The 2021 NBA Playoffs have been unlike any other. And not just because it featured a 'play-in' round at the start. We've also had several key injuries along the way that have derailed (or may derail) the hopes of many of the top contenders. Teams like the Los Angeles Lakers (Anthony Davis), Denver Nuggets (Jamal Murray), Utah Jazz (Mike Conley), Brooklyn Nets (Kyrie Irving; James Harden), and Los Angeles Clippers (Kawhi Leonard) all were greatly impacted. The upshot is that it is the first time both #1 seeds didn't make the semi-finals since 1994 when the Atlanta Hawks and Seattle SuperSonics were knocked out early.
Let's take a look at how the NBA Playoffs have gone -- from a point spread perspective.
Our data goes through games of June 25, and does not include the 'play-in' games.
Home teams: 37-35 ATS (Faves 29-22 ATS; Dogs 8-13 ATS)
Away teams: 35-37 ATS (Faves 13-8 ATS; Dogs 22-29 ATS)
Favorites: 42-30 ATS (Home 29-22 ATS; Away 13-8 ATS)
Underdogs: 30-42 ATS (Home 8-13 ATS; Away 22-29 ATS)
Series off Under in previous game: 15 Overs, 14 Unders, 1 Push
Series off Over in previous game: 14 Overs, 13 Unders
Teams off playoff loss: 25-33 ATS (Faves 16-13 ATS; Dogs 9-20 ATS)
Teams off back-to-back playoff losses: 12-13 ATS (Faves 5-7 ATS; Dogs 7-6 ATS)
Teams off double-digit playoff losses: 8-21 ATS (Home 6-16 ATS; Away 2-5 ATS; Faves 2-8 ATS; Dogs 6-13 ATS)
Teams off point spread failures by 10+ points: 14-15 ATS (Home 9-11 ATS; Away 5-4 ATS; Faves 9-8 ATS; Dogs 5-7 ATS)
#1 Seeds: 12-11 ATS (Home 7-6 ATS; Away 5-5 ATS; Faves 12-9 ATS; Dogs 0-2 ATS)
#2 Seeds: 17-8 ATS (Home 11-3 ATS; Away 6-5 ATS; Faves 11-5 ATS; Dogs 6-3 ATS)
#3 Seeds: 11-12 ATS (Home 6-6 ATS; Away 5-6 ATS; Faves 7-7 ATS; Dogs 4-5 ATS)
#4 Seeds: 11-10 ATS (Home 6-5 ATS; Away 5-5 ATS; Faves 7-5 ATS; Dogs 4-5 ATS)
#5 Seeds: 12-9 ATS (Home 3-5 ATS; Away 9-4 ATS; Faves 2-0 ATS; Dogs 10-9 ATS)
#6 Seeds: 3-7 ATS (Home 1-4 ATS; Away 2-3 ATS; Faves 1-2 ATS; Dogs 2-5 ATS)
#7 Seeds: 3-8 ATS (Home 2-3 ATS; Away 1-5 ATS; Faves 2-2 ATS; Dogs 1-6 ATS)
#8 Seeds: 3-7 ATS (Home 1-3 ATS; Away 2-4 ATS; Faves 0-0 ATS; Dogs 3-7 ATS)
Interestingly, teams off blowout SU/ATS playoff losses have NOT done well this season. Consider that NBA teams off SU/ATS losses by seven or more points have gone 11-28 ATS. Meanwhile, teams off narrow SU/ATS playoff losses by six or less points have gone 13-2 ATS.
Another trend to watch is how teams do off back-to-back upset playoff wins. In this year's playoffs, teams that pulled off consecutive upsets have gone 0-5 ATS.
Good luck, as always...Al McMordie