The Miami Heat continued their impressive start to the 2019/20 NBA season with an overtime victory over the reigning NBA champion Toronto Raptors, proving themselves as surprise contenders in the Eastern Conference.
Erik Spoelstra’s men missed the playoffs last season and were not expected to make a charge this term. However, Jimmy Butler has been an astute signing following his move to the franchise during the off-season, while rookies Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn have hit the ground running.
Miami are keeping pace with the leaders in the Eastern Conference that were anticipated to be in contention to reach the NBA Finals. The question now is whether they will be able to maintain their strong start amid tough competition from the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, and the Raptors.
The Heat will base their surge for the playoffs on the basis of their performances at American Airlines Arena. At the time of writing, Spoelstra’s men are 8-0 on home court, which is easing the pressure on their displays on the road. They were able to play with freedom in their win over the Raptors as confidence has been flowing through the team. As a result, it could be worth considering their odds of 10/1 with Betway to win the Eastern Conference given the value and the fact they’ve also conquered the Bucks this term. It has been a stark contrast to their performances last season.
In the last campaign, the Heat struggled in front of their supporters, with a 19-22 record. The team has found the consistency to their displays, although there has been a pattern to their victories and their defeats. When the Heat has scored over 100 points they’ve have ended on the winning end more often than not – dropping two games to the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Houston Rockets.
Their other defeats have come when they’ve been held under 90 points to quality outfits on the road. The Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia 76ers have been able to stop their flow, although it’s a good sign for the future that the only blemishes on their record to date have been against the elite of the NBA, proving once again that the Heat are in it for the long haul.
Sustaining Performance Levels
Butler is a proven commodity in the NBA and has lived up to the billing since he arrived in Miami, with Josh Richardson moving in the opposite direction. The 30-year-old is thriving on being the centerpiece under Spoelstra, supporting the younger members of the roster alongside Goran Dragic.
The Heat do not have a lot of experience in their side, making the performances of Butler essential to their success. It’s no surprise to see when he has not performed to a high level the team has tended to struggle. Butler has been exceptional thus far at both ends of the court, but he cannot be expected to carry Miami through the rigors of an 82-game season and the playoffs.
Bam Adebayo is developing into a solid presence on the court in the defensive third. He has been a key factor in getting the ball back for the Heat, averaging 10.4 defensive rebounds per game. It needs to be the standard for the 22-year-old, while Justise Winslow also needs to take his game to the next level after a solid start to the term. The two players have enough experience in the NBA to know their games, easing the pressure on the rookies.
Herro and Nunn have been excellent in their opening burst of games, with the latter catching early attention for the rookie of the year award after being named the Eastern Conference rookie of the month for November. It’s encouraging for the Heat to see such performances from their two rising stars, although it remains to be seen whether they can match those performance levels throughout the season.
The Heat are a team on the rise after years of underachievement. Spoelstra is proving that he can coach without elite talent on his team. However, given the quality of competition in the Eastern Conference, it might be a year too soon for Miami due to them being dependent on the performances of their rookies, who are untested in the heat of intense matches down the stretch.
Taking a Look at the Best March Madness Betting Tips and Strategies
With March Madness fast approaching, it is time to start delving into the best tips and strategies, to give you the best chance of winning. This tournament has been hyped up for a while now and it is finally time to take a look at the March Madness 2020 schedule and betting odds statistics.
According to a study which was reported by the American Gaming Association, also known as AGA:
- 1 in 5 basketball fans, who are adults, will place bets on the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
- Around $10 Billion is being wagered on March Madness (inclusive of all the legal and illegal tournament pools).
- In 2019, March Madness reported a total bet of $495 million from the Nevada region only.
The first round of March Madness will kick off from 17th March and will have the championship game on 6th April. This gives you plenty of time to get your research done on the teams and become more knowledgeable for when the games take place. Now, let’s explore three of the most successful strategies that can be acknowledged to win the bets:
For this strategy to work, the match must have a clear favorite team with odds above 1.35, which loses at the end of the first two quarters. Although a team is a favorite and the chances of it winning are high, there are chances (less) of it getting reversed.
The task for you is to bet during the break between the second and the third quarter of the match. This time is referred to as the positive handicap of the original favorite. Usually, at this moment, the odds for the outcome are highest. Optimally, you can choose the odds ranging from 1.82 to 1.85.
In most cases of this betting strategy, the losing team begins to catch up, reducing the gap to the minimum. Accordingly, the stake on a positive handicap of the team holds an excellent chance to be a success.
Victorious with a strong will
For this basketball betting strategy, you’ll have to place a bet on a live match (just as in most of the other strategies). You’ll have to choose a match that’s almost over or is somewhere in the middle of the fourth quarter.
The gap in the points of both teams should be as minimal as possible. That means the competition is neck to neck and fierce. The odd for winning one of them is must be 3-3.5. And now, as you must have already guessed! You’ll bet on the victory of a team.
The success of this strategy is mostly dependent on the fact that at the end of such close matches, a reliable outcome is rarely predictable. Additionally, with a minimum gap of points, the possibilities of winning are nearly equal for both teams.
However, it must be noted that this basketball betting system can bring tangible benefits only over the long run.
Be an underdog
Statistics can be a stubborn thing to go for, mostly in the games the favorites are denoted by odds 1.5-1.8, and not all quarters end with the victory of these favorites.
So, next time when you take up the challenge in winning the basketball betting system, choose a match and then bet on the victory of an underdog quarter wise. This means you’ll be beginning with your strategy from the first quarter, and if the team loses, bet in the second quarter, etc. In such cases, the odds on the outsider victory would be above 2.0 or even 2.2.
If you want to make it big, then you switch matches. For example, if your stake on one of the quarters wins, then you can change the game and similarly begin from scratch.
Use a mix of the above strategies in this March Madness and let us know if it worked for you!
Philadelphia 76ers running out of time to click
The Philadelphia 76ers are heading towards another season of disappointment unless the franchise is able to improve their form on the road. Brett Brown’s men made their intentions known ahead of the campaign that they were determined to kick on from the last time when they were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals for the second year on the bounce.
Although Jimmy Butler was lost in a trade deal with the Miami Heat, the Sixers emerged with Josh Richardson as part of the move. Tobias Harris’ contract was extended, while the franchise made a significant splash to sign Al Horford, robbing the Boston Celtics of their All-Star center.
Experience was a key factor in Philadelphia’s struggles in their back-to-back post-season exits, and the addition of Horford was supposed to provide guile and nous to a young side as well as stealing a quality player from a rival. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid were expected to take another step in their development to help the Sixers become the leading outfit in the Eastern Conference.
However, it has not proven to be the case as the stretch run of the 2019/20 season approaches. Philadelphia is well off the pace of the Milwaukee Bucks in the number one seed, while the form of the Celtics, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, and the Indiana Pacers has pushed them down towards the sixth seed. It would create a tougher road in the post-season for the Sixers to handle, although they are still backed in the betting NBA odds as second favorite for the Eastern Conference crown behind the Bucks, despite their issues on the court.
The main problem has been the form and the fitness of Embiid. At his best, the 25-year-old is one of the top players in the NBA – as proven by his third-straight All-Star berth. Embiid’s numbers on the court have been impressive, averaging 23.0 points per game along with 12.1 rebounds. However, there have been occasions where he has struggled to raise the level of his game, particularly against rivals in the East.
Embiid endured one of the worst performances of his career in a defeat to the Celtics, shooting just 1-11 on the night, with nine of his points coming from the free-throw line. A finger injury had ruled him out of action for nine games during January, although he was fine on his return against the Golden State Warriors. If the Sixers are to make a run during the final two months of the regular season they need their All-Star locked in and focused to find the peak of his powers.
Support has not been forthcoming elsewhere in terms of points. Harris has averaged 19.4 points per game, but it’s not quite the standard Brown would have been hoping for from the forward after a five-year $180 million investment in the off-season. Ben Simmons has been impressive around the court, although his production in and around the rim is underwhelming for a player of his ability. Richardson has just been solid, failing to raise the level of his game after leaving Miami.
Then there has been the form of Horford, who has not looked himself on the court. He has struggled to find a consistent role in the team, which has hurt the levels of his output. There could be the possibility at the age of 33 Horford’s skills are beginning to decline. It’s a concern for the Sixers given the contract they handed to the center in free agency worth up to $109 million over four years. He’s not going to improve with age and if this is the best of Horford, then it could be an expensive choice made by the front office.
There’s still ample time for the Sixers to click on the court, but the signs are not looking positive. Philadelphia has talent aplenty, although at the moment it appears that they are a group of individuals rather than a championship-caliber outfit.
The Fight Against NBA Geo-blocking
Historically, soccer has been the undisputed sport of choice for most of the world to play and watch. With very few exceptions such as North America and a few cricket countries, the popularity of soccer has been basically without challenge. But in recent years, this dominance has been subject to serious competition.
The rise of basketball and its popularity has taken some experts by surprise. Originally confined to North America since its inception in Canada around a century ago, basketball is fast gaining a massive international following. Indeed, the NBA has been keen to capitalize on this trend, not only performing exhibition matches around the world, but also taking in players from popular markets.
With the rise in popularity of online streaming worldwide, the NBA has also jumped on the bandwagon, with its official streaming site now the premiere outlet where fans can stream NBA games for their viewing pleasure.
Unfortunately, not everything smells like roses. Even the NBA is not immune from the scourge that is geo-blocking. Far too often, fans in the United States and around the world look forward to watching their favorite team play a long-standing enemy team, only to find out that their market has been restricted from viewing the game live, thereby depriving fans from catching their favorite player or team at the time of their choosing.
How Does This Happen?
Many have wondered how this frustration came into being. Indeed, just about every major streaming service practices some degree of geographic discrimination, but it seems odd to many that the NBA would do the same seeing as they are the ones who own the rights to the games their players play in.
Sad to say, there is more to this than meets the eye. What the NBA usually does is it sells these broadcasting rights to cable or streaming networks for a handsome royalty. They will have the exclusive right to broadcast the game live and even the NBA will have to resign itself to posting the game at least three hours after the fact.
To make matters even more complicated, most of the networks that purchase these exclusive rights do so only for certain geographic locations. Most of these networks are not fully national in their broadcasting reach and therefore purchase regional exclusivity. What this means is that viewers outside this exclusive zone are still able to use their NBA league pass to watch the game live on the NBA site. Only those who fall within the zone’s exclusive domain get greatly inconvenienced by this.
VPNs to the Rescue
This is where VPNs come into play. The main features of a good VPN service will be more than sufficient in ensuring that netizens will be able to not only stream any NBA game they wish, but also stay out of trouble while doing so.
This is generally done in a two-step process. The first step is through the use of alternate IP addresses. Once you have installed your VPN service on your device and have it activated, simply go to the list of alternate IP addresses the VPN has to offer. A good VPN service will have a good variety of addresses to choose from in anticipation of customers looking to bypass geo-blocking.
Be sure to choose an IP address that falls outside the exclusive broadcasting zone of the local network. Once you have finalized and locked in your selection, the VPN will then reroute any and all exchanges by default through one of their servers located in the IP address location you chose.
What this will do is give the impression to anyone looking from the outside that you indeed reside where your alternate IP address says you reside. In fact, the internet will be so convinced that you indeed reside in your alternate IP address that you will be shown ads that are specific to that region.
For example, if you reside in the Midwest and choose an IP address somewhere in the Deep South, you might very well be shown ads of Waffle House even though you only have IHOP where you live. This is because the alternate IP address feature is so convincing that no one is the wiser to it.
The second step that makes sure you can consistently get away with this is the encryption protection feature. What this basically does is it covers every exchange going in and out of your device in a layer of high-quality encryption. The main purpose of this was to ensure that even if the exchanges were intercepted by unscrupulous hackers, the information would be so scrambled that their efforts would have been for nothing.
VPN`s Are Essential To Overcome The Geo-Blocking Hurdle
This feature is very important for the purposes of overcoming geo-blocking because of the disciplinary measures that NBA and most other streaming services have put in place. In most cases, the steaming services have some sort of firewall designed to catch people in the act of faking their IP address.
This is where the encryption software becomes so indispensable. The encrypting of all information going in and out of the protected device means that no one can decipher the information as long as it remains scrambled by the encryption program.
This means that no one knows exactly what you are up to simply because they cannot interpret anything. The most anyone can know about what you are doing is that you are using a lot of bandwidth, but they cannot accuse you of anything because they have no proof whatsoever.