Successful sports betting, including wagering on the second round of the NBA Playoffs, is all about noticing the things that will have an impact on the outcome of games and figuring out how to exploit them. Sometimes the differences between one situation and another can be subtle on the surface, but very significant to the tone of games and the way to bet on them. In the NBA playoffs on the surface there might not seem to be much of a difference between the first and second rounds of the tournament. Astute sports bettors know, though, that the two rounds are really quite different. In order to profit from both rounds to the maximum extent possible here are six differences between the first and second rounds of the NBA playoffs to keep in mind:
Nerves aren’t an issue – More correctly, I guess you could say that nerves aren’t nearly as much of an issue. When the playoffs start the stakes are very high, and every team is nervous. Title contenders are worried about whether they are good enough to win it all, and they are nervous about making a mistake and losing embarrassingly early. Outmatched NBA teams are nervous about being embarrassed, and about their chance at pulling off a big upset. By the time the second round rolls around, though, the surviving teams have won a round so they will be feeling that much more confident. They will also be into the rhythm of the playoffs and more comfortable. Bettors in the know understand that nerves can have a significant negative impact on a team that you can look to exploit in the first round, but that isn’t typically the case in the second round.
Mismatches don’t exist to the same extent – In the first round the difference between the first and eighth placed team in a division or the second and seventh can be immense and practically insurmountable. It can be the difference between a very good basketball team and a very average one. Mismatches are very common in the first round of the NBA playoffs, and upsets in these situations aren’t nearly as common as you might expect. In the second round, though, the four worst teams in each conference have probably gone home, and the NBA teams that are remaining are all talented and probably capable of winning another round. It’s quite possible to find a major mismatch in the first round of the playoffs. If you think you see a major mismatch in round two, though, then you will want to take another look because it is quite possible that you aren’t giving one of the teams enough credit.
Teams have video of opponents at full effort – During the final weeks of the regular season it can be tough to see a team playing at full intensity. If a NBA team has a reasonably secure playoff position they could be saving themselves for the playoffs. Once the playoffs start, though, you can be certain that every team is playing as hard as they can – at least until they have the game in hand. Preparing for the first round can be tough because a team has to guess where their opponent is at and what to expect from them. In the second round, though, teams have up to date video of the team at full effort ready to evaluate. That means that there are far fewer surprises in the second round. It also means that coaching staffs that are better at evaluating talent, spotting opportunities and exploiting them are going to be better positioned – especially if those coaches have a few days between series to prepare.
Public is paying more attention – With each passing round in the playoffs the public pays more attention, and they have fewer games to spread their betting money between. That means that the betting volume on each game increases in the second round compared to the first. The higher the betting volume the more sports bettors have to be concerned about what the public sentiment is, the impact that is having on line movements, and how the oddsmakers could be setting the lines to maximize their chances of profiting from the public. There is another spinoff result of this as well – the fewer games there are the fewer lines the oddsmakers have to set, so the more time and effort they can put into each line. That means that their lines are likely even sharper than normal, so you need to work even harder than normal to find your advantage and beat the odds makers.
Teams are potentially more banged up – By the time the regular season ends players in the NBA are already hurting. They have played about 90 games including the preseason, and they are sore and roughed up. As the second round starts they have played several more games, and they have done so at full intensity. Teams that came into the playoffs with injury concerns are going to be in especially rough shape by the time that the second round rolls around. Adrenaline and the work of the training staff could keep them going, but you need to be even more focused on health as the league playoffs progress. Players are very unlikely to miss time unless they absolutely have to, so in the playoffs you will see a lot of walking wounded players. The better you are at spotting these and correctly assessing the impact of their injuries the better off you will be when it comes to betting on the second rund of the NBA playoffs.