NBA betting: Not much drama this round, because home teams keep covering easily

·3 min read

On Tuesday night, there was no reason to watch the fourth quarter of either NBA playoff game.

The Miami Heat pounded the Philadelphia 76ers, easily covering the 2.5-point spread at BetMGM. Then in the second game, the Phoenix Suns blew out the Dallas Mavericks in the second half. The Suns covered a 6.5-point spread without any doubt too.

That has been the theme of the second round of the NBA playoffs. If you're playing at home, you're likely going to win and cover. It has removed some of the drama from this round.

But, if you're a bettor who is blindly betting home teams, there have been no complaints.

Home teams have been dominant

The stats for the home teams in the second round are a bit startling.

Home teams are 15-3 straight-up and 14-4 against the spread in the second round, according to Jonathan Von Tobel of VSiN. Von Tobel added that the cover margin has been an average of 8.25 points.

What happened on Tuesday hasn't been that unusual. Miami won by 35 and Phoenix won by 30. The 76ers-Heat series has summed up the second round, with no game being decided by less than eight points and every game having been won by the home team.

The home-heavy second round has followed a first round in which all eight lower seeds, the eight teams with home-court advantage, advanced. There just hasn't been a lot of reason to back road teams or underdogs these playoffs. There really hasn't been a ton of drama period.

On Wednesday night, the Milwaukee Bucks are 5.5-point underdogs at the Boston Celtics. It is tempting to take the defending champions as a healthy underdog, but it's hard to go against the trend of home favorites.

Mikal Bridges and the Phoenix Suns continued the dominance of home teams in the second round of the NBA playoffs. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Mikal Bridges and the Phoenix Suns continued the dominance of home teams in the second round of the NBA playoffs. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Can home teams continue dominance?

In the other game on Wednesday night, the Memphis Grizzlies are 4.5-point home underdogs against the Golden State Warriors. That might give the Grizzlies some hope, even though they won't have Ja Morant on the court.

It's hard to see road teams doing much better in the next round. If the Suns and Warriors advance, they were 63-19 combined at home. The Heat, the East's No. 1 seed, was 29-12 at home in the regular season and 6-0 in the playoffs. If they advance, they'll be hard to beat in Miami, even by a talented Boston or Milwaukee team.

At some point it would be good for the NBA if road teams started breaking serve, or at least covering big spreads to make games more competitive. But to this point, the playoffs have been too predictable. Home-court advantage has meant everything.

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