Get the best handicapping articles and gambling advice throughout the football, basketball and baseball seasons from the world's top sports handicappers, as well as from Bovada (Bodog) Sportsbook and Casino.
Conference Finals Report
by Tom Stryker - 05/20/2007
The NBA Final Four is locked and loaded. It will be Detroit versus Cleveland in the East and San Antonio versus Utah in the West. Rest assured, both series will be competitive.
Last year, the Pistons and Cavs traded punches in the second round of the Playoffs and Detroit needed seven games to finally dismiss the pesky Cavaliers. Total players should note that the last 15 games in this series has produced an under record of 12-3 ATS.
On the left side of the map, the games between the Spurs and Jazz haven't been that close. In fact, since the start of the 2000 season, Tim Duncan and Company have posted a solid 23-4 SU and 18-9 ATS record against Jerry Sloan's Jazz including a marvelous 17-4 ATS in this set provided the Spurs are NOT favored by -9.5 or more. Of course, as we learned in the first round from No. 1-seeded Dallas anything can happen.
To help you with your battle with "the man", I've broken down certain situations in the Conference Finals that have historically produced solid profits. These plays aren't "automatic" but should give you something to put in your arsenal if needed. Take a look.
Conference Final Game 1 Host
20-12 SU and 15-16-1 ATS with 16 overs - 16 unders
A. Versus a foe off back-to-back straight up wins = 7-12-1 ATS and 4-11-1 ATS since 1995.
B. If host was a dog or a favorite of -3.5 or less last = 3-9-1 ATS.
C. Favored by -7.5 or more = 7-1 ATS including 1 over - 7 unders.
D. Priced as an underdog or a favorite of -7 or less = 8-15-1 ATS including 15 overs - 9 unders.
Conference Final Game 2 Host
22-10 SU and 11-18-3 ATS with 10 overs - 19 unders and 3 ties
A. Off a straight up win = 6-11-3 ATS.
B. If the posted total is 187.5 or less = 3 overs - 12 unders and 1 tie (also 4-10-2 ATS).
C. Favored by -2.5 or more = 8-18-3 ATS.
D. If host owns a won/loss percentage greater than or equal to .744 = 4-11-1 ATS.
Conference Final Game 3 Host
19-13 SU and 14-17-1 ATS with 11 overs - 19 unders and 2 ties
A. Host is playing with three or more days rest = 4-10 ATS.
B. Off a straight up loss of 10 points or more = 5-1 ATS.
C. Favored by -4 or more = 13-6-1 ATS.
D. Priced as an underdog or a favorite of -3.5 or less = 1-11 ATS.
Conference Final Game 4 Host
18-14 SU and 15-17 ATS with 15 overs - 17 unders
A. Favored by -2.5 or more = 8-14 ATS.
B. Priced as an underdog or Pick = 6-2 ATS.
C. Off a straight up loss if favored last = 3-7 ATS.
D. Off back-to-back SU and ATS losses = 1-4 ATS.
E. If beat the pointspread by 10 points or more last = 5-2 ATS.
Conference Final Game 5 Host
17-9 SU and 11-15 ATS with 13 overs - 13 unders
A. Off a straight up win = 2-8 ATS including 0-7 ATS if host won by five points or more last.
B. Off a straight up loss as a favorite - 4-0 ATS.
C. Priced as an underdog or a favorite of -7 or less = 8-13 ATS.
Conference Final Game 6 Host
14-9 SU and 12-11 ATS with 9 overs - 14 unders
A. Off a straight up win = 6-3 ATS.
B. Off a SU and ATS loss = 3-5 ATS with 1 overs - 7 unders.
Conference Final Game 7 Host
7-2 SU and 3-5-1 ATS with 4 overs - 5 unders
A. If foe won/loss percentage is less than or equal to .650 = 3-1 ATS
B. If foe won/loss percentage is greater than .650 = 0-4-1 ATS
Overall, hosts in the Conference Finals own a record of 117-69 SU and 81-99-6 ATS with 78 overs - 103 unders and 5 ties. There are two specific situations that work in any game of this series that you should remember. First, home teams coming off back-to-back straight up wins are a dismal 21-32 ATS. Also, hosts in division play are a soft 31-46 ATS.
Good luck with your investments in the Conference Finals this season. I'll be back next week with an inside look at the NBA Finals. As always, thanks for reading and best of luck. Tom Stryker.