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Playoff Primer

Playoff Primer

Playoff Primer
Marc Lawrence

It’s never too early to prepare for the playoffs. Before you know it, the NBA post-season will be under way and with it a flock of opportunities to make some extra cash.

Let’s take a look at four time-tested proven theories that have lined our pocket during the opening round of playoffs since 1991. As usual, all results are ATS, unless stated otherwise.


Surprised? Don’t be. The common perception is that sub .500 teams are simply a punching bag for the elite teams. That’s true, from a straight-up standpoint are they are just 21-55 but against the spread they are 37-35-6. Inside those numbers they are 14-5-3 when playing with two days of rest; 23-13-4 in Games 2 and 3; and 15-8-1 in games whenever the Over/Under total is 208 or more points.

With at least one sub .500 squad qualifying from the Eastern Division, we’ll see how they stand up this season.


No, it’s not an oxymoron. Instead it’s a powerful handicapping edge. It occurs whenever a team was upset as a favorite in an opening round game and is at home in the game immediately thereafter. That’s confirmed by the fact that they are 41-22-1, a rock solid number. If they were upset at home and return home they improve to 31-13-1.

Don’t be afraid of these chalkbusters. More times often than not, they tend to dig down deep and respond with aplomb in games after being embarrassed.


Much like losing teams, and often times one in the same, double-digit underdogs do well in opening round contests, especially when playing off a loss. These overweight puppies are 23-11-1 in this role, including 20-7-1 if they were a dog of 8 or more points the previous game.

Granted, these dogs are not exactly pedigree puppies but the fact of the matter is they tend to come up big against disinterested favorites.


It’s not often we’ll find division foes battling one another during the opening round of the playoffs, but when we do we can bank on the fact that familiarity breeds success. That’s because first-round division hosters, off a playoff loss, are 47-35-2, or 57% to the number. They improve to 29-15-2 if they scored 90 or fewer points in the defeat.

If any one team knows its opponent better than another it’s a division rival. Put them up against a wall watch them react.

Enjoy the opening round of the 2008 NBA playoffs and be sure to visit my page daily throughout the post-season to find the very best-of-the-best winning angles.

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