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538 got off to a rough start before the playoffs even began:

Those predictions were hilariously off-market at the time. Golden State was roughly pick’em to win the West, while the Cavs were the slight favorites in the East. The playoffs themselves haven’t gone better for 538’s model:

538 Risked To Win Result
Spurs 3557 23616 -3557
Raptors 3700 617 617
Sixers 2800 560 560
Pelicans 978 1760 1760
Celtics 3034 1920 1920
Pacers 1207 5456 -1207
Jazz 467 560 560
Timberwolves 187 2800 -187
Pelicans R2 3071 19840 -3071
Jazz R2 1640 16400 -1640
Celtics R2 1168 4790 4790
Raptors R2 2048 1113 -2048
Celtics R3 1521 3680 -1521
Rockets R3 6733 12120 -6733
Cavaliers R4 1300 10010 0
Current Tab -9757

They’re down 97.57% of their starting bankroll. They aren’t giving up hope though, attempting to win it all back through one huge upset. That takes balls (and an off-market model).

ESPN is dodging more losses, although that’s due to some luck on their part. They are underrating both Cleveland and Golden State, which is balancing out to get a roughly accurate series line:

ESPN Risked To Win Result
Spurs 450 2988 -450
Raptors 900 150 150
Heat 375 1500 -375
Pass 0 0 0
Celtics 3808 2410 2410
Pacers 3527 15944 -3527
Thunder 2715 2011 -2715
Rockets 7182 264 264
Pass 0 0 0
Jazz R2 1200 12000 -1200
Celtics R2 3905 16010 16010
Raptors R2 6592 3583 -6592
Celtics R3 6010 14545 -6010
Rockets R3 4436 7984 -4436
Pass 0 0 0
Current Tab -6471

Being down 64.71% of their bankroll is not particularly something to celebrate. Mind you, if we were going game-by-game, they’d be on Cleveland in game one, but that’s a story for another blog.

Finally, Nylon Calculus is ending their playoff run down a measly 5.74%:

Nylon Calculus Risked To Win Result
Spurs 450 2988 -450
Pass 0 0 0
Heat 125 500 -125
Pelicans 1444 2600 2600
Bucks 57 80 -57
Pacers 841 3800 -841
Pass 0 0 0
Timberwolves 293 4400 -293
Pelicans R2 1599 10329 -1599
Jazz R2 1266 12660 -1266
Celtics R2 1952 8003 8003
Raptors R2 1366 743 -1366
Celtics R3 2001 4843 -2001
Rockets R3 3179 5722 -3179
Pass 0 0 0
Current Tab -574

They too would be backing the Cavs game-by-game, but on the series line, they escape with no further damage.

 

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ESPN is investing their Celtics winnings fairly heavily as they have both the Celtics and Rockets as favorites to advance:

ESPN Risked To Win Result
Spurs 450 2988 -450
Raptors 900 150 150
Heat 375 1500 -375
Pass 0 0 0
Celtics 3808 2410 2410
Pacers 3527 15944 -3527
Thunder 2715 2011 -2715
Rockets 7182 264 264
Pass 0 0 0
Jazz R2 1200 12000 -1200
Celtics R2 3905 16010 16010
Raptors R2 6592 3583 -6592
Celtics R3 6010 14545 0
Rockets R3 4436 7984 0
Current Tab 3975

538 has the Rockets at 79% to advance to the finals. That’s a lot of confidence against the reigning NBA champions. For what it’s worth, they also have the Rockets at 69% to win the title, which is nice.

538 Risked To Win Result
Spurs 3557 23616 -3557
Raptors 3700 617 617
Sixers 2800 560 560
Pelicans 978 1760 1760
Celtics 3034 1920 1920
Pacers 1207 5456 -1207
Jazz 467 560 560
Timberwolves 187 2800 -187
Pelicans R2 3071 19840 -3071
Jazz R2 1640 16400 -1640
Celtics R2 1168 4790 4790
Raptors R2 2048 1113 -2048
Celtics R3 1521 3680 0
Rockets R3 6733 12120 0
Current Tab -1503

Nylon Calculus isn’t being quite as bold as 538 or ESPN, but they also have the Rockets favored, and are risking a bit under 52% of their bankroll on the conference finals. For the record, that’s insane, just less so than ESPN or 538.

Nylon Calculus Risked To Win Result
Spurs 450 2988 -450
Pass 0 0 0
Heat 125 500 -125
Pelicans 1444 2600 2600
Bucks 57 80 -57
Pacers 841 3800 -841
Pass 0 0 0
Timberwolves 293 4400 -293
Pelicans R2 1599 10329 -1599
Jazz R2 1266 12660 -1266
Celtics R2 1952 8003 8003
Raptors R2 1366 743 -1366
Celtics R3 2001 4843 0
Rockets R3 3179 5722 0
Current Tab 4606

 

ESPN is going full bore on the Raptors (They have them winning the series 88% of the time!):

ESPN Risked To Win Result
Spurs 450 2988 -450
Raptors 900 150 150
Heat 375 1500 -375
Pass 0 0 0
Celtics 3808 2410 2410
Pacers 3527 15944 -3527
Thunder 2715 2011 -2715
Rockets 7182 264 264
Pass 0 0 0
Jazz R2 1200 12000 0
Celtics R2 3905 16010 0
Raptors R2 6592 3583 0
Current Tab -4243

538 is confident, but not insanely so:

538 Risked To Win Result
Spurs 3557 23616 -3557
Raptors 3700 617 617
Sixers 2800 560 560
Pelicans 978 1760 1760
Celtics 3034 1920 1920
Pacers 1207 5456 -1207
Jazz 467 560 560
Timberwolves 187 2800 -187
Pelicans R2 3071 19840 0
Jazz R2 1640 16400 0
Celtics R2 1168 4790 0
Raptors R2 2048 1113 0
Current Tab 467

Finally, Nylon Calculus is more cautious still:

Nylon Calculus Risked To Win Result
Spurs 450 2988 -450
Pass 0 0 0
Heat 125 500 -125
Pelicans 1444 2600 2600
Bucks 57 80 -57
Pacers 841 3800 -841
Pass 0 0 0
Timberwolves 293 4400 -293
Pelicans R2 1599 10329 0
Jazz R2 1266 12660 0
Celtics R2 1952 8003 0
Raptors R2 1366 743 0
Current Tab 834