In 1969 the rock band Three Dog Night had a Top Ten hit with “One (Is The Loneliest Number).”
That song comes to mind when only one team remains winless in a major sport.
In the NFL, past the midpoint of the season, the song applies to the Oakland Raiders.
In the NBA it has taken less than two weeks for the song to be relevant as the Los Angeles Lakers’ win over Charlotte on Sunday left only the Philadelphia 76ers yet to win a game.
Projected to win just 15.5 games this season, the 76ers are considered to be the weakest team in the NBA by a fairly large margin. The next lowest wins total this season is the 24 wins projected for Milwaukee, more than 50 percent more than the Sixers’ projection.
And the 76ers are alone in another way as well. The last three unbeaten teams all went down over this past weekend with Memphis and Houston losing on Saturday and Golden State, who had beaten Houston a night earlier in the battle of the unbeaten, lost on Sunday at Phoenix.
Cleveland’s 2-3 start may be a surprise to many but it was expected that it would take time for LeBron James and his new teammates to find the cohesion and rhythm that we are likely to see come Playoffs time.
James said as much himself on the eve of the season’s start. Put another way, and to quote philosopher Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, Cavaliers fans should “just relax.” Even those bettors who played OVER 58.5 season wins.
Injuries continue to be a major factor influencing a team’s success.
Oklahoma City has started 2-5 with stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook sidelined.
Chicago’s Derrick Rose is battling an ankle injury as he returns from the knee injuries that sidelined him for most of the past three seasons.
With just five players on the court at any one time the absence or return of an injured player can have a substantial impact on both the betting line and the game’s result.
That’s why we can see some major volatility in lines within an hour or so of tip off as the status of “questionable” players becomes clear.
In this era of sports betting it is pretty much a requisite for success to be involved in social media such as Twitter in addition to following teams’ fortunes and their beat writers on the internet.
In the past the edges used to be in having access to information that others did not have.
Now, in our instantaneous society, it becomes even more important to have that information first.
Of course, complicating matters is often the accuracy of that information. It is more important to disseminate information first and check for accuracy second. Those with that way of thinking likely do not wager on a regular basis!
Fortunately, to counteract the proliferation of often false or vague information is the ability to take advantage of in game wagering, a phenomenon introduced several years ago that has taken off greatly and should be considered as an integral part of every “sports investor’s” game plan.
Here’s a look at three games to be played this weekend.
Minnesota at New Orleans: Playing in New Orleans, Anthony Davis does not get the recognition he would get if he played in a major market or on a team that was a perennial Playoff contender. But Davis might give LeBron James a run for MVP this season.
The Pelicans are improving and already own a win at San Antonio. Minnesota is transitioning after trading away Kevin Love to Cleveland for some young players with upside potential. New Orleans may not have enough yet to make the playoffs this season but they do have enough to handily defeat the weaker teams on their schedule and the Timberwolves fall into that category. MINNESOTA.
San Antonio at Sacramento: The upstart Kings are rested after playing in Memphis on Thursday whereas the Spurs are off of Friday night’s game at the Lakers. The Spurs have started the season 0-5 ATS as they wear the mantle of defending NBA champs and will get a focused effort from every foe.
The Kings had their 5 game winning streak snapped Sunday in Oklahoma City. There’s always the possibility that San Antonio will rest starters in the second of back to back games as they already did last week, just 4 games into the season.
The Kings have a nice blend of experience and youth but are still a season or two away from being Playoff contenders in the deep West. They will use this game as a measuring stick and will be primed for a big effort. SACRAMENTO.
Golden State at LA Lakers: The wins will be few and far between for the Lakers who finally got their first win of the season last Sunday when they defeated Charlotte, by far the weakest team faced in what is a demanding early season schedule. The Lakers have already lost once to the Warriors, 127 to 104, failing to cover as 14 point road dogs.
The Lakers are rested while Golden State hosted Charlotte Saturday night. That might not make a difference in the result although it could mean a higher scoring game with the Warriors’ defense not rested and the Lakers having allowed all but Charlotte to score at least 108 points. OVER.
Andy Iskoe, and his Logical Approach, provides his popular and unique handicapping statistics to Gaming Today readers and online visitors. He has been a long time GT columnist, contributing weekly in-season columns on baseball, pro basketball and pro football. Contact Andy at [email protected]