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Big Favorites are Dominating NBA Playoffs

LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers

The first-round of the 2016 NBA playoffs has mercifully come to an end. Let’s never speak of it again.

Hoops fans were treated to a lot of one-sided affairs in the opening round, and I’d be lying to you if I said the majority of the action had a true postseason feel. As of May 5, 15 playoff games have been decided by 20 or more points so far.

To put that into perspective, here’s a look at the number of playoff contests that finished in that 20-point margin since 2011:

  • 2015: 12
  • 2014: 14
  • 2013: 14
  • 2012: 7
  • 2011: 7

Unsurprisingly, favorites have been dominating at the betting window. As of May 5, faves had gone 39-11 straight up and 31-19 ATS. That’s equated to a ton of profits for chalk bettors.

Will that trend continue into the second-round? It’s entirely possible. If it does, expect oddsmakers to start inflating spreads.

These are the most lopsided games of the postseason:

Blowouts of the 2016 NBA playoffs
DateAway teamHome teamAway scoreHome scoreClosing spreadDifference
May 5AtlantaCleveland98123-725
May 1CharlotteMiami73106-633
April 30Oklahoma CitySan Antonio92124-6.532
April 27HoustonGolden State81114-933
April 26BostonAtlanta83110-7.527
April 24Golden StateHouston12194+8.527
April 24San AntonioMemphis11695+13.521
April 21Oklahoma CityDallas131102+9.529
April 20PortlandL.A. Clippers81102-8.521
April 19MemphisSan Antonio6894-17.526
April 17PortlandL.A. Clippers95115-8.520
April 17MemphisSan Antonio74106-16.532
April 17CharlotteMiami91123-4.532
April 16DallasOklahoma City70108-1238
April 16HoustonGolden State78104-1326