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NBA Playoff Trends

NBA Playoff Trends

NBA Playoff Trends
By Marc Lawrence

It’s never too early or late to prepare for the playoffs. With the 2009 NBA postseason underway there will be 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, they are just 26-65 but against the spread they are 42-43-6. Inside those numbers they are 14-7-3 when playing with exactly two days of rest; 27-15-4 in Games 2 and 3; 13-7-1 in games whenever the Over/Under total is 208 or more points and 9-3 when playing off a loss of 20 or more points.

Detroit is currently a squad under .500, while Chicago and Philadelphia are riding the fence. 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 45-25-1, a rock solid number. If they were upset at home and return home they improve to 33-16-1, including 23-9-1 if off a loss of 5 or more points.

Don’t be afraid of these chalkbusters. That’s because they don’t lose their composure. Instead they almost always elect 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 playoff loss. These overweight puppies are 23-12-1 in this role, including 20-8-1 if they were a dog of 8 or more points the previous game. They are also 15-5 off a playoff loss when taking double digits from a non-division foe.

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 isn’t 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 48-35-2, or almost 58% 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 2009 NBA playoffs. I’ll be back soon with more winning insight on Round Two.

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