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It's time for our customary look at betting trends and this time we'll look at the first round of the NBA playoffs.
Frankly, I didn't expect to find a whole lot in the way of trends, but there are definately some that have developed over the years, not only in sides, but also in totals.
We touched on totals a bit in NBA Totals in the Playoffs, although that looked at totals as a whole instead of in a particular round or in individual numerical groupings.
Favorites are essentially a break-even proposition in the first round of the NBA playoffs over the past five seasons, going 106-105-7. It was basically the same if they were at home or on the road, as road favorites were 22-23-1, making either home favorites or road favorites a losing proposition.
Looking at our customary breakdown, we'll see the following:
Favorite of 2.5 or less points: 15-16
Favorite of 3 to 5.5 points: 51-37-5
Favorite of 6 to 9.5 points: 30-34-2
Favorite of 10 to 14.5 points: 9-17
Favorite of 15 or more points: 1-1
We see two things here, with the first one to jump out most likely being double-digit favorites are just 10-18 (35.7%) against the spread over the past five seasons, while favorites of 5.5 points or less were 66-53-5 ATS, which translates to 55.5%.
One interesting fact is that in those games where the spread is 5.5 points and less is that games fall under a higher-than-normal percentage of the time. In games where the line is 2.5 points, or lower, the total is 9-21-1, while in games where the spread is between 3 and 5.5, the total is 38-53-2, giving us a combined 47-74-3, meaning just 38.8% of these games have gone over the total.
Going ahead and jumping into totals, we'll see that games have gone under more often than not, as all games are 94-119-5, which translates to 55.9% of the games going under.
Moving ahead to our breakdown:
Total of 169.5 or less: 2-0
Total of 170 to 179.5: 4-10-1
Total of 180 to 184.5: 21-15-1
Total of 185 to 189.5: 27-27
Total of 190 to 194.5: 15-31-1
Total of 195 to 199.5: 9-11
Total of 200 to 204.5: 4-9
Total of 205 to 209.5: 6-6-2
Total of 210 to 214.5: 4-6
Total of 215 to 219.5: 1-1
Total of 220 or more: 1-3
There are only two ranges that show a tendency to go over more often than not, the extremely low-totaled games and the 180 to 184.5 grouping. Everything else is even or titlted to the unders.
The most meaningful range is the 190 to 194.5 grouping, which is 15-31-1, meaning just 32.6% of games in this range go over the total, but it's always a bit tricky to zoom in on one particular spread grouping. A more logical premise would be to take all of the games where the total is 190, or greater, and look at them as a whole. If we were to do so, we'd see that those games were 40-67-3, which equates to 62.6% unders.
As always, just because something happened in the past is no guarantee that it will happen in the future, but history often repeats itself in the world of sports betting.
The Heat look to take advantage of a New York team that is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games as a road underdog of 5 to 10 1/2 points. Miami is the pick (-8 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Heat favored by 10. Dunkel Pick: Miami (-8 1/2). Here are all of today's picks
Game 501-502: Philadelphia at Chicago (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Philadelphia 116.167; Chicago 123.102
Dunkel Line & Total: Chicago by 7; 179
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago by 9; 175
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (+9); Over
Game 503-504: New York at Miami (3:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: New York 119.371; Miami 129.465
Dunkel Line & Total: Miami by 10; 183
Vegas Line & Total: Miami by 8 1/2; 186 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Miami (-8 1/2); Under
Game 505-506: Orlando at Indiana (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Orlando 114.530; Indiana 121.325
Dunkel Line & Total: Indiana by 7; 195
Vegas Line & Total: Indiana by 9; 191 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Orlando (+9); Over
Game 507-508: Dallas at Oklahoma City (9:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Dallas 116.502; Oklahoma City 126.177
Dunkel Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 9 1/2; 190
Vegas Line & Total: Oklahoma City by 7 1/2; 193
Dunkel Pick: Oklahoma City (-7 1/2); Under
Great stuff Mark thanks for posting it....some of that trend information always looks so good..although it seems like every time I use that stuff it turns out to be an abberation year and I get killed....to me the best way to use it is for confirmation if you like a play anyway...