With September 16 a day off in the NBA Playoffs, we thought we would take a look back as to what has happened so far from the betting perspective and see if we can help forecast any future results.
For this report, we tried to break down as many elements as possible for side and totals betting against the NBA odds. Besides the usual material we drilled down further trying to uncover any potential nuggets and separated everything according to each conference. Here is what we have learned.
Eastern Conference Betting Numbers
Favorites of 3 or fewer points – 3-6 SU and 2-7 ATS
Favorites of 3.5 to 6 points – 7-4 SU and ATS
Favorites of 6.5 or more points – 10-1 SU and 7-3-1 ATS
Conclusion – In this conference, we ended up at 20-11 SU and that includes Game 1 in the East Finals. As you can see, short favorites have been a money-burner both against the spread and on the money line. Because of the early disparity in the East, Milwaukee and Toronto cleaned up and all favorites of 3.5 points or more have been the way to bet for NBA picks.
In looking ahead at Miami and Boston, it appears the odds will mostly land at four points or less, which will tend to favor the underdog based on the results. The Celtics youth really showed up late in Game 1 which turned the +5.5 for the Heat into a winner. This should be fascinating to watch going forward.
Totals of 214.5 or lower – 3-2 OVER
Totals of 215 to 219.5 – 10-2 UNDER
Totals of 220 or higher – 8-6 UNDER
Conclusion – Based on history, it is not unusual for the lower point segment to favor higher scores and the complete reserve of the higher figures to go below the set numbers. Our middle ground is what is really what should catch every basketball bettors attention.
What the 10-2 UNDER mark points to is the trend of the Eastern Conferences better teams all more defensive-minded then their counterparts out West. Miami and Boston have been tenacious defenders, which is a large reason why they are competing right now.
In the series opener, if we discount the overtime period, we still had an OVER and it would not be a surprise if we have another, before the coaches for each team start devising ways to contain the other which could lead to more UNDER’s.
Western Conference Betting Numbers
Favorites of 3 or fewer points – 4-5 SU and 3-6 ATS
Favorites of 3.5 to 6 points – 7-4 SU and 6-5 ATS
Favorites of 6.5 or more points – 9-9 SU and 6-11-1 ATS
Conclusion – In the West, the first two numbers were somewhat similar to the Eastern side, but they were completely the opposite for favorites of 6.5 or more. The reason is twofold. If begins with the West is overall more competitive from the seventh seed on up and some of the best sportsbooks,
The L.A. Clippers were the biggest culprit and disappointment. The other aspect that plays into these numbers is the Orlando bubble. Against the Clippers, if Dallas and Denver would have played home games they would have had road spreads around +10, but close to +4 or +5 where they normally play.
The Lakers opened -6.5 over Denver and let’s see how that plays.
Totals of 214.5 or lower – 2-1 OVER
Totals of 215 to 219.5 – 4-4-1
Totals of 220 or higher – 12-12-1
Conclusion – There is only one way to come up with an answer for these results, the oddsmakers are perfectly dialed in and are splitting the action and picking up the juice in the West. No reason to overthink what the numbers are telling us.
Thoughts on the Four Finalists
Miami will enter Friday’s action at 9-2 SU and ATS. Their most dangerous role is when catching points and they are 4-0 SU and ATS as underdogs. Watch this team closely and keep in mind only one club not seeded in the Top 3 in either conference has won an NBA title since 1970. However, this is 2020! The Heat is 7-4 UNDER.
Boston is 8-4 SU and ATS and their youth has shown at certain times, yet, they have managed to bounce back. Watch what happens on the Celtics as they are 2-1 SU and 3-0 ATS when catching digits. The C’s are 9-3 UNDER.
Denver is the first NBA team to win consecutive series when down 3-1 and you have to admire their intestinal fortitude. The Nuggets are 8-6 SU and 9-5 ATS, but a spirited 8-3 ATS as dogs (6-5 SU) and they are 7-5-2 UNDER.
The L.A. Lakers have not been underdogs to date in the postseason and they don’t figure to be as long as they keep playing. They are 8-2 SU and 6-3-1 ATS with a modest 5-4-1 UNDER mark. Let’s hope following the numbers leads to your success.