Opening Round Angles
April 18, 2014
By Marc Lawrence
With help from our trusted well-oiled database, let’s examine four time-tested proven theories that have lined our pocket during the opening round of playoffs since 1991. Here’s what the machine has to say.
No. 8 Seeds Are Behind The 8-Ball
For the most part, No. 8 seeds in the NBA playoffs are teams that likely scratched and clawed their way into the post-season. Not good enough to be seriously considered threats against top-seeded opponents but just barely better than the dregs of the league.
Rest assured, their life expectancy is not long at all, as they’ve lost over 70% of time (47-123) in games against No. 1 seeds since 1996. In fact, only the 1996 New York Knicks, the 2007 Golden State Warriors and the 2012 Philadelphia 76ers were good enough to pull the rug on top seeded foes and advance to Round Two of the playoff.
And you can virtually write them off in games against No. 1 seeds that are off back-to-back SU and ATS wins. These guys scratch out of the match with alarming regularity, going 3-25 SU and 8-20 ATS, including 1-14 SU and 3-12 ATS whenever the 8-ballers are off a loss of 14 or more points in their last game.
Upset Losers Are Winners
No, it’s not an oxymoron. Instead, it’s a powerful handicapping edge. It occurs whenever a team was upset as a favorite in an opening round game and is at home in the game immediately thereafter.
That’s confirmed by the fact that they are 35-7 SU and 27-14-1, a rock solid number. And if they are squaring off against a No. 6 or lower seed they improve to 24-1 SU and 18-6-1 ATS.
Don’t be afraid of these chalkbusters. That’s because they don’t lose their composure. Instead they almost always elect to dig down deep and respond with aplomb in games after being embarrassed.
Surprisingly, in the right role, double-digit underdogs do well in opening round contests, especially when playing off a playoff loss. These overweight puppies are 30-17-2 ATS in this role.
And if these same guys are involved in a game with the Over/Under total set at 193 or higher they zoom to 24-7 ATS, including 17-3 ATS when facing a non-division foe.
Granted, these dogs are not exactly pedigree puppies but the fact of the matter is they tend to come up big against disinterested favorites not capable of chopping heavy lumber.
And Down Goes Frazier
The psyche of teams that are not playing well comes immediately to the surface during the opening round of the NBA playoffs. That’s evidenced by the fact that teams riding a three game-exact loss skein are wobbly and oftentimes one punch away from being counted out.
With glass-like jaws, these swirling teams are just 6-33 SU and 12-27 ATS away from home this round, including 1-10 SU and 2-9 ATS in lid-lifters.
Worst of all, road dogs of more than six points on a three game exact losing skid are 3-26 SU and 8-21 ATS on their way to the canvas.
Defending champions (the Miami Heat in this case) are 15-7 SU and 14-7-1 ATS in Game One of Round One the following season.
Enjoy the opening round of the 2014 NBA playoffs.
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