Decline And Fall Of Celtics Painful To Watch

Decline And Fall Of Celtics Painful To Watch But It's Really Over-And For A Long Time

It's Time To Start Making Serious Baseball Totals Bets With A Formula That Nails "Overs"

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By Kelso Sturgeon

Confession may be good for the soul but it certainly does nothing to make up for losing money betting on the Boston Celtics. I should know, for I have now regrettably done it twice in the National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs. Whether I do it again depends on the number.

I opened the semifinal round of the NBA playoffs Sunday with a 50-unit play on the Celtics (+5 ½) in their first game against the Miami Heat, and lost 99-90 in a game I believed should have been much closer. Last night it was right back with a 25-unit play on Boston (+5) and I lost again as Miami turned up the heat late, broke an 80-80 and went on to get the job done in convincing fashion, 102-91.

Tuesday night's game was a wake-up call for me, because it made me realize it's over for the Boston Celtics-and I mean for a long time as they start to rebuild almost from the ground up.

This is a team that is too old-and it really shows-to go the distance. Miami ran rings around Boston and the Celtics did not have the physical ability to keep up. Slow and plodding was the name of their game.

It is of interest the Celtics and the Heat are the two oldest teams in the NBA, both with average ages the north side of 30, but that is a rather misleading fact.

Miami's stars and game-breakers-guard Dwayne Wade and forwards LeBron James and Chris Bosh-have an average age of 27.3 years. The tried-and true Boston threesome of guard Ray Allen and forwards Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce weigh in at an average of 34.7 years

This is the seventh NBA season for Miami's Wade and the eight year for James and Bosh. For the Celtics, this is year 15 for Allen, year 16 for Garnett and year 13 for Pierce. The wear and tear on the latter three is almost twice that of the Miami trio and it's showing itself in dramatic fashion.

The old men of Boston can't keep up with Miami on either offense or defense.

Boston is a 3-point favorite in game three, primarily on the strength of its home court bias. The Celtics went 35-8 at home this season, a record that signals they are always tough there.

My early analysis is that Miami will get a split in Boston and then return home and bury the Celtics once and for all and head for the NBA Eastern Conference championship game.

Current Prices To Win Semifinal Series

Here are the current prices for each team to win their semifinal series. For the record, Miami leads its series with Boston 2-0, while the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks are up 1-0, respectively, over the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls. The Memphis-Oklahoma City series is tied 1-1.

            Boston vs. Miami
            Miami -615
            Boston +490

            Atlanta vs. Chicago
            Atlanta +220
            Chicago -260

            Dallas vs. Los Angeles Lakers
            Dallas +140
            Los Angeles -160

            Memphis vs. Oklahoma City
            Memphis +135
            Oklahoma City -155

As you can see by the numbers, with the exception of the Boston Celtics-Miami Heat best-of-seven series, bookmakers expect the other semifinals to be close. In case you are not familiar with money-line betting, it is quite simple. For instance in the Boston-Miami series, if you like Boston to win it, you can get +490 for your money, or $490 for each $100 bet. If you think the Heat will win it all, you will have to lay -615, or $615 to win $100.

Time To Start Betting Baseball Totals "Over"

I have released a handful of baseball totals this season and am now ready to get serious about it, and my focus will be primarily on "overs" because the latter are far more predictable than taking a game to go "under". So I am not misunderstood, this is all about betting overs. There are two things to consider when betting a baseball game to go over the runs total. The elements:

  1. Both pitchers must show a progressive decline in form-something illustrated by (a) an earned run average that has gone up with each game pitched, (b) with the pitcher lasting few innings in each game, and the number of hits he has given up in each game increasing.
  2. Both teams must have decent hitting averages and I would define "decent" as being at .250 and up.

It is a bonus if the teams both had weak bullpens and when that happens I double my Bet.

This may look like an overly-simple formula but it has worked for me for years. The two elements listed are cut in stone and will produce a high percentage of winning overs. It also helps that those making baseball lines are slow to react to the performances of both pitchers and teams. They may still be offer a total at 8 when the elements suggest it is headed for 10-11 runs.

Try it. I know you will be satisfied.

Baseball Over/Under Figures For 2011

Listed here are all 30 Major League Baseball teams, with their current over/under record for the season. The teams are listed alphabetically with their over/under record and how that translates into win percentage

Team O/U Record % O/U
Arizona Diamondbacks 14-12-1 53.8% Over
Atlanta Braves 14-13-2 51.9% Over
Baltimore Orioles 13-13-0 50% Even
Boston Red Sox 10-14-3 58.3% Under
Chicago White Sox 13-15-1 53.3% Under
Chicago Cubs 16-11-0 59.3% Over
Cincinnati Reds 16-11-1 59.3% Over
Cleveland Indians 15-11-1 57.7% Over
Colorado Rockies 16-9-1 64.0% Over
Detroit Tigers 17-10-1 63.0% Over
Florida Marlins 13-12-1 52.0% Over
Houston Astros 17-11-0 60.7% Over
Kansas City Royals 16-11-1 59.3% Over
Los Angeles Angels 8-18-2 69.2% Under
Los Angeles Dodgers 17-9-3 65.4% Over
Milwaukee Brewers 11-15-1 57.7% Under
Minnesota Twins 10-17-0 63.0% Under
New York Mets 18-9-1 66.7% Over
New York Yankees 12-12-1 50% Even
Oakland Athletics 13-14-1 51.9% Under
Philadelphia Phillies 13-13-1 50% Even
Pittsburgh Pirates 10-17-1 63.0% Under
San Diego Padres 12-16-0 57.1% Under
San Francisco Giants 13-12-2 52.0% Over
Seattle Mariners 16-11-2 59.3% Over
St. Louis Cardinals 16-11-1 59.3% Over
Tampa Bay Rays 10-18-0 64.3% Under
Texas Rangers 14-13-1 51.9% Over
Toronto Blue Jays 13-13-2 50.0% Even
Washington Nationals 16-11-0 59.3% Over
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