NBA Finals Betting Trend: Target Second-Half Home Teams, Favorites

NBA Finals Betting Trend: Target Second-Half Home Teams, Favorites article feature image
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Photo credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Klay Thompson

  • Since 2004, there's been a very profitable ATS system for the second half of NBA Finals games.
  • Below, I walk through the Bet Labs tool and highlight the specifics on that profitable trend.

Using our Bet Labs tool, you can query situations to find potential betting edges in not just full-game spreads, totals and moneylines — but also spots where teams are undervalued in a half.

I’ve written a lot about first– and second-half trends throughout the playoffs, but it seems like almost all the value in the NBA Finals is specifically in the latter.

The two trends I wrote about here — to target full-game favorites losing at halftime and target home teams winning at halftime — are still profitable for NBA Finals games. Those systems have posted respective Return on Investment (ROI) percentages of 22.7% and 29.6% since 2005 in the NBA Finals.

If you’re worried about those sample sizes, though, we can expand the sample and still find a ton of profitability by targeting a really simple situation…

Home favorites in the NBA Finals.

Since 2004, home favorites in the second half have gone 43-23-1 (65.2%) against the spread (ATS), covering by 2.44 points per half. That’s a ROI of 24.4%, which means a bettor placing $100 wager on each match would be up $1,638 currently.

Just home teams and just favorites have done predictably well, but the highest ROI is the combination.

Most teams match for both, though, since the home teams are usually favored in the second half. Those teams have gone 4-1 over the past two years, 10-5 over the past four and 31-11-1 since 2009, if you’re worried the value was solely found years ago.

Home favorites have been profitable in the NBA Finals against the full-game spread, going 36-30-1 ATS since 2004, but obviously more value has come betting those teams in the second half.

I’m not entirely sure why these teams have been so profitable historically — maybe home court matters most under the brightest lights and in the clutch? — but it’s something to keep in mind while you’re watching this year. And make sure to download our app to get up-to-the-minute information on second-half spreads and more.