Four NBA Playoff Systems/Angles

by Kyle Hunter

Friday, Apr 14, 2023
The NBA playoffs are here! Now that March Madness is in the rear view mirror, the NBA will be get a lot of the attention in the next couple months. The play in tournament has brought some solid games already, and the full playoffs tip off on Saturday April 15. 

I wanted to take a look at four different NBA playoff angles that have made money in the past. These angles/systems aren’t the be-all and end-all, but they are good pieces of information to know as part of your handicaps throughout the playoffs. 

Four NBA Playoff Systems/Angles 

  1. Home favorites with 4 or more days of rest since their last game are an impressive 112-69 (61.9% ATS) in the NBA playoffs dating back to the 2006 season. When does this system usually pop up? This is most commonly in game one of a series when the higher seeded team has had a good break between their contests. Even larger favorites have done very well inside this system. Favorites of 5 points or larger are 85-52 ATS, which has yielded an ROI of 20.5%. Keep an eye on those rested home favorites through the playoffs.
  2. A favorite receiving 40% or less of the spread bets is 110-75-5 ATS (60.8%). Public bettors haven’t been good at picking underdogs in the NCAA Tournament, and they aren’t good at betting underdogs in the NBA playoffs. This is a system that is just a straight fade of the trendy underdog.
  3. First round NBA playoff games that start before 6 pm eastern are 124-88 to the under. That is good for 58.5% wins and an ROI of an impressive 13.7%. Overall, early start times have leaned toward the under in the NBA in both the regular season and the playoffs. It isn’t something I would blindly bet, but it is definitely something to consider before placing your wagers.
  4. Road underdogs where the line has moved at least 1 point in the direction of the other team and the spread bets are less than 45% on the road underdog- Those road underdogs are 75-54-2 ATS (58.1% ATS). The thought here is the public has moved the line toward the favorite a bit too much and has inflated the line. 

Remember NBA playoff betting is far different than regular season betting. It is now less about motivation and more about matchups. Good luck during the playoffs! 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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