Favorites Dominating Early NBA Playoff Betting Led by Strong 3-Point Shooting

NBA Opening Round Playoffs Continue with the Pacers, Pistons, Thunder and Jazz looking to Dig out of 2-0 Hole

Here is a link to my article at Offshore Gaming Association (OSGA) on early NBA playoff action and strong 3-point shooting.

Some key 3-point highlights related to betting through 19 playoff games include:

  • Teams that made more 3-point shots are 15-4 SU/ATS
  • Teams that made a higher percentage of 3-point shots are 17-2 SU/ATS

PORTLAND, OR – FEBRUARY 14: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors. Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Warriors (43%), Trailblazers (42.1%), Rockets (38.6%) and Nuggets (38.3%) lead all NBA teams in 3-point shooting percentage early in the playoffs. Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Trailblazers guard Damian Lillard have taken and made the most three pointers thus far in the playoffs. Rockets guard James Harden joins those two to complete the trio with the most made three pointers through the opening 2-3 playoff games.

I preview some of the weekend playoff action in the article at OSGA including Game 3 of the Trailblazers and Thunder series which Portland leads 2-0 heading into Game 3 at Oklahoma City. The Thunder are a surprising 7.5-point favorite with a huge moneyline price of -350. Oklahoma City was the only lower seed in the playoffs to be favored in their opening round series. But now the Thunder are +180 to win the series trailing 2-0, and friend/colleague and professional bettor Fezzik looks like he believes the Thunder will bounce back and win the series.

One fan and bettor had a funny reply and disagreement to the Thunder series bet.

Sportsbooks have been taking a beating on the NBA playoff favorites, as they are 14-4 ATS in the early Round 1 games (13-4-1 if grading Boston as a push 2 nights ago). There has been one game lined at pick ’em. Indiana (+7.5) bettors suffered one very bad beat if they bet early at most sportsbooks as the Pacers led by 2-points with less than a minute remaining and lost by 8 in regulation. In fact, the Pacers only trailed by 3 points with 12 seconds remaining with possession of the ball following a timeout and Boston leading 94-91.

Play-by-play of final minutes of Pacers Game 2 loss vs. Celtics.

Other news I noted included the historic comeback in from 31-points down in the 3rd quarter by the LA Clippers, which was covered across media platforms as the biggest story of the NBA playoffs thus far. Los Angeles took down the defending champs Golden State Warriors 135-131 in that historic Game 2. The in-game betting saw odds as high as 1,000-1 on the Clippers to recover and win trailing by 31 points. Golden State (-9.5) bounced back in Game 3 with a crushing of the Clippers in Los Angeles, 132-105 to extend the strong ATS run of playoff favorites.

A review of Sports Insights consensus betting from seven leading online sportsbooks including BookMaker and 5Dimes show favorites taking a majority of the betting action in this weekends games, including the Raptors (75%), 76ers (91%), Bucks (87%) and Warriors (86%) as of Friday afternoon.

There will be plenty more scoring, 3-pointers, big scoring and momentum swings and unfortunate bad beats for bettors as the NBA playoffs continue.

You can bet on it.

Author: FairwayJay

FairwayJay is a leading national sports analyst and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful handicappers and professionals. Follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay