By Tony George
As I look over round 1 of the playoffs, I like to find an underdog and a Favorite to place a small wager on. As you all know I am NOT a huge fan of exotic wagers, and am a flat betting type guy across the board, however a small $100 wager for some fun and or a long shot to hit is always a small rush. I do not recommend laying any type of big money out there, and the books rake on these futures bets are unreal, which also is a point of contention with me personally, but I do play a few.
Lets break down a couple of them:
My Favorite is Dallas -175 over San Antonio
While just like in baseball I never lay over -150 on any one game, I do like the way Dallas finished strong at the end of the season, and all the roster changes has taken shape and chemistry has developed. Dallas won 3 out of 4 this season and have covered 8 out of the last 10 in this series. He only thing that gives me pause here is that the Spurs started to play some defense. They are aging and have nagging injuries and people have figured out how to beat them. Dallas leads in the NBA in free throw percentage and bad news for the Spurs, they allow the highest percentage of 3 pointers allowed. They simply cannot get over on the Mavs, they are 2-8 both SU and ATS the 10 meetings. The stats look close, Dallas the better team with home court in this series, and have the deeper bench.
My Underdog is Utah +155 over Denver
A gut feeling here, but without George Karl coaching or limited at best, Denver has not been as sharp. These two teams split 5-5 this season and of all the teams playing in round 1, these guys are pretty evenly matched to the point where the underdog could win the series outright, not too many others can say that when looking at the matchups. Denver really looked bad against the Suns on Tuesday playing for a division title game on the road and losing in very bad fashion. Utah at home is a different animal and Jerry Sloan seems to coach his best in the playoffs. You can count on a ton of scoring in this series, and the hotter team from floor will win and cover games, it is that simple. Denver kind of tripped down the stretch run here, just a gut feel they get upended here and worth a small stretch on the moneyline with the dog here with a slightly better defense.
These are my takes for a small futures bet in round 1. Check out all my action as I go for 6th year in a row of NBA profits in the post season at www.pregamepros.com