Punched in the South

Sacramento 111 Orlando 105

Oh, come on—it’s funny.

I’m fine with yesterday’s wager. I’m also down to $225 after debuting with a loss.

My second choice for a bet (Chicago over Toronto) didn’t pan out either (though my third, Philly over Washington, did), and now I’m two small wagers from oblivion. Of course I need a winner; I just bet heavily against Jermaine Taylor on the greatest day in the history of Jermaine Taylor.

But I also put as much money down as I dared yesterday—55% of my stake. I imagined a victory column today, but I also considered what The Morning After would look like on the off chance that for one star-crossed night, Jermaine Taylor wasn’t Jermaine Taylor.

No one you’d like to know actually embraces duality, but it’s possible to price bets so you don’t lose sleep either way. It stinks to lose right off the bat, and it will force me to be more conservative on my next few wagers, but I’m glad I was aggressive, glad enough to cope with the mysteries of Jermaine Taylor.

Besides, with only $500 and the vig to consider, I started this blog only four small bets from oblivion.

So onward and sideways, for a while.

There are only two NBA games tonight—Miami at Chicago and Boston at Denver. Neither is tempting; the first is unpredictable (two very good, healthy, motivated teams) and the second is a Celtics squad with a key injury (Kendrick Perkins, again) facing a reconfigured franchise that’s suddenly a cypher. It might have a deep bench. It might have a chip on its shoulder. It might be a harmonic convergence of mismatched players. Pass.

In meantime, I’ll be waiting for Friday’s lines.

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Final Horns and Revelations

  • Boston 115 Golden State 93
  • Oklahoma City 111 LA Clippers 88
  • Miami 117 Sacramento 97

Three blowouts, three covers, no candy.

So much for discretion.

I take minor solace in targeting three of last night’s four 20+ margins of victory. My only omission—the Lakers thumping Atlanta at Staples—may have been predictable, but the game seemed unattractive for wagering, simply because it featured two good teams. With the spread, I tend to have a coinflipper’s success in that kind of matchup.

If wishes were horses. I missed getting paid off for routs I’d circled, so one day in, I’m still sitting with my original hypothetical $500 stake and a 0-0 wagering record.

That changes tonight.

Wager Number One is $275 to win $250 on Orlando covering the 14 points they’re giving by doing terrible things to Sacramento.  That’s the spread according to here, at half past nine on an overcast, undercaffeinated Rockridge morning.

Why? Because it’s a rested, healthy home team facing an opponent that

  1. has lost twice as many games as the Magic thus far,
  2. was demolished by Miami last night, and
  3. can’t score without Tyreke Evans.

When the irresistible force meets the impeachable object, I’m in as far as I dare. My only caution is the trade rumors swirling around Orlando as the league’s deadline approaches. But I’m betting on Sacramento’s adolescence overcoming all.

Should I lose, I’ll regret overlooking Washington’s road to nowhere winding through Philly, and Chicago at Toronto. But I’m passing on Philly because it’s still an also-ran facing an also-ran (a departure from the good vs. bad baseline for rout-hunting), and on Chicago because it remains a young team on the road. Chicago is the more tempting option; I suspect the Bulls will cruise and the Sixers will cover, but the money is on Sacto’s ineptitude.

We’ll see. Go Magic.