Saturday, April 28, 2012

NBA 2012 Playoffs Recap

For those of you participating in non-profit pools picking winners against the spread (ATS) including playoffs, sticking consistently with with overdog favourites put you at 50-31-3 or 61.3% ATS. Overdogs won almost 80% of all matches straight-up disregarding the point spread -- well above the 2-out-of-3 norm. About 1 in 5 matches has turned on points -- right in line with what we would expect.

Over the past 5 playoff seasons, I am better than 55% to the good ATS. But, a simple all-overdog strategy has been even better at nearly 56%.

Why have overdog favourites been so dominant over an admittedly "too small to be statistically significant" sample size of about 400 matches over 5 years? I don't have a plausible theory beyond wondering whether the unconscious home team bias of referees is even stronger in the playoffs and that this tendency may not be fully factored into NBA playoff point spreads. Does anyone out there have historical records for NBA playoff overdogs and underdogs ATS going back further than 5 years or evidence on referees' home bias comparing regular season vs. playoff matches?

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