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NBA Handicapping & Post Season Betting Tips

NBA Playoffs: The Scoop on Past Results

Jim Feist

The NBA playoffs keep on rolling. There are a lot of ways to analyze who has the edge, from matchups, key statistics (rebounding, turnovers), spread marks and even who’s hot and who’s not. One area that will also come up is how these playoff opponents did when they faced each other during the regular season.

I’m not a proponent of putting much stock in regular season meetings.

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This can get tricky for many reasons, one of which is situations. During the regular season, you find teams facing each other at the end of a long road trip. Of course the visiting team might not be up to their normal abilities if they’re facing a conference opponent at the end of a six-game road trip, for example.

Another instance would be the second of a back to back situation, or if a team is playing its fourth game in five nights. Rested Team A may destroy Team B in that situation, but that doesn’t then give them an edge when the playoffs roll around. Players don’t buy into this, either.

I hear and read comments from players all the time where they talk about some regular season meeting three months ago and they brush it off with, “That game doesn’t mean anything as to how we’re going to approach this playoff game.”

In addition, star players and even coaches are sometimes absent from regular season meetings. Shaq has missed a month down the stretch, for example, as did Kobe Bryant, and even Denver Coach George Karl missed time because of an illness. You can’t qualify a performance without a key player when analyzing how they then matchup with a team in the postseason.

Even teams change. Look at the Cavaliers. You can’t compare how they played in December against the Celtics or Bulls, because the team has undergone a change, adding Antawn Jamison. The Celtics looked liked world beaters in the early part of the season, but stumbled with inconsistency in the second half.

There’s no better example of this than a playoff series between the Jazz and Kings a few years ago. During that regular season, the Kings went 4-0 Su/ATS against the Jazz, blasting them by frightful scores of 113-80, 114-90, 107-81, and 117-109.

The two then met in the first round of the playoffs, and the Kings were 12 and 11 point favorites in the first two games, inflated numbers based largely on those four regular season meetings.

Yet, the veteran Jazz, with Karl Malone and John Stockton, played extremely well in the playoffs, going 3-1 ATS. Sacramento won Game 1 89-86 then Utah won Game 2 on the road 93-86 as a +11 dog!

Sacramento won three games in that series by 3, 3 and 5 points – so much for their regular season dominance!

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