NBA Betting Tip: How to Fade the Public in the Playoffs

NBA Betting Tip: How to Fade the Public in the Playoffs article feature image

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34)

  • A majority of spread tickets are on the Raptors as 2-point favorites against the Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET, TNT).
  • Using Bet Labs, we share a profitable strategy for fading the public in the NBA Playoffs.

Betting against the public is a popular strategy in the NBA. When recreational players load up on one team, oddsmakers inflate the line, which creates value for contrarian bettors.

With this strategy being profitable in the regular season, savvy bettors logically would want to apply the approach to the playoffs. Unfortunately, the results have been inconsistent.

On the surface, the above records are discouraging, but in the right situation, betting against the public can still be lucrative in the postseason.

Using Bet Labs, I’ve discovered the optimal strategy for fading the squares in the NBA playoffs.

Let’s start by looking at the teams the public wants to bet against.

When good squads are the unpopular side, it becomes worthwhile to zig when casual bettors zag.

Since 2005, teams with a winning record receiving less than 45% of spread bets have gone 374-326-13 (53.4%) against the spread (ATS).

The better the record, the more profitable it becomes to wager on good teams against the public.

Why would a good team get little support from recreational bettors? There are several explanations, such as that team failing to cover in its previous game, suffering through injuries, coming off short rest, facing an elite opponent, or having lost consecutive games. No matter the reason, history has shown us that it has been profitable to buy good teams while average gamblers are fading them.

This trend applies to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night (8:30 p.m. ET, TNT).

The Raptors are 2-point favorites, and a majority of spread tickets are on Kawhi Leonard & Co.

Milwaukee is on a three-game losing streak, its first such steak of the season, which explains why Toronto is the popular play. It would be easy to overreact to the Bucks’ poor recent play, but bettors should remember that the team still has the probable league MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo and was the superior squad during the regular season.

Since the public is fading Milwaukee, sharp bettors should take the points with the Bucks.