Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau got hit with a $35,000 for suggesting that Lebron James flopped the other night after being shoved by Nazr Mohammed. Anyone who reads this blog knows I’m not a fan of traitor Lebron, but that claim is pretty ridiculous. Mohammed shoved Lebron out of the blue, and I’m not at all surprised that he naturally fell backwards. Thibodeau should have been fined.
That said, Thibodeau’s strategy versus Lebron is brilliant, even with some execution issues like Mohammed’s stupid shove. The idea is to get into Lebron’s head, and frankly Lebron had a bad game but was bailed out by his teammates. It may not lead to a Bulls win since they’re so overmatched, but with Lebron you have to challenge him physically and mentally as we’ve seen him wilt many times before both when he played for the Cavs and in 2011 with the Heat.
Of course, Lebron can also rise to the occasion and make you pay for it, but leaving him alone spells certain defeat for most teams. It’s playoff basketball and you have to challenge Lebron and hope he suffers a meltdown or at least starts altering his game.
In Hollywood, the most popular image of a gambler is of a desperate soul who bets everything on one event. The ensuing event —anything from a horse race or boxing match to a kids’ baseball game — is inevitably a nail-biter, with the outcome determined in the final few seconds. Depending on the script, the poor soul who wagered his entire fortune either comes out a winner with his problems solved or sinks even further into despair.
Needless to say, Hollywood is not real life. Most experienced gamblers will tell you wagering your entire bankroll (the money you have available for betting) is a bad idea. Instead, the most successful bettors develop a bankroll-management strategy that allows for consistent winnings that offset losses while maximizing sportsbook bonuses and other perks.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
When you hear of sports bettors who lose everything or find trouble, it’s generally because they failed to use smart bankroll management. Instead of determining how much money they can afford to spend on sports betting sites and sticking with it, they start funneling money away from other things, like rent and bills, and toward the elusive “big payoff.” They bet on long-shot odds in hopes of a big payday or make huge wagers based on overconfidence in their knowledge of a team or league.
The result? A major financial mess.
Most experienced gamblers and experts recommend disciplined bankroll management. This starts with determining the maximum bankroll you can afford, anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. Most importantly, only bet as much as you can afford to lose without impacting your overall financial health. As you start to collect winnings, you can add to your bankroll, but start conservatively.
Use your bankroll to set a conservative unit size. A unit generally should be no more than one percent of your total bankroll. If your bankroll is $1,000, then an individual unit should be no more than $70. Go higher and you risk major losses.
Finally, develop a sports-betting plan. Aim to double your bankroll up to four times over the course of the entire season. To do that, you’ll need to increase the value of a unit as your bankroll grows, so determine at the season’s beginning the points when you’ll increase your bets. Having a solid plan and strategy is key to staying disciplined — and will keep you on track when you’re tempted to chase after a hot streak.
Go Big or Go Home? Not This Time
Another important part of managing your bankroll is managing your bet size. It’s easy to be tempted by the big paydays — who doesn’t want to collect several thousand dollars on a long-shot bet? However, you have a better chance of reaching your goals and increasing your bankroll through smaller bets.
Consider this scenario: You have $1,000 in bankroll going into the weekend. A novice bettor might risk $200 on five different games under the theory if he loses on two or three games, the winnings from other games will offset those loses. But what if he loses all five games? He’s lost his entire bankroll and must start over again.
Instead, avoid betting more than 10 percent of your total bankroll at any time and more than two percent of the bankroll on one event. It’s similar to diversifying investments in the stock market; if one investment (or wager) takes a hit, it doesn’t devastate the entire portfolio. If you win, you’ll gradually increase your bankroll until you meet your goals. If you feel especially confident about a particular game or match, increase your bet to three or four percent; if you aren’t as confident about the results, reduce the bet to one percent of the total bankroll.
The idea of taking a huge risk and betting everything on a single contest is a romantic one, but smart bettors know the path to huge gains is guided by discipline and moderation. Instead of worrying about paying your debts, you can focus on having fun and enjoy watching your winnings — and bankroll — gradually grow.
About the Author: Larry Lynch learned about bankroll management the hard way, when he lost several thousand dollars in the space of two hours one Sunday afternoon. Never one to make the same mistake twice, he decided to read more and learn about bankroll management.
Pretty much all of us have had something to say about the Derrick Rose saga, and most of the comments have been critical. Now we have an interesting perspective from Grant Hill, who is convinced he returned too soon from a serious ankle injury after he too was cleared to play by his doctors.
Part of the Rose controversy was fueled by Rose’s own brother, who implied Rose didn’t want to return so fast to a team that had no chance of winning a title. That statement coupled with the amazing run by this depleted Bulls team has certainly heightened the scrutiny on Rose. He’s also said very little, so that also fuels the wild speculation. So the feeding frenzy is partly his own fault.
That said, it all comes back to the hard fact that Rose suffered a very serious knee injury, and the fact he’s been cleared by doctors to play doesn’t settle the issue of whether he should be out there. Only he knows how his knee feels.
I don’t think Rose owes his team to go out there if he’s still concerned about his knee. But from a PR perspective he should probably speak up about his condition.
Nothing beats the excitement of the horse track. Sure, the casinos do have their appeal, but they’re somewhat limiting on the types of entertainment they offer. Casinos also limit who can visit and in a very short period of time, you could be out some serious cash. For the finance and family friendliness factors, head to the races!
You don’t need to visit the Kentucky Derby to enjoy the thrills of the track. Horses race at venues all across the country. The horses, the people, and the atmosphere make the racetrack a great destination for everyone. The races are just about the only gambling venue that allows families with children. With so much to do, a good time will be had by all.
Many racetracks have special Family Fun Days with additional activities to keep the little ones amused. The adults (most states allow gamers age 18 and up) can wage their bets on their favorite horse. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. Based on odds of winning, wagers start at around two dollars. A day at the track is something new and exciting to do without breaking the bank. And, if you’re lucky or skilled, you may even be cashing in before it’s all over.
The racetrack program is your guide to the races. It details the horses’ names, descriptions, and odds. Use the program as your map to plot which horse you’re betting to win, the amount of your wager, and how the winner will end (win, place, or show). The “win” is the first horse to cross the finish line, “place” is second place, and the third horse “shows”. To better assist you when determining the outcome of a race, pick up a daily racing form. It details recent histories of horses and how they placed. The form will give you a better feel for which contestants to bet on. Studying the odds will prepare you for possible outcomes.
If you’re feeling especially adventurous, wage your bets on more complex placements with each race. The odds of winning exotic wagers are less, but the payouts are typically much greater. With the “exacta”, for example, the horses you’ve chosen to cross the finish line in first and second place must end in exactly that order. The “trifecta” features first, second, and third place winners in the very order you placed them on your racing ticket. Or, win big and gamble on a series of races (a new race starts about every twenty minutes). For a “Pick 3”, the winning horse you’ve selected must win three consecutive races. Although the stakes are high for these types of wagers, the chances of winning a Pick 3, 4, or 5 decrease exponentially versus simpler options.
Many racetracks are covered by the local newspaper’s sportswriter. A seasoned horse betting professional offers top picks based on history and facts of the contestants in a particular race. The track offers this information for a nominal fee. Horse handicapping is great information to have a better understanding on which racer will fare best.
With these tools to your disposal, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying your day at the racetrack. Pick your favorite horse, choose one that’s had a history of winning, or elect a random selection. If you bring your children, consider involving them in helping you make choices. The kids will have fun watching the horses whip around the course. Everyone will enjoy the food and the fun atmosphere. Racetracks are a great place to have some bonding time with your family while opening possibilities to make your bank account grow. And even if you don’t win, you’re only out a few bucks.
Five rookies that could make an impact from Day 1 in the NFL
Making an impact at a new job is as much about opportunities as it is talent, hard work and dedication. Based on talent, skill set and yes, opportunity, here are five rookies that could make an impact from Day 1 in the NFL.
Tavon Austin, WR, Rams
One year after the Jaguars leapfrogged them for the opportunity to snag Justin Blackmon, the Rams foiled the Jets’ plan to select West Virginia sparkplug Tavon Austin in the first round of the 2013 draft by trading up to No. 8 (one spot ahead of New York). Jeff Fisher doesn’t strike me as someone who would go to great lengths to acquire a player if he didn’t plan to use him right away. Much like Percy Harvin and Randall Cobb, the Rams figure to use Austin as a moveable chess piece in Brian Schottenheimer’s offense. Whether it’s in the slot, the backfield or as a returner, Austin will be heavily utilized this season. And thanks to the different skill sets that guys like Austin, Jared Cook and Chris Givens bring to the table, opponents may have a difficult time matching personal with the Rams’ playmakers this season.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans
Last year it was telling how badly the Texans needed another offensive playmaker, not only in their Divisional Round loss to the Patriots, but four weeks prior when they were beaten badly at home by the Vikings in Week 16. Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 97 yards but failed to rip the top off the defense with one big play, and Minnesota did a great job limiting tight end Owen Daniels to just three catches for 27 yards. While DeVier Posey was targeted six times, he caught just one pass for a miniscule six yards and Matt Schaub was held to under 180 yards passing for only the second time all season. (He was also held to 95 yards against the Bears in Week 10 due to sloppy conditions.) Enter DeAndre Hopkins, Houston’s first-round pick in 2013. Hopkins has drawn comparisons to Roddy White and Rod Smith for his route running ability and ball skills. He doesn’t have elite speed but that won’t limit him from creating separation thanks in large part to his excellent technique. A projected starter from Day 1, he should flourish playing opposite Johnson in Gary Kubiak’s offense. (One could also surmise that he’ll post better production than fellow rookie receivers Robert Woods, Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson based on projected quarterback play alone.)
Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers
Bell has already drawn praise from offensive coordinator Todd Haley for his ability to be a three down back and “workhorse” runner, and he figures to play a large roll in the Steelers’ revamped running game because of his pass-catching ability. (He caught 67 passes for 434 yards with one touchdown at Michigan State.) He’s also durable and versatile in that he’s not only a north-south runner, but he has the ability to attack the edge as well. Largely mistaken as a “bruiser” entering the 2013 draft, there’s fluidity to Bell’s game. With no elite competition in Pittsburgh’s backfield, he has an opportunity to post instant production as a rookie.
Barkevious Mingo, DE, Browns
Last year, Les Miles and his coaching staff at LSU asked Mingo to play contain more than he did the season before when he racked up eight sacks and 15 tackles for loss. The new role crippled his production, as his sack number dropped to 4.5 and his tackles for loss fell to 8.5. At 237 pounds, it’s unlikely that Mingo will hold up against the run but the Browns figure to use him like the Seahawks utilized 2012 first-rounder Bruce Irvin last year: As a pass-rushing maven. Mingo is an athletic marvel and if Cleveland turns him loose as a rookie, don’t rule out a six or seven-sack season. (Irvin finished with eight sacks last year after pundits ripped Seattle for taking him in the first round.) Unless he adds weight, Mingo will struggle when opponents run straight at him. But as a DPR, he should turn heads as a rookie.
Matt Elam, S, Ravens
Elam projects as the starting safety opposite Michael Huff in Baltimore’s defense, much like Eric Reid figures to start as a rookie for the 49ers. But Elam has better ball skills and more playmaking ability than Reid, who looks stiff in coverage and isn’t always quick to break on passes. Elam’s short but he hits like a MAC truck and has the versatility to be an interchangeable safety in Dean Pees’ scheme. Don’t rule out a 100-tackle season for the former Florida Gator, who also has the ball skills to snag a few interceptions as well.
+ Many of the offensive linemen taken in the first round also figure to make an immediate impact for their respective teams, but I left out players like Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel because it’s hard to quantify production for O-linemen.
+ I left off defensive linemen because it’s rare that they make huge impacts as rookies, although Bruce Irvin was the exception to the rule. One of the reasons for their limited production is because they quickly find out that the pass-rushing moves they used in college don’t work against NFL offensive linemen.
+ Some might wonder why I left Jarvis Jones off this list and the reason is simple: Dick LeBeau’s scheme is complicated to learn. It usually takes first timers to the defense a half or even full season to pick up. Players have talked about being lost in their first year but by season two they feel more comfortable. Thus, look for Jones to potentially make an impact in 2014 for the Steelers.