Yes, But Maybe You Can Lose for Winning

  • Boston covers 2 away from home.
  • Indiana covers 3 away from home.

A 2-0 night. My portfolio is up 62% overall.

I’m 16-10 since the beginning, and in the midst of a 13-2 run.

I’ve reeled off 9 consecutive wins.

The chances of that last one are 1 in 512.

So why am I frazzled?

Because Indiana couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn for half its game against comically undermanned New Jersey, then turned a 12-point deficit into an 11-point lead with 2:30 to play, then blew what looked like an easy cover with shoddy defense, a frenzy of turnovers, and more awful shooting. They then closed by covering on two free throws with two seconds remaining.

And also because Boston couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn for half its game against defensively challenged New York, then cut a 14-point deficit to 6 entering in the third, then reached the covering margin of 3 with only two minutes to go, before capping a 96-86 win with a late burst in Madison Square Garden.

One way to think of these wagering wins is that my assessments were sound, and the drama was illusory; Boston simply took its time asserting itself (as aging but clearly superior teams often do), and pure, dumb luck turned a series of Nets’ late-game heaves into baskets.

Possibly, but neither game felt that way at all. I may have been solidly right about the Pacers winning on the road, but in terms of wagering and spreads, the outcome was undeniably excruciating, humbling and random. A streak-preserving win that felt like a loss, so much so that the Celtics’ impressive reversal half an hour later seemed like another random act rather than what it was: superior inside power, defensive prowess, and veteran depth asserting itself inevitably over the course of 48 minutes.

So yes, it’s possible to win while becoming ever more convinced NBA wagering is a mystery.

Only three games tomorrow night, and I’m passing on all without considering the lines. I need a day to pick up the pieces/count my blessings.

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