With the NBA regular season coming to a conclusion, it’s time to look ahead to the playoffs, which start on Saturday, April 18th this year. Handicapping the playoffs is a completely different animal than handicapping the regular season.
I use all kinds of rest situations when handicapping the regular season, but all teams are on equal rest in each series of the playoffs. Some teams will get more rest if they sweep an opponent, but that can work for or against them. There is at least one day in between each game, so that means the players should be relatively fresh no matter what.
Obviously, handicapping the playoffs is tougher, but I’ve learned some tricks over the years that have worked for me, and I believe they’ll work for you too. The one that I’m going to focus on in this article is the Zig-Zag Theory.
Most have heard of the Zig-Zag Theory, but if you haven’t, I’ll break it down for you. It involves playing on a team that lost their last game, or playing against the team that won their last game. It’s that simple. Playing on teams in the playoffs that have lost their last game have gone 388-363-8 ATS (51.7%). Obviously, 51.7% is not going to make you any money because of juice, but it’s not going to kill you either. Now, you don’t want to bet these teams blindly. There are different situations that work better than others, and I’m going to dive into one of the very best ones.
Let’s take a look at some of the parameters that you need to follow with this Zig-Zag Theory that has proven to be a winner over time.
ATS Record: 55-30-2 (64.7%)
This system completely makes sense to me. The team you’ll be backing is usually the better team that wins 60% to 75% of their games. They are obviously coming off a bad performance with a double-digit loss in their previous game. They’ll not only be motivated to bounce back in their next game, but that blowout loss may have created some line value for the home favorite. The betting public tends to gravitate towards teams coming off a great performance, while going against teams coming off a terrible performance. Oddsmakers know this, so they adjust the lines accordingly. So, we’re getting the ultimate motivational spot here off a blowout loss, and we’re getting value in the number. Be sure to look for this situation in the upcoming NBA playoffs.