Firstly, what an NBA finals series it was! Even with the multiple blowouts the implications of winning and losing and what it meant for each team and the individuals. Would Lebron be ‘not clutch’ and ‘doesn’t have that killer instinct’ talks get louder again. How incredibly hard it is to go back to back even if you hold the greatest regular season record ever.

NBA Finals recap

To be honest I almost started writing a ‘Warriors win championship’ article after game 4. I mean could you blame me? No team had EVER come back from 3-1 down in the Finals. In my opinion Cleveland was trying to beat them at their own game; small ball, which they had only adopted late in the season after Tyronne Lue took the reigns against a team who had been playing small ball for the best part of 3 years. I had also picked the Warriors in 5 which was looking good before the Draymond Green suspension. I still believe the Warriors would have won game 5 and the finals had Draymond not been suspended, he was by far their best and most consistent player all series. I don’t think enough was made of the loss of Andrew Bogut either but that’s another story for another time. Let’s get to what we all came for, the bets!

NBA Finals betting compared to the regular season

Those of you who have been with the Player Line Pro team know that we have been generously handing out our best pick of the day over the season and the playoffs. I’m not sure what sort of records there are out their but to only pick 1 bet a day and have the record that we have had during the regular season is something that we are very proud of.

With playoff and finals player prop betting there are 3 major things that do not work in our favour;

  1. Days rest – no back to back games
  2. Shorten rotations
  3. Game to game adjustments

The more factors the easier it is to find irregularity in the markets. The bookies did us a favour starting out the playoffs by opening up even more player markets than the regular season. I guess they got greedy and figured they would just take the square bettors money. So we got off to a great start taking a majority of bench player unders.

Free bet timeline

LeBron James blocks Andre Iguodala in game 7 of the NBA Finals | Player Line Pro

We then finally hit our first hurdle since we started posting a ‘pick of the day’. A majority of those days’ we personally had winning days; going 5-1 on the day, with the ‘pick of the day’ being the only loss. Along with some major injuries to key players (Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Stephen Curry, Hassan Whiteside, Jonas Valančiūnas etc) upsetting the balance it made betting a lot more difficult on top of the previously mentioned factors. We then decided to give out our full slate of picks for the remainder of the finals for our members only.

From that point on we went 66-42-2 which equates to;

  • 63.6% winning record
  • $1,740 profit for our $100 bettors
  • 16.11% ROI – Return on investment
  • +17.4 units

You can view our playoff results here.

Our picks and what we learnt

By the time the finals came along it became more about taking notes on games and what we perceived to be the obvious adjustments more so than relying predominantly on our model. We tried to take advantage of deflated or inflated lines combined with game styles and adjustments.

NBA Finals bets recap

  • Shaun Livingston coming off a quiet series against the Thunder opened with a low line which we took advantage of. After his game 1 explosion and his impressive stats all season vs the Cavs we assumed that the Cavs would play him with length the rest of the way. The bookies inflated his line to the point where we ended up taking the under the rest of the series and we went 5-1.
  • Channing Frye who had been buried on the bench came to life during the playoffs stretching the floor. We believed that the Warriors would switch everything and with his one dimensional game of shooting the 3 ball would make it hard for him to have an impact. The line started quiet high because of his playoff performance up to that point. So we took the under until the bookies completely removed his market as his line decreased with his minutes.
  • Richard Jefferson – The reverse of what we saw with Channing Frye. Jefferson was buried on the bench a majority of the playoffs but with the Kevin Love concussion we took advantage taking the over on the low line due to minimal playing time.
  • Lebron James – Probably our easiest pick of the series. Game 3 down 2-0 at home what else was he going to do but go over his point line of 26.5 & points + rebounds + assists 43.5 line. Blowing this out of the water then inflated his game line to 29.5 for game 4 of which we took then under assuming the Warriors would adjust after his monster performance.
  • Tristan Thompson – With the Draymond Green suspension in game 5 and Bogut injured for game 6 we imagined Thompson would give the Warriors problems on the offensive glass but with his lack of offence we decided to take the points + rebounds prop which he blew out of the water in both games.

Summary

We finished the finals with a 16-7 record, we’ll let you do the math on this one. Our 7 losses came on 7 different players which tell us that we didn’t whip a dead horse. Even though in hindsight sticking with the Andrew Bogut under for the rest of the series would have been profitable. Most of our presumptions and theories on individual players along with adjustments turned out to be correct and true. The team stayed strong throughout the playoffs and learnt many valuable lessons which are only going to strengthen our model and make us more successful in the future.

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