Rockets' "Meaningless" Finale Wasn't Meaningless for Gamblers

Categories: Game Time, Sports

That time the dude from Big Bang Theory was lobbying for Dwight Howard.
I've said many times, we need a special corner of the sports media world for gamblers. A special channel, a special talk radio show, a special Tweetdeck. All of it.

People who don't wager generally don't care about the same nuances of a sporting event as people that do. That much was obvious on the final night of the NBA regular season, as the Rockets trotted a mish mash lineup of a few regular starters, a couple reserves, and a handful of guys who played more games in Rio Grande than Houston this season as they took on the New Orleans Pelicans in the finale.

Radio hosts and columnists called the game "meaningless." These people obviously didn't have a sawbuck or two on "ROCKETS OVER 54.5 WINS."

And when it was all said and done, those who did were crying into their Troy Daniels jerseys, as the Rockets fell to the Pelicans to finish the regular season at 54-28. How do you do it, Vegas?

As we get ready for the playoffs, in the spirit of accountability, let's make one trip back through the archives and see if I did any better at helping all of you with NBA season win totals than I did at "helping" you with football picks. (My football picks this year had the hit rate of Michael Scott when he was "Date Mike" on The Office.

Here were my top picks along with my comments:

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS UNDER 16.5 God bless Sam Hinkie, Daryl Morey disciple, who is tasked with having to revive this dead, cold corpse of a franchise, still bullet riddled from trading for Andrew Bynum last season. Fortunately for Hinkie, ownership in Philly is less concerned about winning night to night than Les Alexander was here. Hinkie will be allowed to tank and tank royally this season in an effort to land Andrew Wiggins in next June's draft. If landing a franchise player were like, say, a trigonometry test, Hinkie is at least being allowed to use a calculator. In Houston, Morey had to figure all the shit out in his head.

Since last season's seventh and eighth seeded teams in the Eastern Conference (Boston and Philly) are virtual locks to nail down high lottery picks, they have to be replaced by someone, right? (Unfortunately, that answer is "yes.") The most likely candidates, in alphabetical order:

1. Cleveland (39.5): Betting on them to go over the total is to bet on Andrew Bynum's health, and...well, didn't we just get done talking about Philadelphia? Yeah, I thought so.

2. Detroit (40.5): Just a really weird team -- Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond, Josh Smith, Brandon feels like a fantasy team for a guy who showed up like an hour late for the draft so you let him take the highest four guys on the board at that time to make up for it.

3. Milwaukee (29.5): They're going the other way.

4. Toronto (37.5): They could either be in the mix, or they could be dumping Demar DeRozan, Rudy Gay and Kyle Lowry at the trade deadline. Too risky.

5. Which brings us to...the WIZ! Nobody beats the WIZ! Well, actually, a lot of people do, but as long as they only do it 41 times, we win this bet, kids! And I think with a full season of John Wall and Bradley Beal together, they're ready to become a playoff team. The pickup of Marcin Gortat last week will help, too.

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