NBA Playoffs Betting Nuggets: How to Profit in the Postseason

Apr 18, 2018

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With the NBA playoffs in full swing, Oskeim Sports previews some of the most prevalent betting systems and angles utilized by sports bettors in the NBA postseason.

NBA Playoffs Zig-Zag Theory

The Zig-Zag theory is one of the most popular NBA betting systems used by sports bettors in the postseason.  The Zig-Zag theory states when a team loses in a game of a postseason series, you then bet on that team to cover the point spread in the following game.

Let’s take a look at how the Zig-Zag theory has performed since 2007:

  • 180-178-6 ATS in the First Round
  • 92-87-3 ATS in the Second Round
  • 46-45-1 ATS in the Third Round
  • 25-22-2 ATS in the NBA Finals

Let’s take a look at how the Zig-Zag theory has performed since 1997:

  • 343-312-11 ATS in the First Round
  • 181-178-7 ATS in the Second Round
  • 92-91-4 ATS in the Third Round
  • 46-43-4 ATS in the NBA Finals

In last season’s NBA playoffs, the in-series revenge teams posted the worst point spread mark since 1984.  Specifically, the Zig-Zag theory ended with a 22-41-1 ATS record in the 2016-17 playoffs, effectively ending a four-year run that saw the theory compile a 151-128-1 ATS performance.

Over the last two decades, the Zig-Zag theory has not been an effective predictive tool and should be avoided by sports bettors in this year’s NBA playoffs.

NBA Playoffs: How 0-2 Teams Perform in Game 3

One of the most common questions I receive from sports bettors is how 0-2 teams in the NBA playoffs respond in Game 3. Since 2005, over 90 percent of 0-2 teams played Game 3 at home, going 56-49 straight-up and 51-51-3 ATS.

Blindly betting teams trailing 0-2 in the NBA playoffs is a losing proposition and should be avoided at all costs.  However, these 0-2 squads are an excellent investment in the first half of Game 3.  Specifically, these teams are a profitable 74-39-2 ATS (65.5%) in the first half of Game 3 (39-19 ATS as favorites and 35-20-2 ATS as underdogs).

How do Teams Respond to Blowout Defeats in the NBA Playoffs

This betting theory invokes recency bias as sports bettors are hesitant to back teams coming off a blowout loss.  In the previous two NBA postseasons, teams that lost their previous game by 20 or more points were a money-burning 12-22-1 ATS (35.3%).

In the ten years prior to the 2016 and 2017 NBA playoffs, teams coming off a 20+ defeat represented a 56.6% ATS winning proposition in their following game.  Based on the last two NBA postseasons, teams are no longer undervalued following a blowout loss in the NBA playoffs.

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