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The 3-seed Philadelphia 76ers (1-0) smacked the 6-seed Brooklyn Nets (0-1) 121-101 in Game 1 Saturday and I cashed on my OVER 214.5 bet. I’m going the opposite way for Game 2 Monday in what’s called the zig-zag theory.
This is a particularly strong NBA playoff handicapping angle where you just bet the opposite of what happened in the previous game. Don’t focus too much on the Game 1 shooting numbers. They’ll scare you off the UNDER 212.5 (-110) in Game 2.
Philadelphia had a 59.0% effective field goal shooting rate (eFG%). Brooklyn was 65.0% eFG% in Game 1. The Nets connected on 13 of 29 from 3 and the Sixers had three 20-plus point scorers.
The pace of Nets-76ers Game 1, the sketchy line movement, and Brooklyn’s lack of a true point guard are the reasons why I think Game 2 is a low-scoring affair.
Nets at 76ers in Game 2 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET on Monday, April 17th.
- Venue: Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia.
The 1st thing I look at when assessing if the zig-zag theory should be applied is the betting splits. Per VSIN, more than 80% of the action at DraftKings is on the Over for Nets-76ers Game 2.
Yet this total opened at 215. Usually, sportsbooks adjust the spreads based on liability. In this case, it appears as though the oddsmakers are “booking faces”. I.e. sharps are betting Under and squares are betting Over.
Game 1 would’ve went Under the total had it not been for unsustainable 3-point shooting. Especially from the Nets. The average NBA pace during the regular season was 99.1 possessions per 48 minutes and Nets-76ers Game 1 had a 88.3 pace.
Both 2nd-half quarters had less than 50 points scored and the Game 1 live total got down to 212.5. Blowouts are terrible for Overs generally because teams take their feet off the gas in those 2nd halves.
Since the best way for Brooklyn to steal a game in this series would be to turn it into a rock-fight, I see the Nets slowing down the pace even further.
Also, Brooklyn’s offense significantly declined after the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving trades. The post-KD Nets are 23rd in offensive rating and 24th in both pace and eFG%.
Nets G Spencer Dinwiddie is perhaps the worst starting point guard in the NBA playoffs. Ideally, Dinwiddie is a microwave scorer used off the bench. It’s going to be a struggle for Brooklyn to get quality looks vs. Philly’s stout defense.
The 1st Nets-76ers meeting post-KD trade went Under their 223.5-point total by 24.5 points (101-98). Even with Joel Embiid scoring 37 points and James Harden putting up 29 points.
BET: UNDER 212.5 (-110) in Nets-76ers Game 2 at DraftKings
Check out NBA Hoops At Lunch basketball betting show on the OutKick Bets Podcast feed for the audio versions of the handicaps below.
Listen to the ‘OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark’ podcast HERE.
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