"Streak for the Cash." In it they give you a "bet" (there's no cost to play) and you make a prediction. The goal is to have a "streak" of consecutive correct predictions, and if you have a longer streak than anyone else, you win $50,000 at the end of the month. Most of the bets are just "predict the winner of this matchup", but sometimes they have prop bets, like "will there be a home run in innings 3 through 6" of a given baseball game.
For the opening game of the NBA finals there was a prop:
Who will have more points in the first half:
1. LeBron James
2. Kevin Durant or tie
A novice at the Streak for the Cash game looks at the game averages for both players then factors in the tie to make their decision. Most players chose Kevin Durant. But by looking at game totals, you miss the most important part of the prop - that it's for the first half. It makes a big difference that it was for the first half of the game and not the second half.
LeBron James scores most of his points in the first half. Even in his big 45 point game against the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, 30 of those points were scored in the first half. The dig that analysts and fans have against LeBron is that he's not a "closer". He doesn't want the ball at the end of the game to make the big shot - and the stats back this up (whether this is a true detriment to his game is probably the bigger question), before making my selection on this prop I checked the game logs and realized that James regularly scored more first half points than Durant. I won the prop - James scored 14 and Durant 13.
In the second half of that game, however, Durant outscored James 23-16 in the second half and the Oklahoma City Thunder won the game. Durant is a closer.
Running is the same way. An important part of race strategy is knowing when to chase and when to "run your own race." In 2010 at the Western States Endurance Run, Geoff Roes was running with Anton Krupicka and Killian Jornet, when he recognized things weren't quite right at mile 46 he dropped off the lead group and let Tony and Killian take off ahead of him down the trail. Roes rallied though and eventually overtook both of them later in the race and set a course record of 15:06 for the iconic 100-miler.
Very few races, especially long races are won in the first half. You have to be a "closer." You have to have the legs, fluids, electrolytes and calories in a place where you can hit your goal at the end. Whether that's a time goal or win, the rule is the same now as it was for Alec Baldwin in 1992: "Always Be Closing."