Betting the NBA Playoffs – Common Mistakes

These are the common mistakes found in betting the NBA playoffs.

Key Points

– Casual bettors make far too many mistakes when betting the NBA playoffs.

– One of the easiest mistakes to fix is not relying on any one factor too much.

Betting the NBA Playoffs – Common Mistakes

The NBA playoff season begins in mid- to late-April every year. The playoffs provide bettors from all over the world two months of fierce basketball action each year. Betting on the NBA playoffs can yield some pretty strong results as long as bettors stay away from common mistakes. 

The postseason differs significantly from the regular season in many respects. That’s what makes it difficult for the average bettor. Casual sports bettors are lured to the NBA playoffs by the hype. They run the risk of making NBA picks that can end up costing them a lot of money. 

Where most bettors fail are in five different areas. We examine each below.

Focusing on the Last 10 Regular Season Games

Casual bettors will analyze a pro basketball team’s final stretch performance and draw big conclusions from it. In their perspective, a team that was on fire is one to bet on, while one that struggled is doomed. This is often a recipe for betting disaster.

How a team plays at the end of a season might depend on a variety of things. If they clinched a playoff berth weeks ahead of the postseason, that will have an influence on their play. If they have to fight for a playoff spot, that will also determine how a team plays late in a season.

There are numerous examples, but the idea is simple. It’s impossible to predict how teams will perform in the NBA playoffs based on how they played in the last 10 games. Avoid making this error by placing too much emphasis on those final games. 


Star Players & Betting the NBA Playoffs

Even though Lebron James may be the best player in the world, he can’t do it by himself. He needs his teammates to support him in order for things to work. The best players in the game cannot do it alone. Even Michael Jordan couldn’t do it by himself. I

In the playoffs, every team plays their best. One star, no matter how well-known or talented, is not enough to lift a team to the top. Casual sports bettors will fall in love with the big names and overlook this very simple fact. It’s easy to be misled by stars in the NBA, but betting on the playoffs means you can’t.

Overlooking Matchups

The best team isn’t always the one that prevails in a playoff matchup or series. There are times when an inferior team will beat a better team simply because of the on-court matchups. 

One team has smaller, more athletic players compared to its opponent, which is bigger and more physical. The way the two teams matchup is often more important than the level of talent of each team.

Casual bettors will focus too much on talent rather than how that talent matches up against the competition. When teams face each other so frequently during the playoffs, any matchup problems grow more important over time. Teams take advantage of these matchup issues. Teams that don’t fix these problems often get beat, even when they have more talent. 

If you are going to be a skilled NBA handicapper, you have to excel at analyzing matchups. Doing so can help you win more NBA first half bets.

Overvaluing Coaching

It goes without saying that coaching is crucial in the NBA. Phil Jackson wouldn’t have won as many NBA championships if he wasn’t a great coach. Yet once the playoffs begin, it’s very easy for public bettors to give coaches too much credit. 

Every coach who has a team in the NBA playoffs has been successful enough to get them there. You aren’t going to find many poor coaches taking teams to the NBA playoffs. Sure, some coaches benefit from years of NBA playoff experience.

It is just too risky to predict that one NBA team will beat another just because of the coaching. There’s much more to handicapping an NBA game than that. 

Betting the NBA Playoffs – The Sweep

In the playoffs, it can be difficult for inexperienced bettors to understand that what happened in the previous game doesn’t always predict what will happen in the next one. 

A team can win three straight and then take their foot off the gas. It’s rare for an NBA team to go up 3-0 in a series and lose, but it has happened. Inexperienced bettors will also typically put too much emphasis on a team sweeping the previous playoff series. Teams often sweep first-round series, but that doesn’t mean they will do it in the next series.

The betting impact of games with a short turnaround is great. Lazy bettors often believe a team will win because they have a winning record or won the previous game. Skilled bettors know that this is insufficient. A team’s record might play a minor role in betting a game, but it should never be the deciding factor.