The Best Way To Bet NBA Shockers - Looking For Good Coaching

From the "King of Las Vegas"WAYNE ROOT!


Let's say you have a feeling that a series underdog is going to pull an upset in the first round of the NBA playoffs. You're confident that the wrong team is favored because of personnel matchups, injuries, recent form, whatever. What's the best way to bet your opinion?

  • Should you bet the underdog at the series price?
  • Or, are you better off taking them against the spread in every game hoping that they cover more than they fail to cover?

When you're trying to maximize your edge, and your profit, these are important considerations.

If you're WRONG about a series upset (which happens to even the best of handicappers), you still might make some money if your team loses in a competitive series. It's not hard to imagine a live dog just missing the series upset in a seven-game war, yet they go 4-3 or 5-2 against the spread. If you bet the series price, you're 0-1. If you bet the games, you won money!

If you're RIGHT about a series upset, it can still be more valuable to bet the games if the return isn't very high. We have a few short dogs in the first round this year. Let's say you like San Antonio at +145 or Miami at +155 to win their series over Dallas or Boston respectively. You're basically risking one unit to win 1.5 units. Is there more value trying to go 4-2 ATS in a six-game series, or 5-2 ATS in a seven game series? What about trying to find the one game where everything's lined up perfectly for a peak performance? Is it better to risk one unit to win 1.5 on a series...or wait for the ideal spot where a two or three unit bet is almost a sure thing?

You longtime readers know I won't post any of my upset calls or game day selections here in the web articles. That information is for paying customers. I have put together some general guidelines for how to play first round "shockers"based on the prices I'm seeing right now in Vegas.

Chicago +1800
Charlotte +750

It's very rare to see a true longshot win an opening round series. Golden State beat Dallas awhile back in a #8 vs. a #1 series...but they had to shoot way over their heads from long range to do it. And, Dallas isn't a league power to the same degree that Cleveland and Orlando (the opponents in these matchups) are right now. If you truly believe you've got a live dog in this kind of series, put down a quarter of a unit of half a unit on the series price just in case lightning strikes. Your best bet in my view is to take the points on a game-by-game basis. You'll be getting big spreads on the road, and small spreads at home. The Lakers were monster favorites over Utah last year in the first round. Betting Utah yielded a 3-2 ATS record even though it wasn't a very competitive series! If you respect a dog against a powerhouse, game-by-game is the way to go.

Milwaukee +600
Oklahoma City +575
Portland +485

This is where it can get very tricky. The point here is to not "talk yourself into"a dog because you see what you think is a juicy price. Can shorthanded Milwaukee really beat Atlanta in a best of seven? Can inexperienced Oklahoma City take out the defending World Champion Lakers? Can shorthanded Portland derail red hot Phoenix enough to eliminate them in this round? Hey, if you can make a serious case for your dog, go for it. I think the value is more likely to show up on a game by game basis. You'll be getting plenty of points on the road (around +7 or +8), and the home games will be virtual pick-ems. Series dogs in these kinds of matchups often play in front of rabid home crowds screaming for an upset. I've found great success over the years finding that ONE game where the stars line up for a huge performance. Think of Atlanta crushing Boston at home two years ago, or other prominent Game Three or Game Four blowouts. Betting on the series often just brings you heartbreak. Betting big in the best situational spot brings you a pile of cash!

Utah +170
Miami +155
San Antonio +145

It's important to remember here that it's tough to bet your "upset"side in every game for value because they'll probably be laying 3-4 points (sometimes more) in their home games. Ironically, when you have what you consider to be a live dog in a competitive series, it's better to take all seven dogs rather than your team seven times! You may get four nailbiters out of six games, or five out of seven on your way to a series upset.

To me, this is where you step in on the series price with a serious bet. If you're truly confident with your side, you can pick up your aggressiveness here and risk two or three units rather than just one. Now, I'm not talking about a series you think should be "pick-em"and the return is +150. That's a one-unit bet for value. If you think Vegas has posted a FALSE FAVORITE (which has been known to happen in the playoffs in the 4-5 and 3-6 matchups, or in later rounds-like we saw last year in the Cleveland/Orlando series), then press up your units on the outright win. Consider risking 2 units to win 3, or even 3 units to win 4.5.

Of course, you should also consider picking your spots here for one big play where everything's lined up for your preferred side.

If you're concerned about misplaying the first round, sign up with THE KING OF UPSETS right now by calling 1-877-ROOT-WINS. I know which dogs to take this weekend, and which favorites actually offer value. I may also get involved in the totals. Vegas oddsmakers traditionally have a lot of trouble getting Game One totals right.

I've got great rates for the full playoff package (be sure to ask about the baseball/basketball combo when you call!). Game day selections can also be purchased here at the website with your credit card.

Again, I don't want to tip my hand too much in a web article. I can tell you I expect at least one BIG SURPRISE this weekend...and at least one BIG SURPRISE in an opening round series. The only way to make sure you're playing properly is to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!


With Two-Time AFC Coach of the Year RON MEYER


I think that the general public mostly does a pretty bad job of evaluating basketball coaches. That's true in all sports of course. It's a really big deal in pro basketball though because the media prefers to celebrate star players, rather than showcase what coaches are doing.

  • In football, coaches are blamed for or credited with play calling. In basketball, the guy who scores gets credit and nobody even thinks about the coach who set up the play.
  • In football, coaches are blamed for or credited with time management. In basketball, there are so many stoppages in play that the timeouts seem obvious.
  • Also, DEFENSIVE STRATEGIES often determine who wins and loses playoff games, but everyone's looking at the guy with the ball rather than the guys who are trying to stop him. Coaches determine defensive strategies but rarely get any credit when they work (or blame when they don't).

If you're trying to handicap the NBA playoffs this week and through the rest of the Spring, you really need to pay attention to these elements. Remember, picking winners comes from an understanding of WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN ON THE FLOOR!

Ask yourself these questions about all 16 remaining coaches as you watch the action on TV Saturday and Sunday:

  • Can the coach create an offensive schematic that gets his guys open looks, or does he just sit on the bench and hope his star gets hot?
  • Does the coach run a fluid offense with both inside and outside threats? Or, does the shot clock keep running out because things are so stagnant?
  • Can the coach impose his preferred tempo on the game. Or, is he at the mercy of the opposing coach? This is often more important than anything in an NBA playoff series. If you can play at your preferred speed, or keep the opponent from playing at their preferred speed, most of the battle is already won.
  • Does the coach react properly to the flow of the game? Most of you have a sense already for when a timeout should be called as things are getting away from a team. Is the coach one step ahead of you? Or one step behind? Does he pick up the attack when things are going well, going for the jugular when the opponent has lost a step? Some coaches are overwhelmed by this element of playoff basketball. Others are maestros.
  • And don't forget about DEFENSE! Has the coach set up proper rotations that make it very difficult for opponents to drive to the basket? Does the coach have his defensive stopper on the right guy at the right time (Greg Popovich has always been a master of this, as has Larry Brown)? Is the other team constantly running down the shot clock because it's so hard to find an option?

We have 16 coaches in the NBA postseason, and it's not a 16-way tie in terms of quality. Some are ideally suited for playoff basketball. Some are poorly suited. If you want to pick winners from now through the Championships in June, you'd best get a read on how the coaches rank top to bottom!

We had a fantastic run through MARCH MADNESS thanks to my ability to handicap from a coach's perspective. I hope I taught you a thing or two about college hoops in the process. I plan to do the same thing through the NBA Playoffs. I've got some huge plays on tap for Saturday and Sunday. Call 1-877-540-8787 right now to sign up for those games or my entire postseason package. You won't believe the low price!

Don't forget that game day releases and packages can also be purchased here at the website with your credit card.

Whoever wins the title this year is going to do so with a quality coach in their corner. It may be a guy that the media underestimates. It may be a guy that YOU underestimate. But, I can assure you it will be a coach who understands defense, understands the flow of the game, and understands how to get good looks for his best offensive weapons.

If you want to win round by round along the way, it's time for you to put a coach in YOUR corner!


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