With the top seeds having flexed their muscle in the opening round of the NBA playoffs, it’s on to Round 2 where a series upset is always in the realm of possibility.
Here are four solid moneymaking angles from my powerful database that have withstood the test of time throughout the second round playoff action, along with a few tempting team trends.
All results are ATS and since 1991, unless noted otherwise.
No. 1 for a reason
One golden rule in this round applies to top seeds: Never lay points against No.1 seeds.
That’s because inferior teams are just 16-27-1 ATS when playing points into No. 1 seeds since 1996. Worse, if the No. 1 seed is off a SU and ATS loss, lower seeded favorites are just 3-10 ATS.
And if the lower seeded favorite beat the top seed and covered the spread by nine or more points, they dip to 1-10 ATS.
Tripped out favorites
Teams that take it on the chin three times in a row do not fare well when laying points in Round 2.
That’s confirmed by the fact that teams laying points off three consecutive losses that are 3-13 ATS in these games.
Worse, if they dropped their last game straight up as a favorite, these teams generally fall off the map and out of the playoffs, going 3-7 SU and 0-10 ATS.
You may not be comfortable changing roles in a relationship, but NBA teams in this round of the playoffs certainly are.
Round 2 dogs (or picks) off a straight-up loss as a favorite are a 58 percent ATS proposition, going 32-23 ATS.
When changing roles off back-to-back SU and ATS losses, these pick-of-the-litter plays bark to the tune of 12-6 ATS, including 11-1 ATS if they own a win percentage of less than .675 on the season.
Running on empty
Home favorites that scored well below their average (77 or less points) in their previous game tend to fuel up the next game in this round.
That’s evident by a sparkling 21-9-1 ATS mark by Round 2 favorites that tallied 77 or fewer points in their last game.
Put these favorites up against .625 or greater opposition and they top off at 16-3 ATS, including 13-1 when laying four or more points.
Tantalizing playoff trends
Chicago: 5-1-1 ATS in second round versus .696 greater opponent
Golden State: 0-3-1 ATS in second round off a win
Indiana: 0-5 ATS as second-round favorite off ATS win 18 or more points
Memphis: 0-3 ATS in second round vs. opponent off loss
Miami: 7-0 ATS second round off double-digit loss
New York: 5-1 ATS as second-round double-digit dog
Oklahoma City: 0-5 ATS in second round off win 20 or more points
San Antonio: 8-1 ATS as second-round home favorite more than 8 points