The dangers of betting on the Celtics (or any NBA) these days


Nothing is predictable these days. Just ask those who have been trying to bet on the NBA.

It's only been a few games but trying to figure out what's what when it comes to what is going to happen in these games in the Orlando bubble has been a challenge, to say the least.

“From a gambling perspective, the NBA has become very complex,” said Gary Trask of Casino City Times

Take the Celtics, for instance.

Brad Stevens' team is 0-2 (or 0-1-1) against the spread so far in the NBA reboot. After losing to the Bucks in Game 1, it appeared as though the Celtics were cruising toward covering the 4 or 4 1/2 points they were giving up vs. Portland. But a late rally by the Trailblazers ruined that dynamic for those who bet on the C's, losing by just four to either push or give Portland the edge.

Such a dynamic in the NBA is not unfamiliar. Late runs that blow up lines are commonplace. But since the league has returned, such a trend might be going to another level.

"The NBA has always been like that. The runs are extraordinary," Trask said. "It just seems more pronounced since the return."

But the unpredictability stretches far beyond such late-game surges.

One of the biggest unknowns is how back-to-back games will impact the results. As Trask points out, "Especially in the NBA you always look at the schedule. You could look at the schedule and circle spots go against teams." Not now.

The travel now consists of walking down the hallway of a hotel, to a bus for a short drive to the arena. No more airplanes or late-night arrivals.

So when the Celtics take on Miami -- a team that is coming off a four-point loss to Milwaukee Monday night -- how much should one factor in the schedule when weighing the 3 1/2 points the C's are giving up? This is a conundrum that should be put in the crosshairs of all those looking to figure this new world out.

There are other unknowns.

How are teams going to prioritize playing guys with injuries during this time of jockeying for postseason position? (Hello, Kemba Walker.)

Is there a team that is thriving in this landscape more than others, such as the Houston Rockets perhaps? The Rockets have not only won their first two games outright as underdogs but are one of the few teams that have seen their odds of winning a championship get better.

Everyone thought the wise move would be to bet the overs with out-of-shape defenders being rolled out for the early August tilts. But the over-unders are coming in at about 50 percent. Will that change? (The Celtics? They have gone over in both their games.)

And does the previous 2019-20 season's history between teams translate to what we are currently predicting? Does it matter? A good litmus test will be Tuesday night when the Celtics play the Heat for a third time this season having beaten Miami twice already.

As if you didn't have enough to think about, right? But some extra thought this time around might be worth it.

"Nobody," Trask added, "has seen anything like this before."