I’ve touched on it before, but I am endlessly fascinated by the home court advantage we are seeing in the NBA playoffs so far this year. San Antonio and Boston both won last night. That means that the home squad is a perfect 10-for-10 in the second round. It’s not quite as one-sided overall, but it is still impressive – home teams were 30-14 in the first round, meaning they are 40-14 overall. More significantly to sports bettors, Cleveland in their first game against Boston is the only road team in the first round to cover a spread.
Two of the series have already switched venues for their third game. Orlando won game three over Detroit by 25 points after losing the first two by a combined margin of 26 points. New Orleans beat San Antonio by 19 and 18 at home, and then fell short by 11 in San Antonio.So far in those series you only have to look at the logo on the court to figure out which team is going to be the better one.
You can take this trend beyond interesting and into the realm of highly profitable by tweaking it just a bit. It makes sense that the higher seeded team should have a fairly significant advantage at home in the first two rounds of the playoffs because, at least theoretically, there should be a fairly significant talent gap between the higher seeds and the lower ones when there are still four or eight teams left in a division. It’s no surprise that that is true this year, but the extent to which it is true is shocking. In the first round the higher seeded teams were 16-7 ATS, and they have improved to 7-1 ATS in the second round. That’s a combined 23-8 ATS so far. It’s not too hard make money when you are covering 74 percent of your games.
Before we get too excited about those numbers, though, we should take a look back to last year to see just how much a fluke this year is. That’s where it gets ugly. The higher seeded teams were just 8-12 ATS in the first round last year. In other words, the money was from the visitors last season. Whoever said sports betting was easy or logical? All you can really dois sit back and enjoy the craziness this year while it lasts, because it isn’t going to last forever. Unfortunately.