It is fast approaching that stage of the NBA where the regular season finishes and the best eight teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences break off to compete against each other in the knockout play-offs tournament. This determines the winner of the NBA title, and at this stage of the season we can get a reasonable idea of which teams from each conference are showing the kind of form to make them contenders. So which sides from the Western Conference would make a good NBA title bet?
Well it is not especially surprising that those teams at the top end of the Western Conference – such as San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder – are amongst the strong favourites to be competing for the NBA title during the play-offs. The best odds you can get on these sides are 13/2 and 15/4 respectively, although there are lower odds available as well. San Antonio in particular have looked formidable this season, with their defence holding firm, and even the loss of Tony Parker not affecting their form, while Oklahoma have been producing some excellent performances, but may suffer from losing James Harden.
Although these are not the only sides from the Western Conference who will make the play-offs, their form – coupled with top seeding status – suggests they are the best bets. Nonetheless there is still an element of risk, otherwise it wouldn’t be fun, but if you prefer to mix basketball and betting in a way that offers less risk of winning nothing, a casino game like Slam Dunk could suit you. This online casino slots game found at places like MobileCasino.co.nz is just one of the basketball casino games available, but slots games always offer good value – with cheap play and the excellent chance of a payout. The wild symbol for this game is the number 23 jersey, and it will substitute for any other to give you a winning combination, making it well worth a spin.no comments
The Phoenix Suns have some good young pieces but must continue to rebuild in hopes of once again becoming a viable championship contender in the loaded NBA Western Conference. If you're someone who views the game in the most objective manner, a possible basketball betting strategy would advise you not to overlook the Suns who are still capable of upsetting the odds these days. So whether or not you enjoy betting on sites such as wageronsports.com or you simply enjoy watching basketball recreationally, be sure to pay attention to the Phoenix Suns as this team is not going down without a fight.
The team handed the keys over to point guard Goran Dragic, a backup guard who excelled with starter's minutes during the 2011-12 season when starting guard Kyle Lowry went down with an injury. NBA.com sums it up nicely: "Dragic earned league-wide attention and eventually a multi-year contract from the Suns in free agency after starting the season’s final 26 games."
They have a formidable big man in centre Marcin Gortat, better known as 'The Polish Hammer', who can bang inside and patrol the paint defensively. Dragic and Gortat should form the basis of the Phoenix attack as both are above average in the pick and roll game that Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire once dominated.
The Suns are lacking on the wings, with Shannon Brown as a good 6th man off the bench but not a consistent starter. Jared Dudley has plenty of playoff experience but this team needs to rebuild before it reaches the playoffs, and minutes should be given to the younger players on the team. Luis Scola and Jermaine O'Neal are also very good players in their own right, but on a non-contender they should be getting no more than 20 minutes a game. The Suns need to find out what they really have in young guns Markieff Morris and Kendall Marshall, and decide who belongs as part of the franchise's core going forward.
By developing the Dragic/Gortat tandem and giving the young guys more burn, the Suns should have a bright future regardless if they will stiell be able to position themselves for a run at the Western Conference Playoffs.
Taking on a Wichita State hardcourt team that's been building a big program reputation for years - the Tennessee Volunteers proved themselves worthy on Wednesday evening with a signature win. Lifting the Big Orange to a 5-3 season record the victory ends a 2-game losing streak that started with the bizarre 37-36 defeat at the hands of the Georgetown Hoyas back on Nov. 30th.
The Vols 69 - 60 win marks their first successful outing against a Top 25 team this season.
Led by Trae Golden and Jordan McRae (25 and 17 points respectively) the Big Orange offense was back on its feet as they made 47.5% of their shots despite shooting a dismal 20 % from beyond the arc. While Tennessee Coach Cuonzo Martin is a fanatic about defense - their biggest problem this year has been a lack of disciplined offensive firepower and the Vols are just 208th in the country in shooting percentage so any life on that side of the court is a welcome respite.
Tennessee's next hardwood contest is set for homecourt on Tuesday when they tangle with a struggling Presbyterian College. Tip-off is at 7:00pm.
In a reprise of the Run an' Gun hardwood offense of old, the Phoenix Suns beat the Charlotte Bobcats 117 - 110 in a game tonight that was totally dominated by two veteran Suns who managed to combine for 44 points. The dynamic pair (Marcin Gortat and Michael Beasley) also combined for a total of more than two dozen rebounds.
If that weren't enough - Gortat swatted away seven shots in a freakish All Star-style performance.
Along with the Polish Machine's blocked shot dominance, Beasley showed his own quality moves as - along with scoring 21 points and 15 boards - he pushed for 7 assists in a display of hard wood leadership. Indeed - tonight - he was once again the Michael B who dominated college hoops during those games with Kansas State.
The Suns scoring frenzy went beyond the two vets and marked an offensive highwater mark for the young 2012-13 season as Phoenix hit 44.4% of their 27 shots for 36 points - a phenomenon that seemed well beyond reach just a week ago. That's not bad for a team that is still missing the longrange marksmanship of Channing Frye and should send shivers through their NBA Western Conference rivals.
Finally - the scoring onslaught also made the night quite profitable as the Suns handily beat the Vegas pointspread for the first time in the season. Of course, we predicted such an outcome right here at www.sunsstufft.com in the moments before game time.
In less than an hour from now our struggling Phoenix Suns will take the court against a Charlotte Bobcat team that has its own record of sputtering so far this season. As a result the door is open for Suns fandom to invest in a game that offers an incredible opportunity to add some green to the old bank account.
Looking at Charlotte their deficiencies stand out - including a less than admirable ability to snag rebounds leaving them with just 39.5 board per game and lack of offensive punch stemming from an average of just 18.5 assists per contest.
Both of those dismal stats put the Bobcats in the bottom-half of the NBA and are less impressive than the numbers that have been generated by the Suns own stagnant start. Indeed Phoenix has been holding their own in the rebound category with 44.8 rpg while winning only one of their first four games.
Looking at tonight's hardwood battle, we see Marcin Gortat as the likely dominant force as he reaches a double-double that will provide a host of highlight films. That should make for a wonderful second win for the Suns and hopefully set the stage for better things to come.
So - even though Phoenix is a 3 1/2 point fav - put some cash on the line. Just don't blame us if the Suns pull up lame.
In brief bursts of quality hardwood action the radically revamped Phoenix Suns line-up has shown flashes of offensive brilliance during this young 2012-13 season, though you wouldn't know it from their 1 - 2 record so far and the average of 90.3 points per game in offense that they have generated so far this season.
But just look at the Suns stellar second quarter against the Detroit Pistons back on Nov. 2nd when they scored 30 points in just 12 minutes on the court or the 33 points they nailed during a brilliant first quarter against the Orlando Magic on Sunday and you will see what we mean.
But the question still lingers - can the Suns sustain an offensive onslaught for more than short bursts? Can they put the points on the board that are needed to be truly competitive in the NBA?
Faced with the prospect of trying to stymie a Miami offense tonight that is the second highest scoring in the league at 107.7 ppg, the Suns paucity of points is of particular concern for Phoenix partisans. And - with the notable exception of Luis Scola (17.3 ppg) and Michael Beasley (15.3 ppg) - the Suns roster has plainly fallen well short of expectations on the offensive side of the court.
As for tonight's odds - while we absolutely love our buddies at the Circus Circus betting windows in Las Vegas and Reno - we are unlikely to put any cash behind the Suns. Sure we appreciate the Suns being 13 1/2 point underdogs but - with this still unproven roster - it just isn't generous enough.
The latest news out of New Orleans suggests that the Phoenix Suns may have had a bit of unplanned good fortune during the off season. The word comes in the form of an announcement that the Hornets will keep Eric Gordon off the court indefinitely during the 2012-13 season due to a persistent knee issue. Gordon had been the centerpiece of plans for a revamped Suns offense in the wake of Steve Nash's defection to the overstocked LA Lakers.
Gordon was offered a mouth watering $58 million/four-year contract by Phoenix in a move that suggests the Suns check book may finally be open when acquiring quality talent. After much hoopla in Phoenix, New Orleans matched that offer and kept the big name talent. Gordon has scored an average of 18.2 points per game during his four-year pro career but - at least for now - he's a pretty expensive bench warmer that the Suns can do without.
Our guess is - you want to know where we've been ?!?
That's why we have put up a suggestive headline and decided to give our dear readers a few nanoseconds to ponder exactly how guilty that "pleasure" really is. Well - don't worry - we aren't going to singe the edges of your eyeballs by plunging into a bad case of carnal knowledge. No - your intrepid guides here at www.sunsstufft.com realize this is a website that junior may pull up on that handy home computer and we don't want your desktop to have a meltdown.
So instead of getting into an episode of what Monty Python called "naughty bits" - our header is referring to our passion for sports wagering - especially at the glorious Mecca of Maledom now known as the LVH Sportsbook.
Formerly the epicenter of the Las Vegas Hilton - this awesome center of sportsmania has a stunning number of large screen televisions, more than a few partisan cheering sections sprinkled throughout and ready access to so many possible wagers that your kidneys (and your cash) will easily give out well before you have tried them all.
Oh - along with the extraordinary number of available options - the odds can fluctuate enough to make you toss your cookies or cry in your beer. Take it from us - we know from personal experience.
Our example comes from the rough n'tumble sport of college football. Yes - we know - it isn't a specialty of this internet outlet but it sure can be entertaining when you have put your greenbacks on the winning side of the gridiron. That's where we thought we were going to be on the fateful Friday before our Oklahoma Sooners took to the hometown field against Kansas State. Looking at the panoply of options before us it became truly obvious that hope can foster luck - even at great distances - and encourage skilled play on the NCAA field of combat.
Or so we thought.
After all the Sooners - the only football team we have every had much interest in and a team we have followed for nearly four decades - were 14-point favs and playing on their home field. And we could get them at 15-1 odds to win the BCS. That national championship seemed just within reach of the whole Sooner Nation and we could make a sizable profit from our manageable wager.
What's $30 when you can already feel $480 burning a hole in your pocket? And it seems so easy.
Well the Sooners were - to put it kindly - painful to watch until their offense finally woke-up in the fourth quarter. Yes - Sooner QB Landry Jones was talked about as a possible Heisman Trophy contender before the season started. Rather than crying our way through a detailed analysis we suggest you notice the word 'talked' is in the past tense. 'Nuff said.
Now we get to the lesson in this true-to-life fable.
After Oklahoma's 24 - 19 defeat on that fateful Sept. 22nd afternoon - we pulled the curtains closed and mourned in our hotel room spending a sleepless Saturday night pondering how our our heroes fell short of the Glory That Could Have Been. It even cast a pale over our planned 'We Time' with our significant other.
Late the following day we sought to recover by confronting the force that bedeviled us by returning to the source of our miscast wagering. After walking for blocks in hopes of regaining the peace we came to Vegas with - we descended the steps to that treacherous Sportsbook and scanned the giant toteboard to see those devlish odds once again.
Only this time our broken - but still beloved - Sooners were now going at 60 - 1. ?!?!@#$%
Oh what a cruel fate we were faced with. Should we put even more cash on the line and hope this would inspire a team of collegiate strangers to excel like never before? Should we place another bet because it would enhance our return should Oklahoma make the improbable happen or should we quietly lick our wounds knowing full well that our $30 bet would be worth more than $1,800 if we had just waited two lousy days?
Oh - the agony of it all.
At least that is how we felt standing there - in the middle of the nation's most legendary sportsbook on that warm Sunday in September.
So if you ever have an opportunity to experience sports betting firsthand in Vegas never forget - it is Sin City's ultimate guilty pleasure. And it can break your heart in the blink of an eye.
It has been a tough week in pro basketball... and we're not just talkiing about the Phoenix Suns damaging their hopes for a play-off berth by giving up a crucial late season game to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. Yes that was ugly - but were you surprised?
After all the Nuggets are known for getting some play-off action only to blow it when crunch time comes and their 118 - 107 win over Phoenix punched their ticket to another post season appearance. (Not that it will do them much good - 'cause this looks like it is shaping-up to be another 'If Only' play-off extravaganza for the denizens of the Mile High City.)
No - dear readers - by a tough week in the NBA we mean there were several unnecessarily physical displays of nastiness as the Suns Robin Lopez and - the man we still call - Ron Artest let their meanness out on the court. In the case of Lopez - by far the Suns least capable player - it was in the fourth quarter of the April 19th game against the LA Clippers that he tried what looked like a mid-air choke hold on star frontcourt ace Blake Griffin and found himself bounced from the game for a flagrant two. Sad to say it but - we have to side with Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro in calling for Lopez to have received more than a partial game ejection.
Let's face it - even the most partisan Suns fan knows that - RoLo has the temperment of an angry 12-year old in need of pysch meds and his locker smashing, and attempted referee stare down antics need to be curbed. It would be one thing if he simply sought to stop Griffin from scoring in that close, hardfought game - but to reach around a player's neck while they are in mid-air is beyond the pale.
And then there is Ron Artest - a man who should be forced to sit out more than a few games. Just check the video - which was (pulled from YouTube earlier today) - in which he successfully manages to elbow an opposing player named James Harden in the head while they are in open court. This is inexcusable trash that wouldn't even be acceptable in a hockey game. Sure the offending player is claiming his actions were a result of being "emotional" after having dunked a key shot.
Kind of like saying we can beat our neighbors after winning the lottery. But what else can we expect from Ron - the NBA has tolerated his ignorant actions for years.
Well - enough is enough. If we can get nothing else from this abbreviated NBA season let's at least bench Lopez and Artest permanently.
Just think of it. That's right - don't say a word - just think about it.
In the months leading up to the start of the college basketball season the experts from a varied number of publications were talking about the death of Tennessee basketball. Yes - Bruce Pearl was forced out of his job as head coach after engaging in a less than brilliant cover-up of recruiting violations and the administration brought in a new coach who was left with a cupboard bare of big name recruits.
Sure Cunozo Martin had a reputation for solid coaching but few imagined that Tennessee could overcome its harsh schedule and make its mark in the tough SEC. The well-respectedd Athlon Sports magazine had ranked the Vols 9th in the conference in its pre-season publication and Lindy's Sports even summarized their estimation of what was to come by saying- "This situation is so bad, though, a little sleaze would help."
Not quite the nicest thing to say - is it?
But after taking Memphis to double OT, beating Florida twice, clipping the Vanderbilt Commodores in the last game of the regular season and almost gaining an NCAA bid there should be nothing but words of praise for Cuonzo Martin's squad and - while we are still smarting from Saturday's loss to Ole Miss and the missed opportunity to go to the NCAA's Big Dance - we have been glad to go along for the ride.
Simply put - cheering for the Tennessee Vols made for a fun season - that we will never forget. We here at www.sunsstufft.com will also never regret putting that $10 down on our prized 500-1 shot.
Guys - you made it worth every dime and than some.