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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

NBA Playoffs Betting Guide: Top Seeds off Upset Losses

Updated: Apr 19, 2023



The opening games of the 2022-23 NBA Playoffs saw a couple of substantial surprises. For one, as 5.5 point underdogs, the L.A. Lakers stunned the #2 seed in the West, the Memphis Grizzlies, with a 128-112 win. Further, despite taking nine points from the top seed in the East, the Miami Heat bested the Milwaukee Bucks 130-117 (Miami's effort was aided though by Giannis exiting the action with a back contusion in the first quarter).


As indicated in the graphic below, history suggests these elite regular season squads will bounce back in the second games of their series and collect covers Wednesday.



The 60% ATS win rate for this angle translates to an 18% long-term return on investment and has proved statistically significantly different than the 52.4% breakeven cover rate, at the 95% confidence level.


Explaining the success of this system, our hypothesis is that upset losses suffered by top seeds owe to some combination of bad luck and/or mental lapses, as opposed to talent disparities. But luck is generally unsustainable and therefore unlikely to persist for two games in a row. Moreover, we suspect the best teams redouble their mental focus after negative surprise outcomes, making ATS wins highly probable in their next games.


Happy betting!!


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