NBA Playoff Game 7 Betting Trends Point to Spread, Over/Under Value

NBA Playoff Game 7 Betting Trends Point to Spread, Over/Under Value article feature image
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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: A fan holds a sign as Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) is interviewed in the foreground after a victory

  • The Raptors-Sixers and Nuggets-Blazers will meet in a pair of winner-take-all showdowns on Sunday.
  • Using Bet Labs, we analyze how home teams, favorites and over/unders have performed in Game 7s.

The Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers avoided elimination Thursday in their respective Game 6s. Two winner-take-all showdowns are scheduled for Sunday with trips to the conference finals at stake.

  • Denver Nuggets (-5.5) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
  • Toronto Raptors (-6.5) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (7 p.m. ET, TNT)

Which teams will advance and how can bettors profit? Using data from Bet Labs, we analyzed these high-pressure situations and share trends gamblers need to know.

NBA Playoff Game 7 Betting Trends

How Important is Home-Court Advantage?

In some sports, like hockey, home-court (ice) advantage doesn’t matter in the playoffs. But in the NBA, teams playing at home have a distinct edge in Game 7s. A raucous crowd, familiar surroundings and sleeping in your own bed the night before a do-or-die playoff game contribute to the advantage.

Plus, teams hosting a Game 7 had a superior record during the regular season, which suggests they are the better squad.

In the regular season, home teams have won 59.4% of their games since 2005. In the postseason, teams with home court have gone 764-426 (64.2%) straight up (SU) in Games 1-6. In Game 7s, home teams get an extra boost as they have gone 32-13 (71.1%) SU during that time.

Home teams also have a winning against-the-spread (ATS) record in Game 7s. Since 2005, home teams in elimination games are 25-20 (55.6%) ATS.

Can Momentum Carry Over?

The Blazers and Sixers have momentum on their side after forcing a decisive Game 7. Portland’s offense came to life as Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined to score 62 points on Thursday. The shots were also falling for Philly, as the team scored 112 points after being held to 96 or fewer points in the previous two matchups.

Does the momentum from a Game 6 victory carry over?

The data implies it doesn’t. Teams that won the previous game have gone 20-25 SU and 23-22 ATS in Game 7s since 2005.

As underdogs, the Blazers and Sixers are in a precarious position. Since 2005, teams getting points in Game 7 after winning Game 6 have gone 8-20 SU and 13-15 ATS.

Do the Favorites Cover?

Being favored in a Game 7 correlates with having home-court advantage. Since 2005, 43 of 45 favorites played Game 7 at home. The chalk is 32-13 (71.1%) SU and 25-20 (55.6%) ATS in Game 7s. The Raptors and Nuggets are home favorites on Sunday.

The larger the spread, the more profitable it has been to wager on the favorite. It is a small sample size, but the results are impressive:

Where’s the Value in the Total?

As a series progresses teams become more familiar with each other. Defensive adjustments are made and player fatigue becomes an issue, all of which contribute to lower-scoring outcomes.

Since 2005, unders in Games 6 and 7 of a playoff series have gone 96-70 (57.8%). If a majority of bets are placed on the over, the under improves to 88-59 (59.9%).

The over hit in both the Raptors-Sixers and Nuggets- Blazers Game 6s. Bettors are expecting the Game 7s to be high scoring as well as more than 60% of tickets are on the overs. History suggests they’ll be disappointed as late-series games tend to go under.