Let’s start with a trivia question: When was the last time a seeded team outside the top three won an NBA championship?
Answer: 1995, when the six-seeded Houston Rockets beat Shaquille O’Neal’s Orlando Magic in four games.
Ponder that for a moment. Bill Clinton is the president of the United States, “ER” has higher ratings than “Seinfeld” and “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” topped the Billboard Hot 100 the last time a team ranked fourth or lower went on to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Still interested in betting the four-seeded Philadelphia 76ers 13-1 to win the championship?
That certainly doesn’t mean it can’t happen this spring. After all, when was the last time we saw a team as talented as Kevin Durant’s Brooklyn Nets go into the knockout stages with such a low seeding? But as we prepare to begin this magical journey known as the NBA 2022 playoffs, it should at least be noted that a 2nd seed has won 12 of the past 14 titles, while only 4 of the 44 teams that previously made it to the NBA Finals in the last 22 seasons have been placed fourth or below.
Now that I’ve seen your cortex shoot all the cylinders, here are some other angles I’d like to contemplate every NBA post-season before stepping into the betting window.
19 of the 20 former NBA champions have been in the top 10 for defensive effectiveness
A tired cliché, no doubt. However, there is wisdom in the “Attack wins the game, but defense wins the championship” analysis that we see every year at this time.
It’s no secret that scoring rates are on the rise in the NBA. During the 2001-2002 season, the Dallas Mavericks led the Association in points-per-game of 105.2. This season, the Oklahoma City Thunder ranked last with a score of 103.9. Totals regularly ended in 230s and the four clubs (Minnesota, Memphis, Milwaukee and Charlotte) all completed their respective campaigns with an average of over 115 points per contest.
But it’s the regular season where ranks are harder to get. The knockout stage has and always will be for teams that can stop consistently as well as in key moments.
The big moment in Golden State’s 73-game winning season in 2015-2016? It was LeBron James chasing and knocking down Andre Iguodala with less than two minutes in Game 7 of the Finals with a score of 89. Cleveland would win that series, thanks in part to his elite defence. LeBron in that game- leverage situation.
With that in mind, consider the following before placing any futures bets:
1. Over the past 20 seasons, 38 of the 40 NBA Finals teams have ranked in the top 20 for defensive effectiveness.
2. Over the past 20 seasons, 33 of the 40 NBA Finals teams ranked in the top 10 for defensive effectiveness.
3. Over the past 20 seasons, 21 of the 40 NBA Finals teams ranked in the top 5 for defensive performance.
4. In the past 20 seasons, no champion has ranked less than 11th in defensive effectiveness (Golden State, 2017-2018).
5. 14 of the past 20 NBA Finals have featured a game between two teams that ended the regular season ranked in the top 10 for defensive effectiveness.
2021-2022 Top 10 teams in terms of defensive efficiency
1. Boston Celtics, 106.2
2. Golden State Warriors, 106.6
3. Phoenix Suns, 106.8
4. Miami Heat, 108.4
5. Cleveland Cavaliers, 108.9
6. Memphis Grizzlies, 108.9
7. Dallas Mavericks, 108.9
8. LA Clippers, 109.5
9. Toronto Raptors, 109.9
10. Utah Jazz, 110.0
In its most rudimentary form, the Zigzag Theory is a betting strategy in which you place a bet that is essentially the opposite of what happened in the previous game of the series. For example, if Dallas won Utah and the total was still below in Game 1 of their upcoming Western Conference playoffs, applying the Zigzag Theory, you would be inclined to bet on Jazz and end up in Game 2.
Unfortunately, this approach will not work for you in the long run.
But that doesn’t mean the Zigzag Theory is completely useless. Instead, you just need to know when to apply it. And when you should apply it will come immediately after a performance exception.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
It was game 3 of the 2021 Eastern Conference semifinals and Philadelphia finished -2 in Atlanta with a total score of 224.5. Philly won 127-111, taking a 2 point gap and up 13.5 points from the closing total.
So why does this particular game qualify as an outlier worth discussing?
Get inside that Game 3 slot and you’ll notice that the 76ers, who shoot 47.6% from the floor and 37.4% from the 3-point range in the regular season, have lost 58% of their shots. from the floor and 48 percent of their effort from deep in Game 3. That performance falls outside Philly’s season average and so suggests that a shooting setback is approaching. Meanwhile, Atlanta shot 26% from deep in Game 3, well below the season’s average of 37.3%.
So what happened in Game 4? Well, this time the Sixers finished as the 3-point favorite, with a total score of 226.5.
Final score: Atlanta 103, Philadelphia 100.
The Hawks and his underlings cashed in after Philly went from a 58% hit from the floor in Game 3 to just 44% in Game 4, while Atlanta increased his shot by 3 from 26% in Game 3 to 30% in Game 4. Nothing too drastic, but enough to swing the outcome in its favor.
The spirit of the story? Check the tile scores every night of the post-season to look for outlier performances and then bet on a regression, positive or negative, in the following game if the price matches.
Go downstairs 0-2
Be careful here. This has been a popular angle in Las Vegas for quite some time, meaning bookies have caught on and started to hide their point spreads. As a result, the value of these opportunities has been reduced, if not completely exhausted.
The situation in question refers to a team that lost 0-2 in a playoff series going home to host Game 3. The angle is that you should bet on the home team to lose 0-2 because they are desperate. and have benefited from a supportive crowd on their side against an opponent who can be fat and is leading 2-0 in the series. As a result, the home team’s 0-2 lead in this series will prompt the strength of the crowd, as well as their own desperation, to get off to a quick start.
Of the 15 playoff series that took place last spring, nine had a team trailing 0-2 when the home team hosted Game 3. In those nine cases, the home team made it through the first half in Game 3. five times. The most notable example of this angle was during Game 3 of the NBA Finals when the Milwaukee Bucks, losing 0-2, destroyed the Phoenix Suns by 15 points in the first half of Game 3 on their way to a 120-100 win.
A prime example of this angle blowing in our faces occurred in Game 3 of the Milwaukee’s opening series against Miami in the same period after that season. The Bucks took a 2-0 lead in the series, flying to Miami for Game 3 and beating the Heat by 13 points in the first half en route to a 29-point win. Like I said, this corner picked up 5 out of 9 cases last spring. You cannot win them all.
Although not as valuable as before, this is still an angle worth following. Especially if some of the expected regressions are in the forecast due to outliers in Game 2.
Game 1 takes place in the opening round
Scores have increased over the past four seasons. Scores have also increased in each of the following four weeks. It’s worth noting, however, that the drop in scores comes as the regular season ends and the knockouts begin:
2021: 224.2 PPG regular season
2021: 220.6 PPG . knockout
2020: 223.6 PPG regular season
2020: 219.1 PPG playoffs
2019: 222.4 PPG regular season
2019 knockout round: 215.4 PPG
2018: 212.7 PPG regular season
2018: 208.9 PPG . knockout round
Over the past four years, an average of 220.7 points per game was scored in the regular season. During the same time period, the average score per game in the knockout round was just 216, a significant drop of 4.7. This was to be expected as the teams played defensively more inspired in the knockout stages and, over the course of the seven-game streak, understood each other so intimately that they had an easier time stopping at defence. end of the field.
However, where this could benefit us from a betting perspective, is in Game 1 of the opening round, when we were all still in the “normal season mind”. The books are still hanging with high totals because the public is still on the higher train, so other than making a lot of money, there may not be a good enough reason to post a lower total. Here’s how the underdogs have competed in Game 1 of the opening round over the past four years, in the same timeframe as discussed above:
Year 2021: 5-3
Total: 11/21 or less
That’s a sizable profit, albeit due to a staggering return in the 2019 post-season. The big lesson here has to be that when backing blindly, the worst case scenario of 4. the past year has been wiped out, while the best-case scenario is a sweeping financial windfall.
I don’t recommend blindly advocating anything. However, I would recommend at least paying attention to the following points of the opening Game 1 to see if the bookies put the total higher than they should.
Don’t bet the Philadelphia 76ers win the title, the Eastern Conference, or anything that requires them to make it through to the second round
Honestly, this is just a reminder to me to stay as humane away from this franchise as possible when betting anything good is happening. I’m a born and raised 76ers fan and I made that “Trust in the Process” sin. I’ve been with this team since birth, but my money is no longer interested in riding shotgun for a playoff.
It’s been 21 years since the Sixers made it through to the second round of the knockout stages, and that was due to the opposition of Ben Simmons, aka Allen Iverson. Iverson is a god in my mind. The man who strapped the franchise to his under-6 foot frame and carried it to the Finals in 2001, went so far as to upset Shaq and Kobe in game 1 before losing the series 4-1. That losing streak is more interesting than anything the current crop of underachievers has produced since they started selling the notion that big losses lead to wins.
Quick news: Build your culture around losing, and you shouldn’t be surprised when you’re really good at – waiting – losing.
That being said, if the Sixers run the table and end up doing a “Trust the process” ad campaign, you can delete this part of the article from your memory and find me on Broad Street during the parade.
https://www.espn.com/chalk/story/_/id/33719005/betting-nba-playoffs-your-money-76ers Betting on NBA Playoffs – Should Your Money Go to the 76ers?