good in the experiment on placing wagers on games based solely on the refs working the game. Minus 4 units after 6 plays. But the sample is sliver small, and we'll keep at it.
Got slaughtered Saturday when the Timberwolves, getting 8 at Sacramento, laid down, fell behind by 34 and had no chance to cover. Making matters worse, the Wolves score 39 in the final period (season high) and blow what looked like a sure under.
Anyway, Wednesday plays at betjamaica.com:
OKC giving 2 at Charlotte (refs are kind to visiting teams)
Knicks getting 9 at Boston and the under (208) in the same game.
New Orleans getting 3.5 at Golden State (betting on Tony Brothers here; home teams are 12-42 ATS in games he has worked this year)
Chicago-Dallas off the board as of 9:45 ET. Looking at Bulls and the points there, plus the over.
Posted Sunday, March 14, 2010 10:50 AM
Second installment of a one-month experiment placing NBA bets based on referee tendencies.
There were mixed results on Day 1 (Saturday night). Anyone who bets on the Clippers after Jan. 1 of any year deserves bad things to happen to them, and the pigs turned in another half-effort in getting crushed by the Spurs. The over also carried to put the project at -2 units. That was mitigated somewhat when the Knicks stunned Dallas and easily covered by one of the largest margins of the year - 44.5 points. So we're at -1 heading into Saturday bets placed at betjamaica.com:
1. Toronto getting 8.5 at Portland. Refs Tony Brown, Joey Crawford and Leon Wood all solidly favor road dogs.
2. Minnesota getting 8 at Sacramento and 3. The under at 208.5 in the same game. Old friend Dick Bavetta is hostile to home teams and his games go under the vast majority of the time. Phil Robinson and Michael Smith don't favor home teams either.
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2010 12:20 PM
I wrote the Tim Donaghy story, which was posted on Tuesday and Thursday. One of the persons commenting on Part I mentioned that he has regularly placed bets based on referee tendencies, which are available on the Covers.com site (pulldown ref assignments on the NBA tab).
Donaghy made the point that referees have such a bearing on he result of games that he was able to accurate predict winners ATS at a 70-80 percent rate. Donaghy also had inside information about injuries, referee grudges etc. that are not available to us, and he used that info.
It all got me thinking that if the spread pretty much evens things out between the teams, and the spread is created prior to and without knowledge of the ref assignments, then the guys with the officials are an overlooked variable.
Covers.com stats indicate which referees tend to work games that tend to go over or under the total, and which refs work games in which the visiting teams tend to cover (and which don't).
Betting games late in the season, when some teams are obviously tanking, is dangerous. But books readily concede that they take tanking into account when positing numbers.
With all that in mind, I plan to spend the rest of the season wagering on officials rather than teams. Who is playing becomes irrelevant. Who is blowing the whistle is vital. Will play 3 units every day at ... [More]
Posted Tuesday, March 09, 2010 12:34 PM
Tim Donaghy’s book Personal Foul: A First Person Account of the Scandal That Rocked the NBA was rejected by one publisher, and there are unconfirmed reports that the reason was that the NBA threatened the company with legal action. Donaghy addressed the issue during my 90-minute interview
last week, but the former referee asked that that portion of the conversation be off the record.
Everything else we talked about was on the record, and Donaghy appeared to be eager to unburden himself of a part of his life that he was not proud of. Several times and without prompting he mentioned the damage that he had caused to his family. He pointed out that although his career as an NBA official was destroyed, he still had the support of his parents and children.
Donaghy appeared somewhat resigned to the fact that many people do not make the distinction between betting on games (to which he readily admits) and fixing games (which he emphatically denies). He was unable to give a convincing argument for why he wagered on games that he himself officiated even though he was able to predict the winners of other games with 70- to 80-percent accuracy.
Donaghy owes restitution to the NBA and says that royalties won't show up in his bank account until that is taken care of. For the near future he will hawk his book and spend some time on a speaking tou... [More]