The Highlights

  • Game 4 of the NBA Finals tips at 9:00 p.m. ET.
  • With Golden State coming off a convincing Game 3 win, oddsmakers will be forced to account for an overreaction from recreational bettors.
  • There is a betting system with an 58% ATS win rate since 2005 that takes advantage of these shaded lines.

A popular NBA betting strategy is the zig-zag theory. The system is simple. When a team loses a playoff game, you then bet on that team to cover the spread in the next contest.


For example, Cleveland lost Game 3 of the NBA Finals to Golden State on Wednesday. Bettors following the zig-zag theory would then back the Cavaliers in Game 4 to cover.

Not only is the strategy easy to follow, but it also makes sense. Following a loss, the oddsmakers will shade the line toward the opponent expecting the public to bet the previous game’s winner. A soft line then makes covering the spread more manageable.

One problem, the betting strategy doesn’t work. Using Bet Labs, The Action Network’s Ken Barkley discovered that gamblers following the zig-zag theory have gone 464-460-23 (50%) ATS since 2005, including 49-66-1 (43%) ATS the last two seasons.

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The traditional NBA zig-zag theory is dead. But using similar principles, I’ve identified a winning first-half betting system with a play for tonight’s Cavaliers-Warriors Game 4 (9 p.m. ET).

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Gregory Shamus-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James shoots the ball against Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant

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