NBA Playoff Betting Trends: Favorites Are Dominating the Postseason
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets.
There's a cliche in the NBA about the best teams usually winning in the Playoffs, which is both obvious and true.
Betting chalk might not be the most exciting way to approach the game, but so far in the in the NBA Playoffs, it has been a winning strategy. During the postseason, favorites have been cleaning up and profiting bettors more winnings than we've seen in recent memory.
Entering Thursdays games, favorites are 35-15 (70%) straight up and 33-17 (66%) against the spread since the start of the playoffs with a 28.9% ROI. A $100 bettor would be up $1,445, according to data from Bet Labs over this span.
Since we're just seven games into the second round, much of this trend is due to the dominance we saw from teams in Round 1. Favorites were 28-15 in the first round, the second-most profitable opening round since the 2004-05 playoffs.
If this trend holds through the second round of the playoffs, it would be the most profitable postseason for favorites through two rounds.
This trend has held true whether teams are at home or on the road: Home favorites are 23-14 ATS this postseason and road favorites 10-3 ATS. That's even impressive considering home teams are just 26-24 whether favored or not.
Those five teams have combined to cover the spread by an average of 5.5 points per game.