Dave’s Free Play, Friday 1/24/14

  • January 24, 2014

“They’re due.” There’s no way to put a number on how many times I’ve heard that expression uttered in regards to some team’s upcoming game. It’s almost always a team that is fairly high profile and has recently been playing below their level, at least as far as public perception is concerned. Personally, these teams basically carry bubonic plague as far as betting them goes, at least from my perspective. If I hear or read “they’re due” I’m going to almost avoid at all costs.

Ohio State was the “they’re due” play last night. The Buckeyes had lost four straight, had looked lousy in the process and they were due to break out in style against a struggling Illinois entry. There was no chance I was going to get on that immensely popular bandwagon, and I’m sure glad I stayed away as the Buckeyes managed to win the game but never got past the number en route to another spread loss.

My take on this type of situation has always been to play the waiting game. I’d rather exercise patience and wait for the team to actually play that good game. That’s the point where I might get interested in playing them, but not until such time as they snap out of their doldrums.

The whole idea is to eliminate as much guessing as possible. I might think a team is ready to bust loose, but holding off until they finally exhibit that buy signal is the better game plan.

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I had an okay Thursday overall with a 4-2 college ledger, although I did lose my NHL play on Winnipeg. No beefs there, as I had played the Jets in each of their prior four games and even with the loss last night I concluded my Winnipeg run with a net +4.15 unit gain.

Tonight’s card won’t be very deep as it’s a very thin slate, but I’m excited about some Saturday possibilities. I’m in a positive grind right now, so it’s a good time to jump on this bandwagon. For all the pertinent info on rates and game info, drop me a line at cokin@cox.net.

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The Thursday free play on BYU was a crazy loser. The Cougars did not play well at all, giving up a load of second chances and missing free throws while Portland was dropping bombs all night. Yet BYU somehow came back from seven down with under one minute to play in regulation to force overtime. The Cougars looked like a big time luck winner when they went up eight in the second OT, but the blew that entire lead and ended up going down in the third extra session. A little frustration with the OT melt, but that’s tempered with the realization they were phenomenally lucky to get in the position to begin with. Tonight, it’s a NBA game serving as the comp play.

01/24 04:35 PM  NBA   (805) SAN ANTONIO SPURS (806) ATLANTA HAWKS

Take: (805) SAN ANTONIO SPURS -4.5

There’s no question in my mind that the simple method isn’t going to get a bettor in the black long term. Playing the obvious will have you paying the price over the long haul. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t those occasional situations where if it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it becomes the best rule to follow.

The San Antonio Spurs are having another strong NBA campaign. There are a couple of teams that have given the Spurs big trouble, and that seems to be a matchup issue that the Spurs just can’t get around. Aside from that, it has been business as usual for this perennial powerhouse and tonight San Antonio is in a scenario where they’ve been pure money in the bank.

I’ve always like the idea of playing elite teams off a bad result. Patience is a virtue when it comes to this angle, but playing that waiting game can really pay off with a very small handful of teams. The Spurs off a loss are certainly one such example this season.

There’s nothing especially complicated here. The Spurs have yet to lose two in a row all season. They’re a perfect 10-0 straight up following a defeat, and they’ve covered the spread in all but one of those games.

San Antonio visits Atlanta tonight off the loss to the Thunder. Had they won that game, this might well have been a spot to back the Hawks as the Spurs have a big game with Miami on deck. But with San Antonio off the loss, they fall into a play on situation that has been about as good as it can get. I’ll go with the flow and will back the Spurs minus the points to get the best of the Hawks tonight.