See what happens when you don't complain about half point losses? The very next day the gambling gods hand you a thrilling, instant classic, come-from-behind, overtime, one-point cover. It would be interesting at some point to go back at analyze our picks from the perspective of:
1. Smart - covers by five+
2. Dumb - missed covers by 5+
3. Lucky - covers by 1 or less
4. Sad - those half point losses
Yesterday's results would have ended up being 2 Smarts, a Dumb, and a Lucky. The end results, however, is our first burst above .500. Much like 2013, Marco and I are getting to know the teams almost as well as they're getting to know each other. Things should become clearer as they playoffs move forward. For now, let's keep the momentum going as we build on a 3-1 ATS and hope to improve these stats:
NBA Playoff Record to Date: 16-14 ATS
Top Confidence Picks: 4-3 ATS
Paltry to say the least, so let's see if we can get some W-L separation with tonight's match-ups.
Miami Heat (-7.5) over CHARLOTTE BOBCATS: This is probably our least confident pick of the night, but we're going to roll with the defending champs and touchdown favs to take advantage of the opportunity for rest as their potential next round match-ups (BRK/TOR) are all tied at two apiece. We'd normally take a team with their backs against the wall at home, but Game 3 showed us that the "on switch" has been flipped for the Heat. I mentioned to Bobcat fans that we might take Charlotte and the points in this game, and we have no doubt that Kemba and Co. will put up a fight, but in an elimination game, there will be late fouls and free throws that inch that score above the cover.
"Is that the exit, Lebron? Okay thanks?"
INDIANA PACERS (-7) over Atlanta Hawks: We're not afraid to give up the points here. The second half of Game 2 in Indy showed us how good that Pacers defense can be, while Game 4 in Atlanta reminded us that although the NBA is full of millionaires playing a game for a living, they're also a bunch of kids who get fired up when they can rise to the occasion in the face of criticism and media hype. We see Roy Hibbert finally getting into this series and putting his mark on it with a game changing double-double and several key block. Indy early and Indy late.
San Antonio Spurs (-3.5) over DALLAS MAVERICKS: We predicting a letdown game after Vince Carter's buzzer beater. This is almost an elimination game for the Spurs, as a 3-1 deficit in the NBA is a deep hole to climb out of. I don't think anyone knew San Antonio's hands would be quite this full, but it's not too late for Pop and the Big Three to roll to a 4-2 series win. That begins tonight with a "Smart" mini-rout tonight. Give up the points.
Top Confidence Pick: Fool me once, shame on me, but we'll roll with the Spurs again - San Antonio (-3.5) over Dallas.
Yikes. I never feel great about picking all favorites, but that's just the kind of night it's going to be. We've had some great basketball, some close games, and we predict an ebb in that flow on a Monday evening in late April. If you love the Heat, the Pacers, or the Spurs, enjoy the predictability.
May the Spreads Be With Us All,
Vinny and Marco