• First off, feel free to skip ahead a few paragraphs if you don’t want to read the personal aside.

    I wanna say a big hello to everybody after being put on injured reserve this season. If you haven’t seen me tweet or heard me talk about it I basically got hit with a repetitive stress injury from typing like a maniac my whole life, with an assist from sitting at a desk for way too long, bad posture and an overall unhealthy approach to my physical health. So I haven’t been able to produce as much content as I would like. That’s the bad news. That and having to dictate everything I write using voice software, which inevitably leads to a downgraded product, but I digress.

    The good news is that I have been able to continue doing all of the research I would do in a normal year. At least that much was saved in this whole process. I wrote down the results of every total and side bet for every team and every game in the NBA regular season. I did that because I wanted to keep at least a minimal pulse from a betting perspective on how teams were doing and how they were perceived. The other good news? I’ve dropped a solid 50 pounds and I’m lighter then I’ve been at any point in time in life since I was a lockdown defender in high school. Forced by my rehab plan, I have a nearly impeccable diet except for a solid handful of cheat days every month (and I feel great about the whole arrangement). My body feels strong and limber again — I’m working toward playing in an over 40 league at some point. I still can’t type and I might never type much more than a sentence here or there ever again but in a way it’s been a blessing. If any of you are suffering from what you believe may be typing related pain — PLEASE hit me up — my story might be able to make a huge difference in your life.

    I say all that just so you know where I’ve been and where I’m coming from as I just show up here in the playoffs and throw a couple haymakers. We’re locked and loaded and ready to go.

    To set this article up — this journal is my playoff betting journey, minus the game to game plays. So futures bets and series bets, starting with the championship odds. It’s the type of thing that might have a different strategy from year to year. But before we dive into strategy let’s quickly acknowledge that playing a postseason in this manner is a constantly changing chessboard. Investing in the teams that you like and having early success, especially on underdogs that the public hasn’t caught up on yet, can give you ways to hedge into guaranteed profit or even leverage the guaranteed returns into huge upside in future plays.

    This year, because Phoenix is so complete on both sides of the ball and Chris Paul looks all the way healthy, and so many other reasons, we want to jump out to a big position on them while we’re still getting pushback by the public on how good they are. There aren’t too many championship teams from the last 20 years that I would put ahead of them in terms of raw expectation. That is, what you expect them to do when the ball gets tipped. We’ll see if that’s right or wrong but as you can see in the chart below they are anchoring the strategy.

    Before we go team by team here let’s talk a bit about how I am handling units and overall strategy. Typically units mean whatever your roll is for the season. Here, it’s a target for how much we want to spend on this journey (choose your own adventure). Because we could either experience an accelerated betting strategy as the playoffs progress — one where we want to hit the gas on how much cash we put in the furnace, or conversely one where small bets actually make more sense, whether in profit or loss scenarios, we have to remain flexible on that front.

    So I set a target unit distribution for each stage of the playoffs, and my first step here was to figure out what percentage of my roll I wanted to spend on the pre-flop action. As you can see, I have six teams I’m willing to invest in, with the next seven teams that have even the slightest chance of a shot listed as ‘out’ off to the right side. Basically if any of those teams keeps advancing toward an NBA championship, we’re going to have to hedge and otherwise recover later on down the road, probably at a loss.

    Running these numbers and seeing that this group of six teams — that I like a lot — with no less than 20% ROI in Philly and all the way up to 200% ROI in Memphis, while also getting three premium teams and a very good Hail Mary… seems like an amazing time to push units into the middle. In other words, I want a higher distribution of my units to fire off early because I like the equation. It might not be as good when the market catches up.

    In the chart below you will see that I have 250 units I am targeting to play with 100 of them going in pre-flop. As a quick note, I might come in here and add a conference bet or two (or not), and those aren’t listed in this chart. We’ll deal with any new bets as we go. Again, this is a journal of what I will be playing.

    I’ve created the quick chart below so you can see how if you were using one dollar per unit what the ROI for your total investment would be, based on which team wins (for amusement only of course). Down at the bottom I show the distribution of what I’m targeting to play in each stage of the playoffs, as well as a category for series plays, and then show you at the bottom what the total investment would be based on the size of unit you’re playing.

    I will update this journal throughout the playoffs and try to be as explanatory as possible but be warned the document can get kind of long and fairly messy. Apologies in advance and best of luck to all of us!

    LAST UPDATED: Monday, April 11 12:52 p.m. PT

    Team-by-Team Notes and Analysis:


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Tai Tokeshi

Love the chart, I need to do this for my bets on the 2024 political markets which have some really juicy numbers right now!

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