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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

May Day NBA Action: The BIGGEST Favs on Saturday's Slate

Updated: May 1, 2021


Season-to-date record: 84-76-3, 53%


Betting Heat and Grizz both cover the big road chalk: Miami -11.5 and Memphis -11.5


A late-season system on our BetLabs dashboard highlights three picks for Saturday. This particular history-based framework is predicated on identifying non-contending teams likely to take their foot off the proverbial gas pedal later in the season (for the sake of improving their positioning in the draft lottery system).


The indicated picks are for Golden State (at Houston), Miami (at Cleveland) and Memphis (at Orlando) to each beat the number Saturday. But the Warriors' Draymond Green's uncertain availability puts a play on Golden State on hold, leaving us to focus on the latter two contests for now.


The Primary basis...


We noted previously that recent rules changes mitigated the efficacy of tanking, however teams' records since the changes suggest this phenomenon might still be a thing.


In general, fading home dogs with win rates of less than 40% has been solidly (and statistically significant) profitable over the last third of the season, versus teams that won at least 48% of their games.


(H/t to the analysts at The Action Network.)



Followers of this system have reaped a statistically significant 11% return, back to 2004. Further, this set of criteria has delivered cover rates south of 50% in only three full seasons over this term. As such, despite a meager 6-6-2 ATS record so far this year, we regard these signals as strong support for the aforementioned ATS wins.


Both Miami and Memphis will lay double-digits Saturday.


The system detailed above is 56-34-3, for a 20% long-term return on investment (ROI), when bad home dogs take ten or more from solid opposition late in the NBA season (including a 2-1 ATS run so far this year).


Additional Support for Grizzlies -11.5...


Separately, the Magic have won/covered one game in thier last eight (Orlando stunned the then 21-41 Cavs three days ago with the underdog victory). Orlando's recent tough patch also hints the cover will be hard to come by this afternoon, per a different system, based on finding spots where negative momentum is likely to persist.


In matchups featuring teams that both appeared in the prior post-season, betting against road dogs with no more than one SU/ATS win in their last five games has delivered a statistically significant 16% long-term ROI.



This latter system has submitted only five losing seasons since 2005, and is an attention-grabbing 10-5-1 ATS this year-to-date.


Additional Support for Heat -11.5...


As supplemental validation for our play on Miami to beat the number at Cleveland, we cite yet another system, informed by the past, to make the case that Cleveland's short-term momentum is likely to persist.


The Cavs are coming off a 29-point home spanking at the hands of the Wizards Friday. This, after a close loss to the Magic two days earlier--also at Cleveland's Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.


Fading teams that 1) missed the last post-season, 2) are off 20+ point losses, 3) are facing their conference and 4) are on at least the third game of a home stand have been good for a 19% long-term profit.



This latter system is a profit-turning 5-4 versus the number this year, and has only suffered two seasons with losing records since 2004.


On personnel, the Grizzlies' Grayson Allen is listed as doubtful, while the Heat will have to manage without Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo Saturday. Orlando's James Ennis is also out.


Happy betting!!


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