Finally, itâ€™s playoff time! The NBAâ€™s big dance is back and, since we have a few days before the games start, we have time to look at some trends before we even review picks. Here are some betting trends to watch in the Eastern Conference matchups.
Bulls vs Cavaliers
We know the Cavs have the series locked up â€“ letâ€™s be honest â€“ but Cleveland fell into a trap consistently against the spread this season. They had trouble beating it since they were consistently favored so heavily. They were just 2-8 ATS over their last 10 regular-season games whereas the streaking Bulls went 7-1 ATS over their last eight road games. But watch out; the Cavs rested starters down the stretch and they tend to elevate their play in crunch time. Theyâ€™re 5-0 ATS over their last five conference quarter-final matchups.
Bucks vs Hawks
Bet the over in this series â€“ itâ€™s 8-0 over the last eight meetings between the Bucks and Hawks. As for other trends to watch, the Bucks were pesky on the road this season; they went 21-5-1 ATS over their last 27 road games. But maybe theyâ€™re in over their head without Andrew Bogut? Atlanta has beaten seven of eight spreads against teams with winning straight-up records.
Heat vs Celtics
Bostonâ€™s inability to close out games at home could come to the forefront against Miami; the Celtics are just 1-8-1 over their last 10 ATS against teams with winning road records. The road team is also 4-1 ATS over the last five meetings. Iâ€™d be tempted to bet against the Celtics early on.
Bobcats vs Magic
The Magic are one of the more reliable powerhouses this season. Theyâ€™re 4-0-1 ATS in their last five at home and theyâ€™re 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games against Charlotte. In fact, Dwight Howardâ€™s boys went 18-7-1 over their last 26 overall. The Magic almost seem to take pride in beating opponents badly and I donâ€™t think Charlotte will catch them napping.