There are a lot of sports bettors who are known as angle guys, people who are looking for specific situations they can exploit to their advantage. They are no more successful than other types of bettors, but that doesn’t mean they don’t find a gem once in a while.
One of those gems that isn’t generally well-known has gone 4-1 against the spread in the first round of the NBA playoffs. You might want to jot it down for future reference.
Here’s the setup: The visiting NBA team loses the first two games of the series and is now at home for game three. Nobody has ever won an NBA series after going down 0-3, so this is a do or die game for the home team. But they are at home, they have a friendly crowd behind them, and they are either short favorites or underdogs.
That scenario occurred in five of the eight opening round series in this year’s NBA playoffs. So, how did the home team do in game three? Here’s the results:
–Houston (+3.5 points) beat Golden State, 97-96;
–Portland (+1.5) beat the Los Angeles Clippers, 96-88;
–Detroit (-4.5) lost to Cleveland, 101-91;
–Charlotte (-3) beat Miami, 96-80;
–Boston (-3) beat Atlanta, 111-103.
I’ll take a 4-1 record any day. The angle is less likely to show up in the next three rounds, but it’s worth a bet if you get the opportunity. I would avoid betting the angle if it shows up in the baseball and hockey playoffs, because you have to beat the money line in baseball and the money line and the puck line in hockey.
Only people with low self-esteem who want to punish themselves by losing money would bet on an NHL game.