Should NBA Bettors Fade the Public in the Last Game of the Season?

Should NBA Bettors Fade the Public in the Last Game of the Season? article feature image
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Photo Credit: Isaiah J. Downing – USA TODAY Sports

One of the best strategies in sports betting is fading the public. Find the team the casual gambler is backing and take the other side.

 

Here are the results of all regular-season NBA games by betting percentage, since 2005.

As you can see, being on the same side as the public has been a losing proposition. However, there are exceptions to every rule. Should bettors fade the public in the final game of the NBA season?

Game 82 Public Side

In the regular season, being on the same side as the majority of bettors has cost gamblers money, except in the last game of the season. The public side in game 82 has been profitable with the return on investment (ROI) increasing at every level.

Why the sudden change? For starters, favorites have performed better in the last game of the season. The casual bettor loves chalk, and the team favored in the last game of the season has gone 91-82-3 (52.6%) ATS. Favorites in all regular-season games have a win rate of 49.7% ATS.

Motivation helps explain the difference in success for favorites at the end of the season. The bookmakers know which teams have something to play for and which squads do not.

Sweet Spot 

Since 2005, favorites getting more than 60% of spread tickets have gone 44-28-2 (61.1%) ATS in the last game of the season. On Tuesday, five teams close out their season, with the rest of the league following on Wednesday. Your instinct is to fade the public, but at the end of the season, popular favorites have been profitable.

Wednesday Games to Target

As of 8:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, only four NBA games had lines. Be sure to check our free odds page for updated lines and betting percentages for the last game of the season.

Minnesota Timberwolves (-3) vs. Denver Nuggets: 63% of spread tickets are on the Wolves, which moved the opening line from -2 to -3.

New Orleans Pelicans (-3) vs. San Antonio Spurs: More than 70% of bets are on the Pelicans at home.

Detroit Pistons (-2.5) at Chicago Bulls: Over 60% of spread bets are on the Pistons as road favorites.

Portland Trail Blazers (-3.5) vs. Utah Jazz: A majority of bets are on Utah but Portland has moved from -3 to -3.5.

Pictured: Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard