Betting the NBA Playoffs

Are you ready? Betting the NBA Playoffs is here!

Key Points

– Bettors should be prepared to wager on the NBA playoffs.

– There are a number of tips and strategies bettors can use to take advantage of the NBA playoffs.

When April rolls around each year, it is usually a signal to sports fans. March Madness comes to an end. The Major League Baseball season is usually underway and the NBA’s regular season is soon coming to an end. Even some of the hottest handicappers can’t keep up.

That means it’s time for the NBA playoffs. As bettors head into the NBA playoff season, they should be prepared. That means being armed with any number of tips and strategies that can help you in betting on the NBA playoffs. 

We explore some of the tips and strategies below. But before you get into it, how did your March Madness go? Did you finish up or down? Last time out we talked a little about NCAAB moneyline wagering. It may have helped you out.

Bet Unpopular Favorites

At playoff time, the public loves favorites and popular teams. Say you have Golden State favored over Minnesota. The public loves the Warriors and will probably be all over them in a playoff game. 

But, what about a team like Denver or Utah? Say they are favored in their playoff games, but the public is on the underdog. Since 2005, favorites that have received fewer than 45 percent of the bets have gone 143-107-7 (57.2%) ATS. 

This is a trend worth watching during the NBA playoffs.

Betting the First Round

Nearly 74 percent of No. 1 seeds win their first-round NBA playoff series. Since 2005, only five No. 8 seeds have won a first-round playoff series, but it has happened three times since 2007. The most recent was in 2012 when the Sixers beat the Bulls.

Betting No. 1 seeds against the spread though is a different story. Top seeds cover the spread almost 52.4 percent of the time in the opening round. These teams do the best against teams that are .500 or worse. They cover nearly 60 percent of those games.

No. 2 seeds in the first round tend to win at the same rate as No. 1 seeds. What the second-seeded teams do better though is cover the spread. No. 2 seeds cover over 62 percent of the time since 2005.

No. 1 seeds are often overvalued while No. 2 seeds are often overlooked. We’d advise taking a good look at this year’s basketball scores and odds.

Home Teams Down 0-2

It does happen. A higher-seeded team finds itself down two games to none and then has to go on the road. One of the more profitable trends in this case is the first half spread in Game 3.

NBA Playoff teams know that the likelihood of coming back from a 3-0 deficit is not good. Therefore, they play with a sense of urgency in Game 3 even though they aren’t at home.

Over four seasons, this trend has been a good one. Playing the team down 0-2 in the Game 3 first half spread, the record is 32-10-1 ATS. 

Fade Teams That Played a Game 7

Rest is an incredibly huge factor in the NBA playoffs. The best sportsbook for NBA Playoffs will always adjust their lines accordingly. There have been numerous injuries in the postseason over the past several years. You had Kevin Durant with a torn Achilles and Klay Thompson with a torn ACL. There are others too, but the bottom line is players and their bodies get tired.

Teams that are forced to play seven games in a series and then move on typically don’t do well in Game 1 of their next series. Over the past several years, teams that win a Game 7 to advance are 32-47 SU in Game 1 of their next series.  Those same teams are just 33-46 in the next series overall.

Are you ready to learn a little more about betting? Here’s an article where we wrote about Hedging Your Bet.