The betting markets on the NBA playoffs’ first round
Excitement around Luka’s Mavs, Nets vs. Celtics
BY JEFF FOGLE
All through the playoffs, Jeff Fogle is delivering TrueHoop subscribers insight from the betting markets. This is not the same as picks—we have no deals with casinos. Instead, we’re mining the markets for the best possible insight. Here’s an introduction to the “sum of all models.” Below is Jeff’s insight market insight into:
Mavericks vs. Jazz
Wolves vs. Grizzlies
76ers vs. Raptors
Warriors vs. Nuggets
Celtics vs. Nets
Bulls vs. Bucks
Sportsbooks are faced with a challenge pricing the Mavericks. They will enter the playoffs with or without star scorer Luka Doncic, who suffered a calf strain Sunday night. It’s no easy task:
Late-season assessments projected the Mavericks as a slight favorite in home games vs. the Jazz, and as a slight favorite to win their series against the Jazz.
With Doncic expected to miss the series opener (at the very least), the Jazz are now projected as almost 67 percent favorites to win Saturday and 75 percent to win the series.
What will happen if Doncic is cleared to play in a game-time decision? What if he misses the opener, but is able to come back near full strength for Game 2 Monday night? Pricing could become very volatile.
Let’s run market data for Jazz/Mavericks and the other known first-round matchups for “wisdom of the informed crowd” predictions.
Why are the Jazz a much bigger favorite to win the series than Game 1? If Utah is -193 to win a game in Dallas, it will be an even bigger favorite to win in each of three home games. That makes for a very one-sided series without Doncic.
Luka’s triumphant return would quickly launch prices back toward equilibrium.
A reminder that market percentage equivalents add up to more than 100 percent, because the house edge sportsbooks incorporate to grind out a profit. Here’s a quick explanation of how this works.
Markets greatly underestimated the Grizzlies this season.