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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

NBA Playoffs Betting Guide: How to Back Teams Down 0-2

We like the Phoenix Suns to beat the first half number as hosts to the Denver Nuggets in game 3 of their second round matchup in the 2022-23 Western Conference NBA Playoffs. This pick is rooted in the historical observation that teams on at least two game skids tend to come on strong early in game 3.

We think the success of this angle owes to the desire to avert the death knell 0-3 deficit in best-of-seven playoff series, as no team has ever advanced from this position. Simply put, teams that drop the first two tend to try as hard as they can to win game 3. However, generally speaking, losing two in a row to open a post-seaon matchup indicates a disparity in talent, so their extra effort has proven unsustainable about as often as otherwise (teams in this spot are 81-77-4 ATS, for a 51% cover rate, versus the full game spread since 2004-05...notably, squads down 0-2 are 55-67-4 versus the number, or 45% ATS, facing teams that appeared in the prior playoffs).

Worth mentioning, the angle described above is an even more impressive 54-24-1 ATS (68%) since 2004-05, for a statistically significant (at the 95% confidence level) 29% long-term return on investment, when the skidding team is the home favorite.

As such, we have high conviction that the Suns can make a stand for the first two quarters of Friday's action, though we wouldn't be surprised to see Jokic and company assume control in the second half.

On personnel, Chris Paul has been rule out, due to a groin injury.

Happy betting!!


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