Sports Betting Tips and Wagering Advice: The Zig-Zag Theory
Whether you are a novice bettor just learning the ropes or a seasoned veteran who's been betting on sports for more than a decade, there is one constant connection between the two - both types of bettors lose. The novice bettor may lose a lot more because they make more mistakes when it comes to researching and betting lines, but the professional bettor is not immune to going ice cold and losing several plays in a row.
Some professional bettors I know have gone through cold spells where they couldn't pick a winner if they had tomorrow's newspaper today. For whatever reason, their thoughts were clouded and they couldn't properly filter out the important information from the entertaining headlines. It's much easier to get out of this sort of funk in the regular season as teams play different teams every other night. In the postseason, however, a team plays one team in a best-of-seven series, and if a handicapper isn't able to break out of the losing slump then the zig-zag theory could be the end of the bankroll as we know it.
For those who don't know what the zig-zag theory is, it's a betting system that applies to the NHL and NBA playoffs since they use a 2-2-1-1-1 best-of-seven series format. The reason it's called the "Zig-Zag" theory is because it uses the idea of a momentum shift both between teams and venues. The idea is that the following game in a playoff series is affected by the result of the previous one, thus leaving momentum with one team or the other.
NHL Zig-Zag Theory
Home-ice advantage is not what it used to be 10 to 20 years ago. Sure, teams who are successful typically have a great record on home ice. However, when the playoffs roll around, home ice is very beatable. The Zig-Zag theory is most prevalent after the higher seed wins Game 1 at home. In Game 2, the lower seed (road team) will win this game and even the series approximately 35 percent of the time since going down 0-2 in a best-of-seven is not ideal. More urgency equals a higher chance of success.
The second opportunity to bet the Zig-Zag theory is in Game 3 when the home team is down 0-2 after losing both games on the road. Very rarely do teams come back from a 0-3 deficit, so the home team in Game 3 will be looking to get back in the series and win one on home ice. The fear of elimination is what drives teams to compete even harder than they already do. And as desperation and urgency creep into the picture, it makes teams in a must-win situation a relatively good bet.
NBA Zig-Zag Theory
Unlike the NHL, home-court actually means something in the NBA. Road teams have to deal with the distractions of being on the road, the constant hostile environments and drastically different sight-lines they aren't used to since every arena is different. If we use this information and apply it to the Zig-Zag theory, we will find a much different situation than in the previously mentioned NHL paragraph.
The value of a road team that loses Game 1 is not all that enticing in Game 2 since these teams only win a third of the time in Game 2. The zig-zag theory play is when the higher-seeded team leads 2-0 and must go on the road for Game 3. Playing the home team down 0-2 is a solid play considering no team has ever come back from a 0-3 series deficit in NBA history. Much like the NHL, when a team is desperate and urgency creeps into their game then they are likely to perform much better and leave everything out on the court to come away with an important victory. Based on recent stats, home teams that are down 0-2 and playing at home in Game 3 win the game around 65 percent of the time.
If the road team wins Game 1 of a best-of-seven series - they will typically be an underdog - the home favorite is a very strong bet to rebound and protect home court in Game 2. The home team wins Game 2 around 75 percent of the time after losing Game 1 at home.
Zig-Zag Theory Pros and Cons
It's one thing to find a betting system and blindly bet it and hope for the best. It's a completely different thing to find a betting system like the Zig-Zag theory and bet it with complete and utter confidence that a profit will be made.
There are pros to this theory, and they have proven themselves many times in the past. Teams do not want to be put on the brink of elimination, so certain games - Game 3 when down 0-2, or Game 5 when down 3-1, are games where you will get the trailing team's best effort. The numbers are there to back up the theory, but what the numbers don't account for is all the intangibles that affect the games.
Not taking into account the factors is a con of the zig-zag theory because a team could run into a hot goalie, or have a key player suspended or injured, or be in a bad matchup situation against the opponent, or they are playing LeBron James. Whatever the factor is, the zig-zag theory doesn't take it into account.
Which is why I am telling you to make sure to do your research before blindly betting this system. It may prove effective, but it'll be because it's the right situation and not because a team "has to win" a certain game.
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