The numbers for Thursday's games:
Houston +4.5 @ Utah 184
Dallas -3 @ Golden State 209
I want to put on the table that I have no allegiance to Houston, though I picked them in 4 of the 5 games of this series. But tonight, HOUSTON has to be the pick and this is the scenario that necessitates it.
If Utah wins this series and IF Golden State wins tonight, these two square off in the second round. If Golden State doesn't win another game they are still a playoff success. Lets say Golden State comes out and has a big let down, then the Western Conference Finals we have been waiting for all year might be Utah and San Antonio, with the Pistons waiting in the Finals for the winner. This scenario would put the NBA back at least 15 years. I think about this scenario in the same way I think about putting a needle in my eye.
I can not allow this to happen. If Houston wins, while its not the run and gun we hoped for at least we have the star power of McGrady and Yao. Utah and San Antonio play in the Western Conference Finals and the NBA world will implode and life with basketball as a legitimate sports may be over. HOUSTON has to be the pick for all our sakes. Take Houston to win and waive the points, even if you lose, at least you will wake up tomorrow knowing you had no part in the possible demise of the NBA. (I realize that Houston could still win game 7, but this is too important to leave up to a game 7).
On a side note, can we please have no more shots of Stan Van Gundy and Jerry Sloan in HD. My God are they frightful. If my kid (there is probably one out there somewhere) wanted to get into coaching I would show him clips of these two as a scared straight video. When TNT goes to shots of the sideline they need to blur out the two coaches faces like they do on Dateline for people who's identity needs to be kept secret.
The second game is the one everyone is waiting for. Before game 5 of the series, I was going to write (had I been able to use a computer) that it would be a great time to buy Dallas to win the series. I figured teams get down 3-1 more often then we think, only to turn it on and leave the lower seed wondering what just happened after game 7. Just last year the Suns were down 3-1 to the Lakers before winning in 7. Then of course the Mavs went out and won the game. Not only that they stole it from Golden State. So Mavs have to be the pick.
Umm, not so fast there Corso. GOLDEN STATE is taking the series tonight. We have seen this same scenario play out in MLB two years ago with the Cardinals as heavy favorites against the Astros. Everyone is getting warmed up for a Game 7 in Dallas only the Warriors are going to end things tonight. How have teams fared up 3-2 in a series? They are 174-30 all time and 14-2 in the preliminary round. Take Golden State and waive the points.
Picks: HOUSTON and GOLDEN STATE... waive both spreads, and for a real return parlay the two (Houston +170 and Golden State +120).