The following NBA betting trends are a collection of analytical data, betting systems and strength ratings featured on VSiN and qualified for the NBA Conference Finals Game Ones. This report is meant to emulate the process that Steve Makinen and other members of the VSiN Analytics team undergo when handicapping each day’s NBA board.

AJ’s Angles

These are the top NBA betting trends and systems for Game Ones, handpicked by VSiN Analyst AJ Makinen.

 

Conference finals series-opening games have gone to the home team of late – Home teams hold a 10-6 SU edge but are 7-9 ATS (43.8%) in conference finals Game Ones since 2015.
System Matches: PLAY BOSTON ML, PLAY MINNESOTA ML

Top NBA Resources:

The last eight conference finals Game Ones have been offensive explosions – Seven of the last eight conference finals Game Ones have gone Over the total (87.5%), producing 231.9 PPG, surpassing posted totals by over 17 PPG!
System Matches: PLAY OVER in BOTH GAMES

Teams seeded #5 or worse have been phenomenal underdogs in the conference finals – Teams seeded #5 or lower have gone 10-10 SU and 14-6 ATS (70%) in their last 20 tries in the underdog role.
System Matches: PLAY INDIANA (+10 at BOS), PLAY DALLAS (+4 at MIN)

(551) DALLAS at (552) MINNESOTA
* Under the total is 7-2 in the last nine of the head-to-head series
System Match: PLAY UNDER the total

Strategies Using NBA DraftKings Betting Splits Data

One of the most touted features on the VSiN.com website, and a feature that we believe to be a fantastic resource for bettors is the betting splits pages. These are the pages that we have built utilizing the data that DraftKings so graciously provides to us, detailing the breakdowns of the money and ticket splits for point spreads, money lines, and totals.

In an article published on the VSiN.com website on opening day, Steve Makinen outlined 14 different systematic NBA betting trend strategies for successfully using the DK Betting Splits Data that developed in the 2022-23 season. Here are the systems and qualifying plays for today’s games as of 1:00 p.m. ET. These can and will change, so continue to track and qualify the systems up until tip-off for best usage. These systems have been updated to show midseason records as well.

DK NBA Betting Splits system #1: When 63% or more of the handle was on the home side of an ATS wager, this supermajority group was 115-88 ATS (56.6%) last season. For this season so far, that group is 88-83 ATS (51.5%). If you see nearly 2/3 of the handle backing a host in an NBA game this season, it’s a solid bet to follow it.
System Matches (PLAY ALL): BOSTON, MINNESOTA

DK NBA Betting Splits system #4: Majority handle bettors enjoyed a strong postseason run this past year in the NBA, going 51-35 ATS on all games, good for 59.3%. You will see in a little while that it wasn’t all success, however, as their money line plays tanked. System #4 will become far more important in April.
System Matches (PLAY ALL): BOSTON, MINNESOTA

At this point, unlike the football studies I conducted, it’s safe to assume that being part of the majority handle of DraftKings bettors on ATS wagers is a relatively sound strategy.

The overall numbers shown earlier detailed that majority bettors have won significantly on moneyline wagering this season. Here are some more detailed specifics, with some losing angles too:

DK NBA Betting Splits system #8: Majority handle money line wagerers had a brutal playoff run last year, going 48-39 for -34.6 units and an ROI of -38.4%. This system will be significant starting in April.
System Matches (FADE ALL): BOSTON ML, MINNESOTA ML

DK NBA Betting Splits system #10: The success of double-digit favorites this season in winning games outright has clearly paid off for NBA bettors. When analyzing majority handle on games in 2023-24 with double-digit point spreads, majority moneyline bettors have backed the favorite in 87 of 89 games, going 80-7 SU for +33.6 units, an ROI of 38.6%. We will recommend backing these teams until something changes, as this can be a very risky strategy.
System Matches (PLAY): BOSTON ML

This last system involves totals.

DK NBA Betting Splits system #13: The average NBA game total this season has been a touch over 230. In NBA games with extremely low totals, or those less than 220, majority handle bettors are an impressive 49-25 (66.2%), whole majority number of bets groups are a bit worse but still strong at 43-31 (58.1%).
System Matches: PLAY OVER in DAL-MIN (o/u at 207)

After a second round that produced two Game Sevens and a trio of seed upsets, we have reached the Conference Finals portion of the NBA playoff schedule, so does my coverage of the top betting trends and systems for the round, looking at both series and game-by-game wagering options. Who will reach the title series? Indiana or Boston? Minnesota or Dallas? Let’s take a look at some past NBA betting trends for series.

Series Trends

Being able to predict an upset in a series will give you a leg up on a game-by-game wagering basis. Accurately projecting which underdogs will push a series deep, or alternatively, which favorites will end a series quickly, can really boost your wagering profit in this round and all others. Take a look at some of these series trends based on won-lost records at various time lengths of the regular season and in the playoffs to date.

• There have been 20 conference final series over the last 10 playoff seasons, and the better seeds own just an 11-9 edge in series wins and a 63-50 game wins edge during that span. There have been four sweeps, three by the better seed, including Denver over the Lakers last year.

• There have been ten conference final series over the last 10 playoff seasons that involved teams squaring off whose regular season win totals were within four of one another. Those series have been almost toss-ups, with the better-seeded team winning five times (30 individual wins) and the lesser seed winning five times (27 individual wins).

• The last three times that there have been differences of double-digit margins between teams’ regular season wins, the better seed won all three series and was 12-3 in individual games. This is the case for the Boston-Indiana series.

• Winning 70%+ of regular season games is a key benchmark of conference championship series success for better seeds. Those that did and weren’t facing a 70%+ win teams are 8-1 in series’ and 32-16 in individual games. Boston was 78% this season. Those that won fewer than 70% if their regular season games are just 3-6 in their last seven conference finals series (26-27 in games). This will apply to Minnesota.

• There has been a massive advantage of late in analyzing the earlier playoff round performances of the teams in a conference final series. Teams that played fewer games in the first two rounds, or essentially lost fewer games in those series, are on a 17-1 conference final series run! Four of the last 22 series matched teams that played equal games. The only team to lose after playing fewer games was Milwaukee in 2019. Considering this information for 2024, both Boston and Dallas will be owning edges.

• Teams that faced a Game Seven matchup in either of their first two rounds series’ have won just two of their last 13 conference final series’ when not matched up against an opponent that faced a Game Seven itself. This includes Boston’s upset loss a year ago to Miami. For 2024, both Indiana and Minnesota played in Game Sevens this past Sunday. Neither Boston nor Dallas has been tested to that degree yet this playoff season.

Scoring Trends

94 points is a low benchmark for conference final success – Teams that score 94 points or less in a conference final playoff game have struggled badly, going just 10-51 SU and 11-50 ATS (18%) since 2013.

Success accompanies reaching the 116-point mark – Conference final playoff teams scoring 116 points or more boast a record of 48-4 SU and 47-3-2 ATS (94%) over the last 11 seasons. Two of those ATS losses came last year, however.

Trends by Line Range

Big favorites are slowing – From 2013-2018 in the NBA playoffs, conference final favorites of five points or more were 35-6 SU and 28-13 ATS. Since then, they are just 15-12 SU and 10-16-1 ATS (38.5%), including 1-6 ATS a year ago.
System Matches: FADE BOSTON (-10 vs IND)

Small home favorites have been minimally profitable, small road favorites have been very vulnerable – Home favorites of 4.5 points or less are on a 10-7 SU and 9-8 ATS (52.9%) surge. Road favorites in the same line range are just 8-10 SU and 6-11-1 ATS (35.3%) in their last 18 tries.
System Matches: PLAY MINNESOTA (-4 vs. DAL)

High totals have meant Unders – Of the 43 games in the last nine conference final seasons with totals of 216.5 or higher, 28 of them have gone Under the total (65.1%). There’s a chance the entire East Finals of 2024 will land in this range.
System Matches: PLAY UNDER in IND-BOS (o/u at 221.5)

Totals under 209 have leaned Under The lowest totals over the last decade in the conference final, those below 209, are on a 20-17-1 Under (54.1%) surge, including 4-1 in the last five.
System Matches: PLAY UNDER in DAL-MIN (o/u at 207)

Trends by Game Number

Conference final series opening games have gone to the home team of late – Home teams hold a 10-6 SU edge but are 7-9 ATS (43.8%) in conference final Game Ones since 2015.
System Matches: PLAY BOSTON ML, PLAY MINNESOTA ML

The last eight conference final Game Ones have been offensive explosions Seven of the last eight conference final Game Ones have gone Over the total (87.5%), producing 231.9 PPG, surpassing posted totals by over 17 PPG!
System Matches: PLAY OVER in BOTH GAMES

Trends by Seed Number

Lay the wood with #1 seeds – Top-seeded teams have been stellar at covering big point spreads, going 24-3 SU and 17-10 ATS (63%) in the conference final when favored by 6.5 points or more.
System Matches: PLAY BOSTON (-10 vs IND)

#3/4 seeds are solid in the big favorite role– conference final #3 & #4 seeds are on an 11-4 SU and ATS (73.3%) run as favorites of 3.5 points or more.
System Matches: PLAY MINNESOTA (-4 vs DAL)

Teams seeded #5 or worse have been phenomenal underdogs in the conference finals – Teams seeded #5 or lower have gone 10-10 SU and 14-6 ATS (70%) in their last 20 tries in the underdog role.
System Matches: PLAY INDIANA (+10 at BOS), PLAY DALLAS (+4 at MIN)

NBA Team Strength Systems

The following handicapping information details five NBA betting trend systems for teams based upon some various team strength indicator or line scenarios. Unless noted, these are from the last three NBA seasons.

NBA Team Strength Betting System #1:
In games between two teams with 60%+ winning percentages, home teams favored in the -4.5 to -9.5 range are on a 126-41 SU and 105-62 ATS (62.9%) run.
System Matches: PLAY MINNESOTA (*if they become favorites in this line range, -4 currently*)

NBA Team Strength Betting System #5:
Double-digit NBA games have produced some definitive results on totals over the last three seasons, dependent upon what type of matchup it was. In divisional games featuring double-digit lines, Under the total has gone 83-69 (54.6%). In non-conference games, Over the total was 158-131 (54.7%). And finally, in non-divisional conference games, Over the total was 224-153 (59.4%).
System Matches: PLAY OVER in IND-BOS (o/u at 221.5)

NBA Extreme Stats Next Game Systems
These systems search for extreme statistical performances in NBA games and detail the results of the follow-up game for the teams. These systems are from the last 4+ seasons unless noted.

Unusual shooting performance systems
NBA teams that have made 50% or more of their 3PT field goal attempts in a contest have responded the next time out by going just 231-248 SU and 212-262-5 ATS (44.7%) in the next game over the last 3-1/2 seasons.
System Match: FADE INDIANA (+10 at BOS)

NBA Streak Systems

The following handicapping information details nine NBA betting trend systems for teams on winning or losing streaks of at least four games in the NBA.

NO QUALIFYING STREAK PLAYS FOR GAME ONE

Game One NBA Strength Ratings

The following NBA betting odds are taken from today’s MAKINEN DAILY RATINGS page under the NBA tab on VSiN.com. They are listed by team, current line, and difference between rating and current line (in parenthesis).

Game 1’s UNDERPRICED UNDERDOG according to the Makinen POWER RATINGS projections:
Ratings Matches: INDIANA +10 (+1.9)

Game 1’s UNDERPRICED FAVORITE according to the Makinen POWER RATINGS projections:
Ratings Matches: MINNESOTA -4 (+0.9)

Game 1’s UNDERPRICED UNDERDOG according to the Makinen EFFECTIVE STRENGTH RATINGS projections:
Ratings Matches: DALLAS +4 (+0.2)

Game 1’s UNDERPRICED FAVORITE according to the Makinen EFFECTIVE STRENGTH RATINGS projections:
Ratings Matches: BOSTON -10 (+0.9)

Game 1’s TOTAL PROJECTION FAVORING OVER according to the Makinen EFFECTIVE STRENGTH RATINGS projections:
Ratings Matches: IND-BOS OVER 221.5 (+4.5)

Game 1’s TOTAL PROJECTION FAVORING UNDER according to the Makinen EFFECTIVE STRENGTH RATINGS projections:
Ratings Matches: DAL-MIN UNDER 207 (-2.8)

Game 1’s UNDERPRICED UNDERDOG according to the Makinen BETTORS RATINGS projections:
Ratings Matches: INDIANA +10 (+3.2)

Game 1’s UNDERPRICED FAVORITE according to the Makinen BETTORS RATINGS projections:
Ratings Matches: MINNESOTA -4 (+0.1)

Game 1’s TOTAL PROJECTION FAVORING OVER according to the Makinen BETTORS RATINGS projections:
Ratings Matches: IND-BOS OVER 221.5 (+5.1)

Game 1’s TOTAL PROJECTION FAVORING UNDER according to the Makinen BETTORS RATINGS projections:
Ratings Matches: DAL-MIN UNDER 207 (-0.2)

Here are the top head-to-head series trends in play for all of today’s games:

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

(549) INDIANA at (550) BOSTON
* INDIANA has covered four of the last six ATS in the head-to-head series at Boston
System Match: PLAY INDIANA ATS

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

(551) DALLAS at (552) MINNESOTA
* Under the total is 7-2 in the last nine of the head-to-head series
System Match: PLAY UNDER the total