Here’s A Brief Reminder That I’m A Moron

For those of you that frequent the site that consider us to have any idea what we’re talking about, I’d like to share with you the fact that that concept is completely and 100% false. For those of you that think that I’m a blubbering moron too partial to DWade and too negative towards the Lakers and basically is the personification of insight FAIL, well, this should just make you happy.

So the whole clan went to Vegas for a patriarchal birthday a week ago. And since I was seeking to avoid the end of my civilly recognized partnership with Paroxi-wife, I managed to stay away from the poker table. Mostly it was nice meals, dolphins, and LOVE (which was a lot like the Magic; really fun to watch but you’re not sure it really says anything).  But my one significant venture into the gambling arts was at the SportsBook.

I didn’t intend to win tons. I just wanted to walk away with a little extra thanks to my rather wide knowledge of the NBA universe. I wasn’t going to take any ridiculous underdog bets thanks to my heart getting its strings pulled by a lottery squad against a giant. I would place some bets, probably lose about half thanks to the unknowable mechanisms that comprise the NBA on a nightly basis, and walk away a little up with a good story to tell. Sounds nice, not too bold, right?



Going 1-7 in any given weekend goes far beyond a simple matter of poor luck. You have to genuinely fail to understand how professional basketball works or be drunker than Shane McGowan in hour seven of a binge to hit that kind of mark. There’s no way to make excuses for that kind of run.

So naturally, I’m now going to make exuses about them. Think of this as a way for you to mock my pain and some sort of therapy for me. Thanks for playing. Here are the bets and how they worked out.

PARLAY (Or As I Should Have Called It, Abject Surrender Of My Money)- Orlando (-8) Washington, Boston (-12) Memphis, Cleveland (-12.5) Sacramento:

Now this one I knew was dumb. I’d never done a parlay before. And if I was going to bet on one, I was only going to bet on favorites.

Orlando (-8) was pretty easy. Dwight Howard plus third best team in the East versus one of the worst teams in league. Yes please. And Orlando didn’t dissappoint, winning by nine. You guys are cool in my book, Magic.

Boston (-12) was one I struggled with before I made the bet. “That’s just a lot. And Memphis has so much talent! And the Celtics don’t have KG! And… wait, hold on. That’s just my Grizzlies penchant driving a stake in the railroad to the poorhouse. Besides, the Celtics get Rondo back. The Celtics are awesome and the Grizzlies suck. Bet like you’re Trey Kerby.” And so I did. And the Celtics are awesome. And the Grizzlies do suck.

Boston 102 Memphis 92. Thanks for those four free throws inside of a minute in the fourth, Hakim Warrick. Would have hated for you not to hit 8 whole points. That would be terrible.

Really, Memphis? After all the love? All the support? All the rationalizations for the Pau Gasol trade? This is how you treat me after I name Mayo Ra? I bend over backwards watching Lowry throw the ball at the rim, Conley trip on his own feet and Gay forget how to bounce the ball, and I excuse all of it, and you can’t lose by two more freaking points?


So at that point the dream was dead, but just in case I hadn’t been kicked in my wallet crotch thoroughly enough, the Cavs let the Kings take them to overtime, and end up winning by just three. That one I can’t be too upset over, though. On top of the parlay, and the spread, Cleveland was on a back to back in a two-game road trip, taking out the Suns the night before in Phoenix. The Cavs were either going to make quick work of them, or struggle. They struggled. Can’t be too upset about that.

OVER/UNDER 202.5 (UNDER) Bulls at Sixers:

The Bulls average 99.3 points on the road. The Sixers average 97.8 points at home, and allow only 96.7. The Bulls can be a great team. They can be a terrible team. The Sixers are offensively challenged. This is not rocket science.


Obviously this is, actually, rocket science.

Hawks (-6) Pacers:

There’s a certain delicious ridiculousness to the fact that the Hawks, a team rife with inconsistency, unreliable and prone to long periods of abject confusion, turned out to be the only team I could count on.

Well, them and the Granger-less Pacers.

Thanks for bringing a small ray of light to my dark gambling universe, Atlanta.

OVER/UNDER 183.5 (OVER) Spurs V. Rockets:

Yes, I’m aware I’m a moron. This was my first bet on the second day, and since the other games I planned on wagering on were such locks, I decided to have some fun. And consider the following:

  • Without Ginobili, the Spurs tend to attack the sort of things the Rockets are succeptible to. Backcourt penetration. Parker explodes for big games. I considered it likely that a team aiming for the playoffs would bring its A offensive game on the road.
  • The Spurs were on a back to back, but are resilient enough to counter that situation, but it could have the effect of weakening their defense.
  • The Spurs are pretty awesome when scoring over 100 points this season. Last time I checked it was something double-digits and one. So they clearly know how to put points on the board when they need to.
  • I’d been drinking most of the day.


Yeah, here’s a shocker. Two defensive teams playing one another with one in a back-to-back and both missing a major offensive player failed to score 183 points. Only a fool would take the over!


PARLAY: Charlotte (-5) Minnesota, Hornets (-1) Chicago:

Aha! Larry Brown coached team in the mix for the playoffs versus lottery dreck with absolutely nothing to play for. No Al Jefferson. Team on a hot streak. Team on a cold streak. Victory is mine!

Wolves 108 Bobcats 100

What in hell? They were down by 20 at one point, Charlotte. Really? You guys couldn’t put your little freakshow together against the ghost of Gomes and Rashad McCants? Emeka Okafor can’t handle Kevin Love?  Really, Minnesota? You just decided you needed a few fewer ping pong balls? No need for a top three pick, you’ll be fine with the backcourt that Europe forgot?

If that weren’t enough, the Bulls curbstomped New Orleans. Because clearly, when I compare Tyson Chandler to Joakim Noah, I know who’s rolling who. John Salmons and Ben Gordon > Chris Paul and David West. I want 2007-2008 back.

Thunder (+8) Suns:

This was supposed to be my reclamation story. I heard whispers Durant was coming back that night, but got my bet in when the line was still pre-Durantula. And then the Thunder jumped out to a double digit lead! Victory! Sweet victory! I knew I should have bet the underdogs! As long as the Thunder don’t completely fall apart like a flan in a cupboard, I’m golden!

Suns 106 Thunder 94.

It was like getting stabbed in the wallet by a miniature Steve Kerr, all the time ranting about how Shaq is the missing piece. My own personal nightmare come true.

And with that, I dropped $40 on a video poker machine and bought the wife room service.

So either I know far less about the NBA than I thought I did, or the linesmakers in Vegas, who I already considered Gods of information, are smarter than I originally thought.

Consider it both.

Matt Moore

Matt Moore is a Senior NBA Blogger for's Eye on Basketball blog, weekend editor of Pro Basketball Talk on, and co-editor of Voice on the Floor. He lives in Kansas City due to an unbelievably complex set of circumstances and enjoys mid-90's pop rock, long walks on the beach and the novels of Tim Sandlin.