NBA In-Season Tournament betting trends: Historic shooting numbers

Looking to bet on the NBA in-season tournament in the future?

Look no further; we dove into the data and found some interesting trends that could be useful come December for the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.

Specifically, it is the underdogs who were barking left and right during group play of the in-season tournament by going 30-20-3 against the spread (ATS).

However, they weren’t winning the games outright.

Favorites were 35-18 straight-up, and if you bet a single unit on every underdog’s moneyline you’d have lost 9.07 units.

So perhaps it’s not worth betting outright on the underdogs in the tournament, but it’s certainly worth targeting them ATS.

If you bet every underdog ATS, you would’ve won 7.27 units for a 12.75 percent return on investment.

As for the totals, games are averaging 228 points per game, a number that jumped significantly during different parts of the tournament.

Games averaged 234.28 points per game during the early portion of the tournament, but ended at 229.05 points per game in group play.

Julius Randle (30) of the New York Knicks. Getty Images

This is backed by a massive increase in 3-point field goal percentage.

Teams shot 37.15 percent from 3-point range, up from 36.2 percent. The 37.15 percent from the 3-point range represents a league-wide all-time high in 3-point percent, albeit in a small sample size (2425 attempts.)

From the field, teams shot 47.49 percent, up from 46.9 percent during non-tournament action.

In today’s NBA, shot-making is at an all-time high.

But will oddsmakers overcorrect going forward with the In-Season Tournament continuing in Las Vegas next week?

Season ATS record (favorites vs. Underdogs) Total record (Over/Under Field Goal Percent 3-point field goal percent
In-Season Tournament 20-30-3 (37.7 percent) 27-26 47.49 percent 37.15 percent
2023 125-134-5 (47.3 percent) 139-124 46.9 percent 36.2 percent
All records are calculated using closing lines via FanDuel Sportsbook

Betting on the NBA?

It would be fair to expect teams to play hard-nosed defense as the tournament continues.

Teams’ 3-point field goal percentages did drop a bit during the final round of group play, with teams shooting just 35.16 percent from 3-point range on Nov. 24.

With the Pacers, one of the eight remaining teams, playing historically bad defense, it could be good to avoid unders in those games.

All four Pacers games went over thus far, an unsurprising development considering overs are 14-2 for Indiana’s game.

The tournament quarterfinals start Dec. 4, when Indiana hosts the Boston Celtics and the Sacramento Kings host the New Orleans Pelicans.

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