NBA Playoffs Betting Advice
by George Monroy - 4/30/2013
The NBA Playoffs are a long, slow grind. The first round of the postseason goes on for nearly two weeks, and the entire playoffs lasts deep into June. The fact that there are games played either every day or every other day is fantastic news for those gamblers who realize a seven-game series is filled with ebbs and flows and needs to be wagered on accordingly.
In the NBA, the disparity between teams is the largest of the four major American sports. There are rarely any upsets in the playoffs, and if there are, they are usually done by a five-seed beating a four-seed or a two-seed beating a one-seed. However, the lack parity in the NBA does not mean that playoff games are not competitive. Lower seeds cover the spread far more often than they might actually win a game. And for gamblers, that is all we care about.
In order to get the best of the sportsbooks over a long playoff season, gamblers need to stay patient and have a plan of attack. Here are a few tips to wagering on the NBA playoffs.
Do not overreact
One of the worst things a gambler can do is overreact to one game. A playoff series is, at minimum, four games of basketball. And even if a team ends up getting swept, it does not mean that they weren’t competitive ATS-wise. The sports media tends to overreact to any one event, and it is imperative for gamblers not to get caught up in the television hype. Remember, there are four games. Teams make adjustments, and a 2-0 lead can just as easily turn into a 2-2 tie.
Don’t be afraid to take the points
The general betting public has been conditioned to wager on the favorites during most situations. However, solely sticking to the betting favorite can be a very costly habit for gamblers. Four games into this season’s playoffs, the lower-seeded team (five through eight) has covered 16 of the 32 games played so far but has gone only 12-20 straight up in those games. Consider adding an underdog plus the points into your regular set of betting tools.
Understand the flow of a series
Momentum changes in a series all the time, and it is a sports bettor’s job to understand it as much as possible. If you have a series with two evenly-matched ball clubs, a home team taking a 2-0 lead does not mean as much as a one-seed taking a 2-0 lead on an overmatched eight-seed. Just taking a look at the first four games of this year’s playoffs, both the Los Angeles Clippers and Indiana Pacers took 2-0 leads on the road for Games 3 and 4, and they both ended up heading back home with the series tied, 2-2.
Betting totals as well as spreads
Betting totals can be a winning proposition during the NBA Playoffs if a bettor has done his homework. During the postseason the games tend to be lower-scoring affairs, as the matchups take on more of a half-court grind, especially late in fourth quarter. Of course, the oddsmakers adjust for this fact and release lower totals. But if gambler can find lines that are too low, and wager on a timely “over” during the middle games of a series or find lines that are too high and take an “under,” then they will have an excellent shot at making some money over the course of the postseason.
Read more articles by George Monroy
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