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Primer/Intro: Our goal is pretty simple with these articles - to help find some you some winners. We will be doing approximately two of these data deep dives per week (until the end of the Finals) and are pulling most of the information from Oddshark's 1st half/1st quarter stats. Despite some of the notable trends and numbers you'll note in this article, we cannot stress this enough - don’t blindly bet every single game.
Rule 101 in betting the NBA (profitably, in the long term) is that you shouldn't be betting strictly off trends (especially mainstream media trends). These trends, however, can still serve as a baseline for what to avoid - or what to target - on a given slate or given round/matchup during the NBA Playoffs. Use these trends as a guide to shopping around and finding the best numbers in regards to your game props, player props, sides or total bets etc. Please note that all of the trends/data points listed below are based on who is home and who is away and also includes a sample of each team's last 10 games, regardless of the venue.
Lakers @ Suns (1st Half Under 108.5)
These teams' previous game is the one that stands out to me the most from back on May 9th, when the Los Angeles Lakers won 123-110 with Anthony Davis scoring 42 points. We saw 106 total points in the first half of that game as well, and in the other two games between these teams (neither AD or LeBron played together in either game), we got 103 and 113. The Lakers are 14-20-1 to the first half under on the road this season, with their games averaging a combined 110.8 ppg. The Phoenix Suns, on the other hand, are only 18-16-2 to the first half over at home with their games averaging 113.14 ppg before halftime.
We have a Suns team here with very little playoff experience and a Lakers team which is #1 in defensive efficiency. Asking both teams to score 55 points each in the first half is a stretch, and I expect the defense to be turned all the way up with Lakers having both AD and LBJ on the floor together. I believe this total is a bit high and that we get about 105 points on Sunday with some wiggle room to spare for our under bet.
Grizzlies @ Jazz (Jazz -2.5 1st Quarter)
The Jazz are 19-17 at home in the first quarter this season, beating teams by an average of 4.94 ppg. The Grizzlies themselves are 21-13-2 ATS in the 1st quarter, but Memphis is only covering the 1st quarter spread by 1.33 ppg. The two games these teams played in Utah back in late March, the Jazz won the first quarter by a whopping 14 and 20 points, respecrively. The one game the Jazz didn’t blow the Grizzlies out in the first quarter was on the road in late March (yes, these teams played three times in less than a week).
The Jazz also have the #1 defensive efficiency at home (#4 overall regardless of venue) and are the #1 team at home in scoring margin in the 1Q, beating their opponents by an average of 4.9 ppg (#3 overall).