Game 3 Trends: Playoff Road Favorites Usually Cover

Game 3 Trends: Playoff Road Favorites Usually Cover article feature image

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Steve Kerr

The Action Network analysts John Ewing and Evan Abrams comb the Bet Labs database each day to bring you profitable trends for the slate. Here are notable historical trends for Cavs-Warriors Game 3.

The Cavs opened at +5.5 vs. the Warriors in Game 3. Home dogs in the playoffs of more than five points have gone 26-50-3 (34%) against the spread since 2005.

This would be just the fifth time in the playoffs that LeBron James has been a home dog of more than three points. In the previous four games, he went 2-2 straight-up and 3-1 ATS.

In his career, when LeBron has lost two or more playoff games in a row, he has gone 10-8 SU and 11-7 ATS in the next game.


Under coach Steve Kerr, as road favorites of three or more points in the playoffs, the Warriors have gone 17-7 ATS, including 3-1 ATS in the NBA Finals.

Over the last two postseasons, the Warriors have covered the spread in a home playoff game and then subsequently played on the road in their next game five times: They’ve gone 5-0 SU and ATS in those. The Warriors have won those five games by an average of 9.0 PPG and have covered by an average of 4.0 PPG. Over this span, the Dubs are the only team to go undefeated SU and ATS in that position.

Did you know? Dating back to Game 2 of last year’s NBA Finals, the over has cashed in six consecutive games between the Warriors and Cavaliers, by an average of 16.8 PPG. The last time the NBA Finals had six consecutive games slanted toward the over or under was between the 2010 and 2011 NBA Finals (Game 3 in 2010 to Game 1 in 2011).

Since the 1990-91 season, 24 games have been played in the NBA Finals in which the home team was listed as an underdog. Home teams have gone 8-16 SU and 10-13-1 ATS in those games. Teams in a similar situation to the Cavs have had some success, though: Teams listed as a home underdog of more three points, with no wins yet in the NBA Finals, have gone 3-1 SU and ATS. That sample includes the Cavaliers’ Game 4 win over the Warriors in last year’s Finals.

In the playoffs under Kerr, the Warriors have gone just 8-13 against the first-half spread when playing on the road after a home game. They’ve failed to cover the first-half spread by 4.5 PPG and have gone 5-10 in the last three postseasons.

Since returning to Cleveland, LeBron and the Cavaliers have gone 4-12 ATS in the playoffs after losing their previous game by double digits. Conversely, LeBron was 11-4 ATS in this same scenario with the Heat.

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