How Bettors Can Benefit from NBA Blowouts in 2021
Blowouts in the NBA are occurring at an alarming rate this season. If you pull the data from the past three years, here’s how often a team was leading by at least 30 points in a game.
- 2019-20 – 10%
- 2018-19 – 11%
- 2017-18 – 9%
This year, 25% of the games played have seen a team fall behind by at least 30. On Christmas Day when the whole world was glued to their couches hoping for some barnburners, the average margin of victory during the five-game slate was 23.2 points.
Why is this happening and how should bettors respond?
Before diving into that topic, I’ll quickly highlight two of the most lopsided NBA blowouts in 2020-21.
The Mavericks Bombard the Clippers on 12/27, 124-73
Anyone betting the Mavericks Clippers game two days after Christmas should have been aware that Kawhi Leonard wasn’t going to play. However, nobody told the betting public that the entire LA roster planned to take the night off as well.
Talk about giving little to no effort, the Clips found themselves trailing by 50 points at halftime. That’s not a typo – the score was 77-27 in favor of Dallas. It was the largest halftime deficit since the shot-clock was instituted in 1954.
Worth noting, the Clippers were coming off a double-digit victory two days prior against Denver. Meanwhile, the Mavs were coming off a 23-point beatdown handed down by the Lakers.
The Bucks Demolish the Heat on 12/29, 144-97
The Bucks were angry strolling into South Beach on December 29th. They were utterly embarrassed at Madison Square Garden in their prior game (trucked by the Knicks, 130-110). On the flip side, the Heat smoked the Pelicans by 13 in the contest leading into this tussle with Milwaukee.
Right on cue, Milwaukee set an NBA record for the most three-pointers in a single game en route to bludgeoning Miami by 47.
Notice a trend?
- Teams coming off a dominant win can feel a sense of entitlement.
- Teams coming off a blowout loss demonstrate a relentless mindset in the next game
Sure enough, look what happened on December 30th.
Just one day after losing to Giannis and company by 47, the Heat turned around and beat the Bucks by 11.
Why Have There Been So Many Blowouts?
How many times have you seen the home crowd will their team back into the game? Unfortunately, with no fans in the stands this season, teams that get down big are unable to muster the necessary energy required to mount a comeback.
Damian Lillard echoed that sentiment when asked why we’re seeing big leads balloon this season.
The shortened offseason for the teams that were in the bubble has led to an unorganized approach collectively. They’re simply not ready to lock in for 48 minutes.
The result is teams are averaging 15.4 turnovers per game – the most since 1999-2000. Now that you’re in tune with what’s going, let’s explore how to take advantage.
How Should NBA Bettors React?
Don’t get trapped into the business of trying to predict when and where a blowout will happen. Instead, focus on how you can profit in games following a blowout. This falls right in line with my theory of not overreacting to a one-game sample size.
Study the box scores each night and make note of when a team gets romped. If the team that just got blown out happens to be matched up against a team (in their next game) on the other end of the spectrum – aka a team that was on the right side of a beatdown, that’s an opportunity to pounce.
Plus, the line in that situation likely already in your favor due to recency bias. When a team gets obliterated, specifically on national television, the general public is wary to back them the next time out. Likewise, when a team wins by 30+, casual fans assume they’re a good bet in their next game.
Target the Underdogs and the Road Teams
The best NBA betting sites will eventually catch on to what’s happening regarding favorites and underdogs covering the spread. Until then, you may want to do yourself a favor and start latching onto the underdogs.
More VFV of #NBA: after going 4-1 ATS on Thursday, underdogs now lead 71-48 ATS (59.7%) on the season w/ 2 games closing pick-'em; Unders still lead 63-57-1 (52.5%) after Overs went 4-1 on Thursday @VSiNLive— Dave Tuley (@ViewFromVegas) January 8, 2021
59.7% may not sound like an astronomical number, but that’s above and beyond a dream scenario even for people who bet games for a living.
Now for the away teams – another category of NBA squads to target for wagers.
From everything I can gather, it seems fairly clear that the sportsbooks aren’t adjusting for the lack of homecourt advantage nearly enough. In fact, road teams have won more games (through January 7th) than home teams!
|Record Straight-Up||Winning %||Record ATS||Cover %|
The away teams are also performing extremely favorably ATS. Keep that thought handy next time you fire away on action on the hardwood.
NBA Blowouts are a GOOD Thing for Bettors
Blowouts aren’t very fun to watch – unless of course you’re betting/rooting for the team applying the beatdown. There’s nothing professional about one team waving the white flag midway thru the second quarter, and nothing is admirable about quitting on your team.
With that being said, I’m keeping a close eye on the scores each night and circling the teams involved in a lopsided final tally. There’s enough substantial information that leads to betting value their next time out.
- Back teams coming off of a blowout loss
- Fade teams coming off a blowout win
And don’t forget about targeting the underdogs and away teams. The value is already baked-into the lines so you just have to trust the data.
To stay in the loop with NBA picks, basketball gurus Dean McHugh and Noah Davis have you covered.