Three bets tonight, all on NBA showcase teams:

  • $100 to win $115 on Miami knocking off the Spurs in San Antonio
  • $105 to win $100 on Boston giving 9.5 at home against Golden State
  • $105 to win $100 on the L.A. Lakers giving 12 at home against Charlotte

Because the Spurs are without their point guard and Miami needs a win, a road-weary Golden State can’t match the Celts’ front line, and Charlotte isn’t Charlotte anymore, not without Gerald Wallace, not against a coalescing ┬áLaker squad it embarrassed three weeks ago.

Temptations passed include New York giving 12 at home against Cleveland (it may be a rout, but the spread is high without Billups), Dallas giving 8.5 at home against Indianapolis (it ought to be a blowout, but the Mavs have a penchant for letting bad teams hang around), and Minnesota getting 9 in Philadelphia (very, very tempting, but Philly defends well, and it’s a Friday night showcase for a rising team).

Had this been the NFL, I would have winnowed down to one choice I felt I was almost certain to win, and then bet more aggressively. That’s not possible at the moment in the NBA, not for me. I’m still learning/thrashing about. There are eight possible outcomes across three bets: a 12.5% chance I win $315, a matching chance I lose $310, and a 75% chance I finish the night up or down $100, give or take a few dollars. I’m expecting what the odds suggest: a 2-1 or 1-2 night. Not so thrilling, but until I find a way into NBA wagering, it will have to do.

I’m still looking at the schedules of the poorer teams in the league (Washington and Cleveland, the nouveau sinking ships in Charlotte and Utah, volatile-but-bad Minnesota and Toronto, and the Sacramento’s fathomless mess. No new wagering theories yet, but hints of patterns. We’ll see.