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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.
Bucks @ Heat (Heat 1st Half - PK @ FanDuel)
The Heat are coming off an embarrassing Game 2 loss in which the Bucks - and Milwaukee's new playoff folk hero Bryn Forbes - got VERY hot in the first quarter and in the first half as a whole. But this Bucks team is only 18-17-1 ATS in the 1st half this season on the road with a point differential of +2.56 ppg.
The Heat themselves, however, aren’t very good at home ATS in the 1st half either. The Heat are 16-18-2 ATS with a point differential of +1.39 ppg. Despite no clear edge in those season-long numbers, basic capping comes into play here - Miami's entire season on the line AND we get them off an embarrassing loss. This Miami team will come out focused early in the game, and I expect them to at least win the first half. Since 2005, NBA playoff teams down 0-2 are 90-49-1 ATS in the 1st half of Game 3 (via BetLabs).
Nuggets @ Trail Blazers (1st Half Over 116)
Points, points, more points. The two games of this Nuggets/Blazers series so far have gone over with 119 points and 134 points, respectively. In the three regular season games, these two teams also combined for 114, 117, and 127 points in the 1st half. Both of these teams themselves are about .500 to the O/U, but their games this season have both averaged about a combined 115 ppg in the 1st half as well.
Portland is #4 overall in 1st half scoring, putting up an average of 59.2 ppg (also #10 at home). The only downside to the Trial Blazers here is that they are #25 in giving up points, allowing their opponents to score an average of 58.8 ppg (also bottom 8 at home). On the flip side, the Nuggets average 59.8 ppg in the 1st half (#3 overall in the NBA and #3 away). Denver is #6 at points allowed though , allowing their opponents to score only 54.8 ppg. That doesn’t scare me at all though, simply because the Trail Blazers give up so much and that will force both teams to run with each other. Keep on riding the 1H overs.