The only thing better than kicking back and watching sports is gambling on the outcome of said sports and then watching them.
Growing up in Australia, I have the gambling bug and that very philosophy deeply instilled into me.
Sports betting Down Under is not how it’s perceived in the United States, where it’s associated with dark alleys, slicked-back hair and oversized coats. In Australia, there is a wealth of online corporate bookmakers offering hundreds of betting markets in a 100% licensed and legal environment.
That’s right, we can gamble from the comfort of our own homes via our computers, phones and tablets. You can even place sporting wagers at bars!
Can you imagine walking into Hooters (sorry I went for the ultimate American stereotype), placing your bets on the next NBA game on your iPhone, downing a skinful of beers and sitting back with your mates as you cheer on your team and win big?
Game. Set. Match – Sports Betting.
Now I can’t guarantee I’ll always provide winning advice, but I am 5-4 confident that my selections will be more profitable than Kramer’s over time.
Okay, let’s get into some of my early season thoughts in regards to futures betting.
Brooklyn Nets 25-1 to win the East
As a totally unbiased Nets fan, I am absolutely locking in the 25-1 current odds at Betfair on my boys to win the Eastern Conference. Seriously, the East is incredibly low on top end talent.
Cleveland is the team to beat in the East, no doubt. They will sort things out, please stop worrying. They will be fine.
The Bulls are rock solid but I’m extremely cautious of playing them unless I see 25 straight games of a healthy Derrick Rose, especially at the 5-2 odds. Chicago’s offense lacks bite at the best of times and as much as I love Tom Thibodeau, you are not beating the Spurs, Warriors and Thunder unless you can go on a 3-4 minute run and fill it up. I don’t care how good your defense is. I’m also not overly sold on Pau but we will save that rant for another column.
As for the Wizards, Heat, Raptors, Hawks and Hornets – they don’t scare me one bit. Seriously, the teams in the West are laughing at these “playoff contenders.”
And wait, I’ve got one more little curveball for you. The NEW YORK KNICKS are shorter odds to win the Eastern Conference than my Nets are. That has to be some kind of sick joke. Carmelo Anthony and his band of merry men have more chance of winning three straight playoff series than the Nets do?
My pick will look golden if the following things go right for Brooklyn: Deron Williams and Brook Lopez staying healthy. Bojan Bogdanović and Mirza Teletovic continuing to develop into the league’s best European 3-point shooting duo. Joe Johnson continuing to be the unsung, overpaid yet underrated Bentley of Basketball.
**Nets fans will notice I’ve declined to mention the rebounding issues, Jarrett Jack’s regression from a C- to a D+ defender and the rotting corpse that is Andrei Kirilenko.
Golden State Warriors 14-1 to win the NBA Championship.
This one interests me a lot because of the following reasons
A) Steve Kerr is a genius and the Warriors are absolutely flying. The Dubs offense is singing like a bird, 107.2 points per game and leading the NBA. I was a big endorser of the Mark Jackson firing and I love that Kerr is incorporating fellow Aussie Andrew Bogut and his array of passing and scoring skills into the Warriors’ offense.
B) The Thunder and the Clippers (who are the Warriors’ nearest rivals in betting) have some serious doubts surrounding them. The Thunder have been rocked by a well-documented injury curse whilst I feel that the Clippers just have that little something missing.
By the time Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook return, I am predicting the Thunder to have a 7-15 record, or something similar to that. From this point they will have to go approximately 43 and 17 to make the playoffs. That would be enough to just get the 8-seed, let alone get a home series and advance past the 1st round.
Perimeter defense is an issue for the Clips, and if Matt Barnes isn’t hitting open 3’s (He is currently shooting 31% after going 2-3 last night against the Spurs) that issue will become a glaring deficiency that will stand between them and championship glory.
C) The Warriors are deep and deep where it matters. Playoff basketball is about your eight best players. Rotations shrink and the good players play big minutes. The Warriors have a large core of these “good players.”
Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes, Shaun Livingston, David Lee, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala are as talented as group of eight as there is in the league.
3-1 that DeMarcus Cousins is ejected from an NBA game before Christmas.
Boogie received a very dubious 6th foul the other night and subsequently exited the game. No pouting, no arguing, no kicking and screaming. He also did the old fashioned good samaritan deed of holding back his fuming coach Michael Malone so he didn’t receive a technical.
In wake of such a heart-warming and progressive moment for Cousins’ career, now is the time for us gamblers who love to wager on fake betting markets such as this one to cash in!
Boogie has literally lowered the virtual odds makers into a false sense of security! I am tipping that Monday the 1st of December against the Memphis Grizzlies’ massive frontline will be boom-time for Boogie’s ejection time-bomb.
I’ll be throwing up tons of daily NBA plays on my Twitter feed over the course of the season. Be sure to follow me and tweet me your thoughts.
Good luck hoops fans, and most importantly – good betting!
Jake Henson works for a corporate bookmaker in Australia and will be providing regular NBA and College Basketball gambling advice throughout the season. Feel free to follow him on twitter and tweet him your thoughts on any betting market that tickles your fancy – @jwhenson_