pool photo-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James guarded by Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant
The Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves in a familiar spot, down 0-2 to Golden State, following the Warriors’ 122-103 win in Sunday’s Game 2. This is the third consecutive year that the Cavs have lost the first two games of the NBA Finals in Oakland.
Game 3 is must-win if Cleveland is to have any chance of winning the NBA championship. But historically teams down 0-2 have not fared well in Game 3.
Since 2005, 90% of teams that started a playoff series with consecutive losses have played Game 3 at home. Those squads went 61-51 (54.5%) straight-up. The winning record looks promising until you realize that all other home teams in the postseason have won 65% of their games. Betting teams down 0-2 at home has been disappointing as well, going 56-53-3 (51.4%) ATS.
LeBron James and the Cavs have their backs against the wall, and we’d expect them to play Game 3 with more desperation. While that could happen, there has been no value wagering on teams in this situation. At least not on the full game spread.
Using Bet Labs, I found a winning betting system to exploit 0-2 starts in the NBA Playoffs that is 65% ATS with a match for Wednesday’s Game 3 (9 p.m. ET, ABC).