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September 30, 2014

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Vegas Play of the Day: Portland Trailblazers at Houston Rockets

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Steve Marcus

James Harden

Which future bet would you make on the NBA championship?

Which future bet would you make on the NBA championship?
Spurs 5-to-2 — 31.2%
Heat 9-to-5 — 29.2%
Clippers 10-to-1 — 22.9%
Thunder 4-to-1 — 8.3%
Rockets 20-to-1 — 6.2%
Pacers 5-to-1 — 2.1%

This poll is closed, see Full Results »

Note: This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Unlike the first few days of the NBA Playoffs, nothing pops off of the South Point betting board for tonight’s action.

I considered taking Play of the Day, which featured starting bankrolls of $10,000, the hockey route or back towards baseball but that wouldn’t feel right. It’s worth using basketball while available.

Houston Rockets minus-6.5 vs. Portland Trailblazers: $275 to win $250

The zig-zag theory is all the rage in betting circles when it comes to the NBA Playoffs. The strategy, which instructs to wager against the team that won the last game in a series, has gone 4-1 to start this year’s postseason.

But it’s not an explicit reason why the Rockets look like the best play on the board today. In fact, it might be a deterrent as the trend is certain to eventually regress the other way to some degree.

My reasons for liking the Rockets are a lot like the ones for why I took the Clippers two days ago. Although I knew it might be a hard-fought series, I fully expected Houston to handle Portland in the first round.

One overtime loss isn’t sufficient enough evidence to re-evaluate. The Rockets said they were overly emotional and too excited for the start of the playoffs, leading to sloppy play.

Roll your eyes if you must, but quotes from Houston coach Rick Adelman are basically carbon-copy of those from Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers after the Clippers were upset in their Game 1. The Clippers recovered rather well, blowing out the Warriors by 40 in Game 2 and securing the cover in the opening minutes.

James Harden shot a dreadful 8-for-28 in Game 1. Houston let LaMarcus Aldridge basically have free reign in the paint as he scored 47 points with little resistance.

The Rockets won’t play as poorly in Game 2.

Standings: Bern (19-16, $9,800), Keefer (17-18, $9,583), Brewer (14-19-3, $6,615)

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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