2021 NBA Playoff Action: Zagging with the Knicks vs. Hawks in Game 2
Betting New York's defense shows up for game 2: Knicks -2
Through the regular season the Knicks D ranked fifth in the NBA by points allowed per 100 defensive possessions, limiting opposition to 108, four points below the average for the year. On the contrary, in the opener for the post-season meeting with Atlanta though, New York allowed 115 pts/100 possessions to the Hawks' mediocre offense, a couple of points above the NBA average.
The result of the defensive letdown Sunday was a narrow upset loss for the Knicks. We expect New York to tighten up their signature stopping power Tuesday and collect the win and cover. We are betting accordingly.
Supporting our outlook, we highlight a couple of history-based systems that suggest the bounce-back cover for the home team is the most likely result Wednesday.
First, we note that teams off losses by a bucket or less, to squads that missed the prior playoffs, have proven great bets in games after the first game of post-season series.
This angle has been good for a statistically significant 28% return on investment since 2004, with only a single season with a cover rate sub-50%.
Consistent with our specific thesis for New York Wednesday, we theorize that, in general, quality teams have the ability to muster a bit more fortitude and effort following the embarrassment and disappointment of a close loss.
Separately, point-takers on streaks have struggled to sustain momentum in the playoffs, particularly facing unseasoned opposition.
Underdogs on win streaks of at least two games have proven stellar fades versus teams new to the post-season.
This system has delivered a statistically significant 31% long-term return on investment since 2004, with only two seasons with an ATS win rate below 50%.