I have been gambling on sports for many years. In every sport over the course of a season there are often a handful of opportunities that present themselves which allow a sharp gambler to take advantage of “public ineptitude”. What is public ineptitude you ask? Public ineptitude is very simple. The average sports gambler gambles for several reasons. Some of them are action junkies, some enjoy the fun an entertainment aspect and some just have addictions that they simply can’t get away from. Regardless of their reasoning, these types of gamblers are the ones who usually attempt to win money with parleys, teasers, heavy favorites etc. They often chase their losses and have no problem laying chalk in any sport. The problem with this type of gambler is that they don’t have a plan, system or enough money management skills to be successful. The majority of their bets are made with no rhyme or reason and the majority of them rely almost solely on emotion and the perception of what they have recently seen to make their wagers. For example, Team X just blew out Team Y by 20 points. Because of this the average gambler will now be happy to lay -10 on an inflated number during Team X’s next game against Team Z. Bookmakers use the trick of recent perception all the time, often creating attractive lines that easily fool the public into making mistakes and losing money in the process, hence the term public ineptitude.
So what does all this have to do with Game 7? Over the last 2 games the public has watched the Spurs win a blowout in game 5 and then narrowly lose an overtime game that they should have won if not for a late game miracle three by Ray Allen. Despite this, Vegas came out immediately and laid out a number of Heat -6.5 for Game 7. The line was immediately bet down to -6 by the public who are licking their chops thinking they are getting huge value by betting the Spurs. This has boosted public percentages on the Spurs to astronomical levels rarely seen on underdogs in any game.
Let’s look at the facts. While I certainly don’t base my bets strictly on public percentages, they can still be a valuable tool to look at in certain situations for handicapping purposes(especially when they are all very similar) Here is a look at some of the more reputable sites that give out public percentages.
Freesportsbet.com – 72%
Vegasinsider.com – 72%
As you can see, the public perception of what they just saw over the last 2 games is steering them towards what they perceive as great value in game 7. Realistically, if Vegas thought that this game was going to stay close why would they be offering the overwhelming number of Spurs backers 6 points? Big game public dogs are usually a recipe for disaster and because of that this game has public massacre written all over it.
While, I am not a huge believer in trends, they can provide value in certain situations and can be especially useful in some of the biggest games of the season where large amount of bets are being made. To further demonstrate my point here are a few things to take note of before placing your bet.
Game 7’s in the NBA have notoriously favored the home team. Including all playoff rounds in the last 5 years there have been 16 game 7’s played in the NBA playoffs.
In those 16 games the home team is 12-4 SU and 11-5 ATS
Looking back even further to the last 29 Game 7’s, the home team is 22-7 SU and 19-10 ATS (65.5%)
Additionally, in the last 6 NBA Finals, Game 7’s the home team is 5-1 SU with the last visiting team win coming all the way back in 1978 when the Washington Bullets knocked off the Seattle Supersonics.
While all these stats and trends don’t guarantee any specific result, for the sake of argument let’s say that based on the dominance of home teams in game 7’s over the years, we agree that the Heat will win this game SU. With this assumption, it gives us an even more defined reason to feel that the +6 simply won’t be enough for Spurs backers. Believe it or not, in some cases betting the dog can be considered the square play. In this case I am very confident that the Spurs are the square play in Game 7.