How NBA Playoffs Betting Differs From Regular Season

Betting on NBA playoff games compared to regular season games is considered a different beast. Quite frankly, you’d be a fool to think that you can follow the same betting approach for regular season and playoff games. In this article, we’ll take a look at how NBA playoffs betting differs from the regular season as it relates to the point spread and game totals.

Level Of Intensity

In the playoffs, there’s simply not much room for players to “take a break” from games. This typically involves them to be locked in and focused. On the other hand, players tend to mentally check out of games during the regular season due to the difference in importance. Some players, especially superstars, are able to only play at 70% or 80% of what they’re capable of and still manage to win games. However, when it comes to the playoffs, if you’re not giving it your all, other players will simply outplay you. As a result, point spreads tend to be tighter during the NBA playoffs, although there are instances where one team will blow out another team. With respect to game totals, they may err on the higher end due to the fact that even if a team is losing by a sizeable number, they’ll likely still play to win the game and stage a comeback since every game is important in the playoffs. However, when it comes to game totals, they may in fact be on the lower end, which will be described in more detail in the next section.

More Defense

During the regular season, players and teams tend to coast on defense in particular games. On the other hand, when it comes to the playoffs, the defensive intensity of teams usually become ramped up, as getting stops becomes crucial, especially down the stretch of close games. As a result, you’ll often witness players putting much more effort on the defensive end as opposed to focusing primarily on the offensive end. As the saying goes, “Defense Wins Championships”, a team would be foolish to ignore this and not play hard on the defensive end. With more effort being put in to the defensive end and teams placing a higher emphasis on the need to get stops, especially consecutive stops, games may be much closer, which affects the point spread, along with the fact that games may also tend to be much lower scoring, making the under bet on the game totals a potential value bet.

Home Advantage

While home teams have a slight advantage during the regular season, this advantage is usually amplified during the playoffs as home teams have the luxury of playing in a comfortable venue, go through their regular game day routines without the need for extra travel, and have the support of the home crowd behind them. All of these factors may affect the psyche of players on the home team in a positive way, while providing the opposite affect for players on the visiting team. Additionally, some home teams have a distinctively better home court advantage as a result of the enthusiasm of their fans, which may be quite unnerving and intimidating for players on the visiting team. Referees may also be indirectly affected by the home crowd, favoring the home team on 50/50 calls. This may all impact the point spread in a positive manner for the home team.

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