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The Lede: Cavs Advance; Warriors Are Underrated?

Alex Kilpatrick

by Alex Kilpatrick in NBA Basketball

May 8, 2017 · 12:11 PM PDT

Keith Allison [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode] via Wikimedia Commons

Don’t have time to read through 1,000 words, but need some informed betting tips? Here’s a quick rundown on today’s biggest sports story (as adjudged by me) and how it impacts the way you should bet. Miss the last one? See it here.

Warriors (-250) may have more 2017 title value than Cavs (+300)

There’s a very good chance two teams will move on to the conference finals without losing a single game. Cleveland, of course, hammered the final nail into Toronto’s coffin last night and Golden State looks ready to do the same in Game 4 against Utah this evening.

When Kevin Durant went to Golden State, there was a lot of hubbub about “super-teams” ruining basketball and draining the life out of the playoffs. This year is proving the point. Did you watch the Cleveland/Toronto series? If so: why? Are you having trouble sleeping? Do you find repetition soothing in an increasingly uncertain world?

It’s a little grim for basketball that you can spend years making decent draft choices, luck into Kyle Lowry, build a team that makes you (ostensibly) a playoff contender, only to spend four games watching Lebron James spin a ball on his finger, consider drinking, and eviscerate your defence.

The upside of all this is that, as a sport gets more and more predictable, betting gets safer and safer. Most oddsmakers have Golden State’s title odds at a remarkable -250. Those odds carry an implied probability of 71%, which FiveThirtyEight thinks is a bargain. The next best team, Cleveland, is apparently hideously overpriced at +300, with an implied probability four times what their system estimates. It’s hard to believe that we live in a world where the Golden State Warriors are underrated, but I guess that’s the result of blowing a 3-1 lead in the NBA finals.*

Basketball is on its way to being less of a fun thing to watch and more of an investment-grade certainty, and Peter Theil’s Fancy Basketball Boys are here to accelerate that process. If you’re looking for something interesting to keep you busy before the finals start, there’s a new season of Better Call Saul on Netflix?

*Sorry, I’m new and apparently there’s a quota on this phrase. While we’re here: Notre Dame went 4-8.

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