Submitted by Wayne Allyn Root on Monday, April 27, 2015 at 5:56 PM
Wayne Root: Doors Opening for Potential NBA Cinderellas
The 2015 NBA Playoffs have been fairly disappointing so far in terms of excitement and drama. There have been a few great games. There have been some exhilarating moments scattered across the brackets. But, for the most part...the series have been ending in workmanlike fashion. The only series upset was a 4-0 sweep for Washington!
What's most interesting to me as THE KING OF UPSETS is how the door may be opening for potential Cinderella stories later in the proceedings. It was initially believed that the Conference Finals and Championship round were going to be the domain of Golden State, San Antonio, Cleveland, and Atlanta. We might have some upsets before then involving teams who would then lose to "the big four." But...THOSE teams were going to be around at the end.
*Atlanta isn't looking at all like a top seed in the East. Assuming they get past #8 seed Brooklyn...the Hawks could have real trouble with resurgent Washington. The Wizards played great in their thrashing of Toronto. Their defense is better than realized. And, the media is once again learning the importance of championship experience (Paul Pierce) in the playoffs. Atlanta is far from a sure thing to reach the Eastern Finals in their current form.
*Cleveland just lost Kevin Love to a separated shoulder. It's assumed he'll be out at least a couple of weeks. If he returns earlier, he won't be at 100%. No less than Jalen Rose of ESPN said there was no way Cleveland could beat Chicago without Love. I don't believe that myself (nor does the betting market). But, a series upset certainly becomes more likely. And, the Cavs have lost some important margin for error if either LeBron James or Kyrie Irving also get hurt. Cleveland's road just got tougher.
*San Antonio may not even get past the first round! The Spurs handed back home court advantage in their series with the Clippers Sunday with a home loss. They'll play on a Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday rotation this week if the series goes the distance. San Antonio must win two of those three (with only one home game) to advance. Right now, it looks like the market will have the Clippers as slight favorites in two of the three games.
*Golden State swept New Orleans...so they seem fairly safe. Yet, they failed to play to market expectations in the first three outings...only pulling away in the fourth game once the Pelicans were out of gas after a heartbreaking Game Three loss. The Warriors are at least now more vulnerable than they had seemed entering the brackets. New Orleans gave them fits for long stretches. Upcoming opponents are capable of giving them even more fits!
I'm not here to suggest that it's going to be Chicago-Washington in the Eastern Finals, and then LA Clippers-Memphis in the West. But, it's very clear to me that the door is at least opening enough to allow one Cinderella story into the Final Four...and possibly more. It would be something if a relatively quiet First Round led to a wild and crazy couple of months of shockers!
How can handicappers like you and me pin down the best upset series upset scenarios? The same fundamentals that we always use apply:
*Only take underdogs who can score enough points to win four separate individual games. Yes, defense is important too. But, "defensive dogs" lose heartbreakers rather than scoring upsets. You need weaponry.
*Only fade favorites who have a clear vulnerability that can be exploited. It's not enough to "hope" a favorite has an off day...or FOUR off days in a best-of-seven format. As we saw when Washington dismantled Toronto...there has to be a weakness (a few in this case for the Raptors, particularly on defense) that can be exploited. Spend some time figuring out what New Orleans did right against Golden State...how Brooklyn managed to cover the first three games against Atlanta, and so on. What are the weaknesses of "the big four" that could be exploited by talented opponents?
I'm very excited about how the coming weeks are shaping up. Even if I don't end up calling for any series upsets...I know there will definitely be GAME OF THE YEAR caliber upset scenarios that pop up repeatedly on a game-by-game basis. It's going to be a very profitable time for my clients.
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I'm the only man in the sports betting industry that has a star on the "Walk of Fame" here in Las Vegas. I'm always a few steps ahead of the oddsmakers...so if an oddsmaker ever gets a star, his will naturally be a few steps behind mine!
Some great opportunities are ahead for underdog bettors. I can feel it in my bones...and see it in my state-of-the-art handicapping arsenal. That means it's time for you to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!