In Game 1 of their First Round series the Houston Rockets routed the Oklahoma City Thunder 118-87. The best-of-seven Western Conference series continues tonight. How do teams perform after blowouts in the NBA Playoffs?
For a baseline, teams that lost by 20 or more points in the regular season went 1035-1041 (49.9%) ATS in their next game. Not great.
However, in the playoffs that changes. Teams like OKC that lost by 20 or more points in the postseason have gone 68-58 (54.0%) ATS in the next game of the series. The win rate improves if we take into consideration the caliber of team.
The Thunder aren’t bad even though the Rockets rolled them. Oklahoma City won nearly 60% of their games during the regular season and are lead by MVP favorite Russell Westbrook
Teams that lost a playoff game by 20 or more points but had won 55% or more of their regular season games have gone 53-42 (55.8%) ATS, +8.55 units in their next game.
Why do teams cover at a higher rate in the playoffs? For starters, teams are highly motivated in the postseason. In a best-of-seven series a team can come back to win it all even if they got blown out previously. Another reason is that casual bettors tend to remember what happened most recently and will fade a team that lost big, which can inflate the line.
The Rockets opened as 7.5 points favorites at home. Nearly 70% of spread bets and +50% of spread dollars are on Houston to cover. The public is on the Rockets but can the Thunder bounce back and cover?
Game 3 – Raptors vs. Bucks
There is a Pro System pick for this game that is 195-134 (59%) ATS all-time