The NBA playoffs are finally here. Anybody that thought the first round would be void of excitement has already been proved wrong. The Boston Celtics fell in to an early 0-2 hole to the Chicago Bulls, while the Toronto Raptors are having just as much trouble down 2-1 to the Milwaukee Bucks in the opening round. Betting on the playoffs requires a much different strategy then betting on the regular season so we identified some important concepts to keep in mind. Here is a look at five key tips to betting on the NBA playoffs.
Best Time To Fade The Public
Believe it or not, the numbers prove that the playoffs are the best time of the year to fade the public. The increased exposure and media coverage tends to focus on the favorites and that is the biggest reason why more and more casual bettors jump on them. Of course, you need to pick and choose your spots. While the Golden State Warriors have had no problem with the Portland Trail Blazers in round one, the same cannot be said about the Celtics with the Bulls. Fading the public can be even more profitable in the playoffs than it is in the regular season.
Follow The Money
Money percentages represent the actual dollars wagered on the spread, money line and over/under bets. It’s important to understand which side is receiving the majority of the money since the sportsbooks will adjust their lines accordingly. There is a direct correlation between the line movement and spread dollars. Make sure you keep that in mind when evaluating the point spreads for each matchup.
One of the biggest mistakes that casual bettors make is that they don’t shop around for the best lines. That is true for both the individual games and for future odds. For example, say you want to bet on the Warriors to win it all this season. The Westgate Sportsbook has them listed at -200 odds compared to the 5Dimes sportsbook at -150. The distinction is even greater with a team like the San Antonio Spurs. While BetOnline has the Spurs at +700 to win the title, Westgate has them at +900. That is a different of $200 on a $100 wager. Make sure you take the time to shop around and find the best lines.
Roll Over The Moneyline
One interesting approach to betting on playoff basketball is rolling over the money line. For example, let’s say you have $500 to bet with and you want to take the Warriors to win the title. So you can risk $500 on Golden State with a potential return of $250. Or you can roll the money over the moneyline with the Warriors in every game they play. If you risked $500 on Golden State to win game one and game two against Portland, you would have already made the $250 you would have waited for taking them to win the title in a much shorter period of time and with a lot less risk. It’s easy to understand why it makes sense to roll over the moneyline.
Follow Steam Moves
If you find a steam move on a certain team it likely means a sharp handicapper is all over that line. For example, if you see the Bulls listed at +180 to beat the Celtics, but then an hour later they are only +120, then there is a good chance a sharp bettor has put a large amount of money on Chicago to win outright. By following that type of steam move, you could end up finding a winner you didn’t expect to see.