I could say I’m still learning to bet on the NBA.
Or that three games is nothing.
But I won’t. The theory of NFL blowouts is off to an inauspicious start in the NBA. In football, I went 16-0 in 2010 betting on good teams controlling hapless squads by excessive margins. In basketball, I’m 1-2 in 2011 wagers, and because I’m working from a modest hypothetical stake that’s dropped from $500 to $215, I need a win. Now.
Perhaps I’m discovering garbage time isn’t plentiful in the NFL, where two plays can turn a runaway victory into a struggle.
Perhaps in the NBA, a team like San Antonio manufactures garbage time routinely. Maybe the Spurs can exert themselves for a few minutes (a 35-18 third quarter blitz last night), then concede a few baskets across the balance of the game against bad teams, to recover from previous tussles (like their down-to-the-wire contest with Oklahoma City two nights before) and conserve energy for tough games ahead.
Perhaps, in basketball terms, the Spurs did crush the Nets last night.
Maybe, but points are points, the Spurs didn’t cover, and I still need a win. So the question is whether I adjust now after an insufficient sample, or stick to my guns after an insufficient sample. In other words, a real-world decision in an imaginary setting.
Sounds like the start of good fiction. Or a shaky second date.
I’m going with $110 to win $100 on Dallas giving 9 at Washington tonight. The Mavericks are rested and peaking, and the Bullets (this is a Wizards-free zone) are one night removed from holding their own in Miami. I’m betting they won’t shoot well two nights running.