A buddy of mine is friends with a bookie. This oddsmaker gave him a betting tip for the NBA. He said that there has been value betting road favorites in April against non-playoff teams. Does this strategy work?

This is a pretty simple question to answer using the Bet Labs database. First, road teams have been historically undervalued and this trend holds when we focus on just the month of April.

Adding the “Favorite” filter our ATS win rate increases to 56.8% without losing hardly any of our profits.

Unfortunately, we do not have a filter that tracks whether a team is “in” or “out” of the playoffs for the current season. However, we can approximate this by using the “Opponent Win%” filter.

Setting our filter to show games against opponents with winning percentages of 40% or less is the sweet spot. Currently there are nine teams eliminated from the playoffs this year, seven have won 40% or fewer of their games.

Betting road favorites against teams with winning percentages of 40% or less in April has gone 184-128 (59%) ATS, +$4,768 since 2005.

In the last 12 years, this system has never had a losing record and has been profitable in 11 of 12 seasons.

Why does this system work? By this point in the season and with only a handful of games remaining, teams are either jockeying for postseason position or clearly out of the playoff hunt. Motivation matters and road teams that are favored in April clearly have different incentives then bad teams playing out the remainder of the season.

This system has been shared in the Bet Labs community. We’ve shown that fading tanking teams has been profitable in the past and April is the best time to take advantage of these teams. There is a play on the Chicago Bulls -3.5 vs. New York Knicks tonight.

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