GAMBLING GUIDE

How to profit off the Rockets in the playoffs

James Harden and the Rockets are just under 4-1 to win the title. But there is a better way to play. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Although football is behind us, some would consider this as the prime time in sports. With the conclusion of March Madness, the push for the postseason in the NBA, and Opening day approaching, the action is plenty for gamblers.

I had a friend ask me the other day about putting money on the Rockets to win the NBA Championship this year, and I hesitated to answer once I looked at the futures odds market.

Odds to according to Vegas Insider

Golden State Warriors    6/5
Houston Rockets    3.8/2
Cleveland Cavaliers    10/1
Toronto Raptors    12/1
Boston Celtics    30/1
Oklahoma City Thunder    40/1
Philadelphia 76ers    60/1
Portland Blazers    60/1
San Antonio Spurs    60/1
Washington Wizards    100/1
Utah Jazz    200/1
Indiana Pacers    400/1
Milwaukee Bucks    400/1
Minnesota Timberwolves    450/1
Miami Heat    500/1
New Orleans Pelicans    500/1
Denver Nuggets    1000/1
Los Angeles Clippers    1000/1

The Rockets currently sit as the second favorites to win the NBA title. According to Vegas Insider, they only trail the Golden State Warriors, and betting on Houston to be this year's champion will pocket you about $150-190 for every $100 you wager depending on the spot you wager at. Although some might think as this as a decent payout, I tend to think a different approach might be the best idea. Especially if you play through a local that adds the extra premium when players bet the home team.

At +150-+190 on the future wager, if you were to bet the Rockets series by series you might come out with a better payout.

For example: let's suppose the Rockets and Warriors are on a collision course that leads to the Western Conference Finals. When they do meet, will the Rockets even be favored although they hold home court?  Since the 2014 season, The Rockets have fallen to the Warriors 11 times while only winning on three occasions. They did manage to win the heads-up series this year, maybe giving Houston some added confidence.  Let's presume the defending champions are fully healed, the Super Team of the modern era Golden State Warriors should be slightly favored in the Western Conference finals, let's guess leaving Houston at the +125-140 range (projected). Let's suppose the Rockets pull off the upset and advance to the Finals against either Boston Cleveland or Toronto, how much would Houston be favored vs. either Eastern Conference opponent? Let's guess around the -130 to -170 range. These are all estimated figures, but using these numbers betting the series individually would ultimately net you more profit, rather than making a future bet. This can be classified as a mechanical parlay.

Using the Mechanical Parlay Method; you wagered $100 on the Warriors series in the conference finals at let's say +125, Rockets win giving you a bankroll of $225 (100+125) going into the finals. Now when you wager that $225 at anywhere between -130-170, let's suppose worse case scenario -170, your payout would be 225+ 132.35= $357.35
If you were to have bet the Rockets on the future bet at +190, or even up to +225, you wouldn't profit as much as breaking it down individually (+290/+325).

When gambling, every part of the juice matters and can ultimately make you a winning or losing gambler. Stay sharp and look for any angles you can take advantage of, or in this case, not get taken advantage of.

For any questions or comments reach me at @JerryBoKnowz on twitter.

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