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Can NBA Playoffs bettors still trust the greatest trend in sports betting history?

One of the greatest trends in sports betting history lost some of its shine last season but has been a 65 percent winner over the past 11 NBA postseasons.

The trend, plain and simple: bet on an NBA playoff team’s first-half pointspread in Game 3 if they’re down 0-2 in the series.

That basic system produced a 5-5 against the spread record during the 2018 NBA Playoffs, however, it is 69-37-7 ATS since 2007 – covering at an incredible 65 percent clip. It went 9-0 ATS in 2015, 10-0 ATS in 2016, and finished 9-3 ATS in 2017. That’s a 33-8 ATS run over the past four postseasons (80.49%).

With oddsmakers getting wise to the now-infamous 0-2 trend, the market correction was blatantly evident to anyone shopping the Game 3 first-half pointspreads on those NBA teams in a 0-2 hole. The padding was so great at times, that bettors who had been faithful to this long-running situational system (yours truely) couldn’t help but faded it, grabbing the value on the other side thanks to that overcorrection.

As an example of the books’ protecting themselves against this trend: the New Orleans Pelicans fell behind 0-2 to the Golden State Warriors in the conference semifinals and were set as 4.5-point home underdogs for Game 3. By all betting logic, the first-half spread should have been in the range of New Orleans +2 or +2.5 but hit the board at +0.5.

The Cleveland Cavaliers fell behind two games to none versus the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals and were 6.5-point home chalk for Game 3. However, the first-half spread – which should have been no higher than -4 – was pegged at Cavs -5.5.

The best part about this betting trend is that there’s a strong narrative to back it up. Unlike some betting trends, that have no rhyme or reason, basketball bettors can easily connect the dots when it comes to the motivation behind those trailing teams and the value that lies in their odds for the first 24 minutes of Game 3. That narrative is definitely not lost on bookmakers either.

“Flat out simple to understand: teams that are down 0-2 come out and play with far more desperation than they do for other games,” one online oddsmaker, told Covers during the 2017 NBA Playoffs.

“Teams can’t afford to go down 0-3, so in must-win spots like being down 0-2, they come out blazing. And for the team they’re playing, they’re up 2-0 in the series. They are fat and happy and don’t come out with the same urgency as their counterparts.”

With the average juice on a first-half bet being -110, a $100 wager on each of those 113 qualified situations for this remarkable trend would have returned $2,572.72 in winnings since 2007. And looking at just the past four NBA postseason, followers of this first-half system would be up $2,200.

With the first-round of the NBA Playoffs underway, basketball bettors will want to keep an eye open for this trend in the coming days, as Game 3 situations hit the board.

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