I thought I was done writing about Vegas, but a funny thing happened. Two season-long over-under bets have come down to each team's final game of the season (and, for the record, it doesn't look good for me in either game):
Game 1: Indiana vs. Orlando
If Orlando beats Indiana, my under bet on the Pacers will push at 55 wins, meaning this game is essentially a $600 game for me. And frankly, this makes me feel more than a little bitter. We Box Score Geeks will insist that the last 6 weeks have been regression to the mean, and that during the first 20 games of the season, Indiana was a perfect storm of "everybody defies age, has a career year, or overachieves at once", and won a few more games than they "should have". Meanwhile Pacers' fans (who were pretty damn vocal at the beginning of the season but have strangely been pretty silent in the comments lately) will insist that the beginning of the season was the "real" Pacers team, and the most recent stretch is the actual outlier.
Here's what I am hoping:
- With any luck, since Indiana can no longer lose the first seed, Paul George, Lance Stephenson, George Hill, David West, and Roy Hibbert spend tomorrow on the bench in nice suits. Unfortunately, I think Indiana feels too much like they must prove something to do this, but a man can hope.
- I hope the Pacers run hot in the playoffs and goad Vegas into setting the over/under at about 57 next year.
I think there is a real possibility the over will be too high for this team next year, but it will depend on the offseason, of course.
Game 2: Utah vs. Minnesota
If Utah wins, I push the $800 over bet on 25 wins.
Frankly, I'm ticked off at Utah right now. After beating the Sixers on March 8th, they had 22 wins. So with 19 games to go, I felt good about them winning 3 (for a push) or 4 (to win). They promptly went 2-16.
I had to turn off the Utah game against the Lakers last night. They displayed a level of apathy/distractedness that would make a mid-February Sixers fan cringe in agony. And now I'm left hoping they will beat Minnesota to push. And Minnesota, in a stroke of just brilliant ****ing luck for me, sits at 40-41. Think Minnesota really wants to win and finish 0.500? And Minnesota couldn't beat Sacramento last week to prevent this deathmatch from happening!?
Vegas Next Year
So I'm getting angry watching basketball. And I've got $1400 riding on two NBA games. Which makes me uncomfortable, because a) the most I've ever bet on a single game is $200, and b) I'm a stats nerd. I HATE SMALL SAMPLE SIZES.
Next year, I'm thinking of making a different portfolio, where I simply place $150 on every team (betting the over or under as our forecasts indicate), both because this diversifies a lot more and because it's probably more fun for readers to follow this 'portfolio' over the course of a season. It also keeps me a lot less invested in certain teams (although the Sixers win in Portland was a lot of fun to watch!).
The downside is that I know there will be an equivalent to this year's Knicks. A team where the over/under is so detached from reality that I'll be itching to make a bigger bet.
What about you, readers? Which would you prefer to track? A weighted model where I bet lots of money on some teams, or an evenly distributed model with the same bet size on every team?