NBA Playoff Betting Advice for Handicapping Underdogs

Posted by Eric Williams on Tuesday,April 12, 2016 3:21, EST in

If you’re an NBA betting enthusiast that loves cashing in on value-packed underdogs that offer a bigger return than their favored counterparts, then you’re in luck! Thanks to the expert NBA playoff betting advice that you’re about to get on handicapping underdogs, you could strike pay dirt quickly and consistently over the course of the quickly approaching postseason. Since haste makes waste, let’s get this party started!

NBA Playoff Betting Advice for Handicapping Underdogs

All Dogs Not Created Equal

Let me get right to the point by saying that, not all underdogs are created equal. Case in point, if the regular season ended today, the Atlanta Hawks (48-33) would get the third seed in the Eastern Conference while the Charlotte Hornets (47-34) would meet them in the first round as the sixth seed. The Hawks would likely be favored to win the series, but the fact of the matter is that, since the all-star break, Charlotte has been the better of the two ballclubs if you ask most NBA experts.

The same thought process applies to the Boston Celtics who are currently expected to nail down the fifth seed, opposite the fourth-seeded Miami Heat. St the opposite end of the spectrum a team like the Memphis Grizzlies is a clear underdog to get spanked by the Oklahoma City Thunder if they meet in the first round. Remember, not all underdogs are created equal.

Should They Even Be a Dog?

Teams like Boston and Charlotte probably shouldn’t even be underdogs in their respective first round series and if they are, they stand just as good a chance of advancing as their opponents despite not having home court advantage. As it stands right now, these are the only two teams I believe fit this billing as teams that likely shouldn’t be the value-packed underdogs they’ll like be come the postseason.

SU and ATS History

Some underdogs have compiled winning ATS records while some really good ‘favored’ teams like Oklahoma City, have struggled mightily to cover the spread this season. Know your SU and ATS history of any underdog you’re thinking about betting on this postseason. As a reference, here is a chart on how underdogs fared this season.

Straight-Up (SU)

Underdogs 365-846 (30.14 %)
Away Dogs 219-564 (27.97%)
Home Dogs 146-282 (34.11%)

Against-The-Spread (ATS)

Underdogs 590-608-13 (49.25%)
Away Dogs 383-396-4 (49.17%)
Home Dogs 207-212-9 (49.40%)

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Are the Stars in Alignment?

Just think about the 2014-15 Golden State Warriors or 2015-16 Villanova Wildcats if you want to know what a team looks like whose ‘stars’ are aligned. In the case of both teams, I don’t think at this point, it mattered who they played en route to their respective championships, they were simply not going to be denied.

Every now and then, the stars align perfectly for a team and it’s not all that hard to spot. Role players that were mostly ‘average’ players suddenly start playing at a higher level (Danny Green) while every coaching move, judgment call and everything else, turns out like solid gold.

Are They Road Warriors?

Some underdogs are pushovers when they hit the road while others put up fight like someone broke into their house. Again, do your homework and identify the underdog teams that have fared well or above average, either straight-up or against-the-spread on the road and back them when the game calls for it.