Let the odds roll where they may, but may that be in our favor today and everyday. For we enter into the ring each morning with renewed hope, and it hurts the soul to leave with that hope crushed. Grant us the control to know when a bet has lost, for the temptation to jump into a hole that never stops is often too strong to stop by ourselves. Bring us towards the light that shines on the winners, and deliver us from the misfortune of being wrong without end. Amen.
The Gambling Prayer
Yesterday, I had an apology to make. Today, I have a haiku.
It is a tough world
Many things go bad and yet
We’re here. Still kicking
Unfortunately for me, this could be read as a comment on my current gambling run. It’s been that bad. For the fifteenth or maybe even twentieth day in a row, I say this – today I rise.
We can all rise today. There’s no time like the present, and every day is a new opportunity to attack our flaws with fresh energy. Don’t save for tomorrow what can be started today, and do everything we can to not allow today’s mistakes to affect tomorrow’s actions. These are clichés, but things tend to end up that way for a reason. We say them so often because they’re true. Tune in tomorrow as I try to expand on these ideas in a new segment – Mike Tries to Expand on Wednesday’s Ideas on Thursday.
What happened in yesterday’s games?
The Jazz had the Nuggets on the ropes, but Jamal Murray dropped 33 in the second half to lead a 19-point turnaround after halftime. He finished with 42 points, 8 assists, and 8 rebounds, and Nikola Jokic went for 31 in support. Denver won the fourth quarter 35-21 to keep their season alive. Donovan Mitchell (30) and Jordan Clarkson and Mike Conley (17 each) led the Jazz, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a massive effort from Murray. Utah will now have two more chances to get the series-clinching win.
The Clippers regained control over the Mavs with a 154-111 Game 5 murder. Los Angeles won every quarter, and they won the first and fourth by 37 combined points. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George combined for 67, and they held Luka Doncic to 22 points and just 4 assists. It was a dominant effort throughout, and it puts the Clippers back into the driver’s seat heading into Game 6 tomorrow.
What are we looking at today?
The Bucks and Lakers can close out their respective series in five games, while the Thunder and Rockets are set to play a crucial Game 5. Russell Westbrook is a game-time decision with the series knotted up at 2-2. The winner will gain a clear edge heading into the final two games.
Now onto the picks.
Yesterday’s Results –
It was another meh day. I was looking great at halftime in the Jazz game, with Utah up 9 and Jamal Murray still needing 16 points to beat his 24.5 over. That obviously changed very quickly, and the possibility of a good day ended in the second half of that game. Still, I hit on two of five bets. Could have been worse. Today, we make it better and return to the glory days that the first week or so of the bubble provided.
Playoff Record: 28-31 on individual bets, 0-5 on parlays -81.51
Total Record: 70-78-1 on individual bets, 5-34 on parlays, -144.04
Today’s picks –
- Bucks -14.5 (-105)
The Bucks have covered three times in a row. They do it again here with the opportunity to end the series. The Magic played pretty well last time out and still ended up losing by 15. There’s been some spread drama in this series, but the Bucks haven’t let us down since Game 1.
- Rockets -4.5 (-115)
In their last two wins, the Thunder have gotten an average of 55.5 points from Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder. Those two averaged 26.5 points in the first two games of the series and 36.5 points during the regular season. At some point, they will trend back down towards that third number. It could happen as soon as today against a Rockets team that has been unsustainably cold late in games recently. Shooting threes like they do is going to lead to some abnormal runs of inconsistency, but the odds of being this cold down the stretch three games in a row are pretty low. I like the Rockets to regain control with a Game 5 win, especially if Russell Westbrook (game-time decision) is available to help get easier buckets at the rim down the stretch.
- Trail Blazers +14.0 (-115)
The Lakers dominated Game 4, but that was also the only game in this series where they’ve covered this spread. Yes, Damian Lillard is out. Yes, that will only further reveal the depth issues that Portland already has. No, the Lakers won’t win this game by 15 or more points. The Blazers are 2-6 without Lillard this year (don’t take their ML), but they didn’t lose any of those games by more than 13 points. That was without Jusuf Nurkic in the lineup too. The Lakers offense is still pretty iffy – they’re being carried by a very good defense right now – and I just can’t ride with them here.
- Khris Middleton Over 2.5 threes (-105)
- Khris Middleton Over 32.5 points, rebounds, assists (-105)
- Khris Middleton Over 20.5 points (-110)
We love Khris Middleton here at Mike Bets, and he continues where he left off in the fourth quarter of Game 4. He’s had a very good all-around series if you ignore the shooting woes.
- Rockets and Thunder Over 225 (-115)
They’ve hit this total three out of four times this series. They do it again today.
Good luck everybody. All bets on my end are $10 unless otherwise noted.