1. #1
    Chance Harper
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    NBA Finals: Game 6 betting line smells fishy

    NBA Finals: Game 6 betting line smells fishy

    Though home court advantage has dominated the NBA Playoffs up to now, Boston's four-point chalk for Game 6 looks a little suspicious. Conspiracy theorists are out in full force and insisting the NBA will 'fix' another game in Los Angeles' favor to force a Game 7 on Thursday between the Lakers and Celtics. In a strange twist, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are out to upset the line as the favorites.

    What the deuce?!

    The Boston Celtics are 4-point favorites in Tuesday’s NBA Finals matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers. To be honest, my initial reaction when I saw this line go up in the aftermath of Sunday’s Game 5 was utter befuddlement.

    Home-court advantage has been the No. 1 storyline of the entire playoffs, and the Celtics are 12-1 (8-5 against the spread) at the Garden. They’re also 5-0 ATS against the Lakers in this series, making the Western Conference champions look like chumps in the process.

    According to one prominent sportsbook, 82 percent of bettors were on the Celtics at press time. But the money was split nearly down the middle, with Boston drawing 52 percent of the action. The bigger money (especially this early in the betting process) tends to come from the sharper handicappers. Perhaps they believe the NBA might exert its influence to extend this series to a seventh and very lucrative deciding game on Thursday.

    There are other, less insidious reasons the Lakers could beat the spread Tuesday. This is still a very high-quality team that went into the Finals as -150 favorites. Los Angeles is healthy, while Boston is not. Kendrick Perkins (shoulder) is a game-time decision, Rajon Rondo (ankle) has been ineffective in limited minutes, and Ray Allen had to leave Staples Center immediately after Game 5 to deal with a family medical emergency. Fortunately, all appears to be well on the Allen front and he is expected to play in Game 6.

    Complicating matter for the Celtics, their plane out of Los Angeles sat on the tarmac for over five hours on Monday with mechanical problems. A 757 was flown into LAX to take Boston players, staff and family home – avoiding the “sleepover” that the San Antonio Spurs had to endure in the Western Conference Finals when their charter plane had similar issues. More fodder for the growing contingent of conspiracy theorists.

    The injuries to Perkins and Rondo played a significant role in the outcome of Game 5. Coach Phil Jackson took advantage by playing Jordan Farmar the entire fourth quarter; he was able to slice through the lesser defense of Eddie House and Sam Cassell, then drive the lane for a pair of lay-ups as the Lakers built a 14-point lead. With Rondo both hurt and neutralized by Kobe Bryant’s defense, Jackson may have found the right combination to pick Boston’s lock.

    At least someone is producing off the bench. Jackson strongly suggested the Chris Mihm experiment wouldn’t be revisited after Boston went on a 10-2 run against the Lakers reserves to start the second quarter of Game 5.

    "We tried some different faces out there to see what we could do," Jackson told reporters, "but we’re not going to stay with that."

    The absence of Perkins allows Jackson the luxury of going small against Boston’s smaller lineup. Farmar played well in a backcourt combination with Derek Fisher, moving Bryant to small forward and avoiding the general lack of contribution (that is, at an NBA Finals-level) from the three-headed monster of Vladimir Radmanovic, Luke Walton and Trevor Ariza. Those three are all very useful as role players; Farmar is a more complete talent who improved substantially in his sophomore campaign, from 10.79 to an above-average 15.42 in Player Efficiency Rating.

    This is all well and good for Lakers supporters, even more so with the betting odds at many sportsbooks moving to Boston -4½ on Monday night. But based on the results of the first five games of this series, Bryant admitted the Lakers have to play better to extend this series to a Game 7.

    Tip-off is at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ABC.

  2. #2
    Tsoprano
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    Anytime the media gives you there opinion on something its wrong. Superboowl, Big Brown, NCAA, etc etc etc, fade the public be a sharp and take Celtics moneyline. You think there gonna choke 2 games in a row against these guys, they are ending it tonight.

  3. #3
    Willie Bee
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    Being NBA ignorant, I'm not sure I follow the 'fishy line' bit. I know all of the recent talk about the fix being in on NBA games and understand the math involved here where the best on the Celtics far exceed the bets on the Lakers while the money is pretty even. But isn't a four-point spread on Boston just keeping in line with them having already covered two- and three-point spreads at home in this series?

  4. #4
    rake922
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willie Bee View Post
    Being NBA ignorant, I'm not sure I follow the 'fishy line' bit. I know all of the recent talk about the fix being in on NBA games and understand the math involved here where the best on the Celtics far exceed the bets on the Lakers while the money is pretty even. But isn't a four-point spread on Boston just keeping in line with them having already covered two- and three-point spreads at home in this series?
    Then why were the Lakers (an inferior team) 7.5 favs at home

  5. #5
    Tchocky
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    I just hope this Game 6 isn't like Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals with the Lakers going to the free throw line 48 times in the 4th quarter. The Kings got robbed in that game and in that series. There should be an asterisk on the Lakers' 2002 title.

  6. #6
    The_Kid
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tchocky View Post
    I just hope this Game 6 isn't like Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals with the Lakers going to the free throw line 48 times in the 4th quarter. The Kings got robbed in that game and in that series. There should be an asterisk on the Lakers' 2002 title.
    They didn't even shoot 48 FTs in the game...

  7. #7
    Wheell
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    Tonight we have 2 company men (Crawford, Salvatore), so you never know.

  8. #8
    unde0087
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    No matter where all the money is you should go with your handicapping, sharps lose games just like everyone else does. Public aren't always wrong so fading them every time isn't going to be the answer either.

  9. #9
    DrunkenLullaby
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    Quote Originally Posted by unde0087 View Post
    sharps lose games just like everyone else does
    This is true.

    Oddly, though, squares only seem to lose games that are "Fixed".

  10. #10
    trifectabx
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tchocky View Post
    I just hope this Game 6 isn't like Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals with the Lakers going to the free throw line 48 times in the 4th quarter. The Kings got robbed in that game and in that series. There should be an asterisk on the Lakers' 2002 title.
    Do you live in Sactown?? I'm so freaking tired of hearing the QUEENS bringing this whole crap back. Lakers LOST gm#2 against the Celtics on the FT. Every foul went against us. YES we cried foul the next day but that was it. We are not going to blame the officials by losing the series. It's ultimately about making baskets at the end. People need to get over it. Sh*t happens. LOSERS find ways to blame it on someone else. Was it the officials fault Horry made the 3pointer?? Was it the officials fault they couldn't close Lakers out after being up 3-1? I agree officiating could help a bit but again IT COMES DOWN TO making your shots. BTW it was Davids Sterns fault to make their plane late. Advantage Lakers. Someone put a hit on R. Allens timely family problem. And of course Perkins injury. Let's put an asterisk on this one too.

  11. #11
    SBR_John
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    First half lakers, 2nd half Celtics.

    Jackson is a good coach in these conditions. I think Boston gets caught up a little in the pregame parade while LA comes out focused. Roles reverse to a lesser degree in the 2nd half. I like the lakers to be in it at the end but not sure if they can hold on.

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  12. #12
    Ricky James
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    Like Boston to win easily by at least 10

  13. #13
    The HG
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    I've been looking at this game for a bit now, and I admit I'm having a really hard time figuring out which way it will be fixed. I'm just going to leave this one alone. I could easily see it being fixed in either direction.

  14. #14
    Wheell
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    HG: I feel 100% the same way.

  15. #15
    seaborneq
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    Quote Originally Posted by The HG View Post
    I've been looking at this game for a bit now, and I admit I'm having a really hard time figuring out which way it will be fixed. I'm just going to leave this one alone. I could easily see it being fixed in either direction.
    Take the points and the healthiest team. If you still get beat, so be it.

  16. #16
    The HG
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    Quote Originally Posted by The HG View Post
    I've been looking at this game for a bit now, and I admit I'm having a really hard time figuring out which way it will be fixed. I'm just going to leave this one alone. I could easily see it being fixed in either direction.
    Now I can tell.

  17. #17
    polishkielbasa10
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    really badd call gents. Go with the healthier team?? That was ur strategy.. U deserve to lose for that. This was the easiest game of the finals to capp

  18. #18
    seaborneq
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    Quote Originally Posted by polishkielbasa10 View Post
    really badd call gents. Go with the healthier team?? That was ur strategy.. U deserve to lose for that. This was the easiest game of the finals to capp

    Thanks Sherlock.

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