It’s time to spice up your Monday morning. Nothing gets the juices flowing than putting some chips on the table.
Before I delve into any my basketball predictions, it is critical that the audience understands the meaning of an option.
Per investopedia, an option is a “financial derivative that represents a contract sold by one party (option writer) to another party (option holder). The contract offers the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to buy (call) or sell (put) a security or other financial asset at an agreed-upon price (the strike price) during a certain period of time or on a specific date (exercise date).
In layman’s terms, an option is an investment vehicle that can be used for hedging a prior bet, beating the market through arbitrage, or pure speculation.
I hope you guys are willing to get your blood pressure up because it’s time to speculate.
It is important to understand the difference between holding stock and options. With stock, you own part of the company and can sit on the shares forever. Options, on the other hand, can expire worthless if they approach their maturity date out-of-the -money.
I’m feeling rather confident with these NBA picks so I’m willing to let it ride.
Disclaimer: Most bookies won’t be taking actions on these binary events. If you have one who will, call me!
10) Andrew Bynum misses over 20 games this season- After being a complete non-factor in Philly last season, I still say Bynum’s injury-filled past lingers with him to Cleveland. I’d be surprised to see the big man return to his Lakers form. If I was given a lucrative money line to place on this gamble, I’d probably have to consider it. I wonder if my future employer will allow me to miss a quarter of the work year..
9) Brandon Jennings and Co. lead the Pistons to the Playoffs– After winning 29! games last season, Pistons GM Joe Dumars took some bold chances this off-season by bringing in Josh Smith and flipping Brandon Knight for Jennings. With a shallow Eastern Conference on the horizon, the Pistons have an opportunity to be competitive for the first time since Billups, Rip and the Wallaces were in town. In terms of the O/U wins total, my friends and I are jumping on anything we find tantalizing.
8) Eric Bledsoe is the League’s Most Improved Player– After getting dealt from the Clips to the Suns, the former Kentucky Wildcat is getting his time to shine. Stuck behind a guy named Chris Paul in Los Angeles, the Suns are counting on Bledsoe to step up to the challenge. While this comparison might be a stretch, I’m likening this development to Paul George and the Indiana Pacers a couple years ago. In time, I think Bledsoe leads the Suns back into relevancy in a loaded Western Conference.
7) Dwight and the Rockets struggle out of the gate– The notion of strong starts and Dwight Howard is the league’s funniest oxymoron. While everything in Houston should eventually set into place, I say it’s takes a bit of time. In the long run, I think Dwight, James Harden and Chandler Parsons assert their will on the Western Conference. But initially, I’m taking a short position. Bold Prediction: the Rockets finish the month of November no better than three games over .500.
6) Derrick Favors is an All-Star– With Big Al Jefferson and Paulie Millsap out of Big Love territory, it’s time for Favors to show who’s Daddy. While he certainly has had his games as a pro, I’m looking for a significant breakout season from the Georgia Tech product. I’m thinking as optimistically as 20 PPG-12 RPG-1.5 BPG. If Favors can do this, no shortage of Utah women will be flocking over the big fella.
5) The Nets win more regular season games than the Pacers– With everybody lauding over Paul George and Roy Hibbert in Hoosierland, I’m saying “Hold up, Miss Lippy.” While I don’t doubt that the Pacers will make the playoffs and challenge for Eastern Conference supremacy, I feel like the Nets will have a stronger regular season. By bringing in vets Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Andrei Kirilenko, the Nets are going for it all. I say that the old geezers give every ounce of energy this season and go out with a bang. In Indiana, I see Danny Granger struggling to find his groove and sulking. Just a hunch, but I’m going with it.
4) The New York Knicks finish under .500- Naturally, while everybody in the East is either a contender or Riggin-for-Wiggins, the Knicks find themselves as the outliers. A team too mediocre to compete and yet not shitty enough to tank, the Knicks organization is in trouble. With so much dead money flowing into A’mare Stoudemire’s bank account and the team’s veterans aging, the cracks in the Knicks’ foundation start to be exposed this season. As a Bulls fan, this would be a win-win if this prediction comes true.
3) The Heat win it all AGAIN-Yeah, I said it. I just don’t see the Clips or Thunder actually making a serious move this season. While Houston, Chicago, Indiana and Brooklyn are all intriguing, they all come with risks. LeBron James is clearly a man on a mission. Until his supporting staff deteriorates completely, he’s gotta be everybody’s favorite for winning it all in the 2013-14 season.
2) The Bulls finish 56-26– After winning our under bet last season, I say the Bulls have a terrific regular season. While Derrick Rose’s absence casted a solemn shadow on the entire 2012-13 season, the emergence of Jimmy Butler was definitely an encouraging sight. With Joakim Noah and Luol Deng hopefully 100%, the Bulls should be able to rampage through the Eastern Conference. I expect the 1 or 2 overall seed in the Eastern Conference, giving us another crack at Miami come summer time.
1) Derrick Rose returns and EXCEEDS every expectation-Nobody can deny that last season sucked. Before the first game tipped off, Bulls fans knew it would be a wasted season. Coming back with a chip on his shoulder, Derrick comes back bigger and better than ever. With an improved jump shot, anything is possible for the man with a city on his shoulders. It’s time, Chicago. Get excited.
While you might think some of these predictions are lofty, I think the risk-reward when it comes to using options is worth the gamble. Stay tuned for my next series that will sure to make my audience money.