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Zig-zag betting theory sags in NHL playoffs

With the playoffs in full swing in the NBA and NHL, there are plenty of chances to employ the popular zig-zag betting theory.

In its simplest form, the theory calls for bettors to wager on the team that lost its previous game. But proceed with caution. The theory has worked well in the NHL the past two postseasons, with teams coming off a loss going 87-60 straight up, according to Sportsinsights.com. However, teams coming off a loss this season were only 4-8 entering Monday.

Bettors expecting the Blackhawks to bounce back from their Game 1 loss at home to the Predators lost big when Chicago, a minus-185 favorite, was blanked 5-0 by Nashville in Saturday’s Game 2.

The zig-zag theory also failed to cash Sunday on the Wild and Blue Jackets, who each lost to fall behind 3-0 in their respective series against the Blues and Penguins.

“Hockey’s been really good for us,” CG Technology sports book director Jason Simbal said. “They did the zig-zag on Chicago big in Game 2 and they did the same thing with Columbus and Minnesota in Game 3.

“The public was all over Chicago. That was our highest-bet game of the playoffs so far.”

The betting public also backed the Blackhawks in a big way as minus-115 favorites Monday in Game 3 at Nashville. Simbal said Chicago represented CG’s biggest liability Monday, surpassing the NBA playoff games.

NBA home teams trailing their playoff series 1-0 or 2-0 are 10-3 against the spread in their last 13. The Celtics, Raptors and Clippers are all home teams looking to even their respective series Tuesday at 1-1. Boston is a 7-point favorite over the Bulls, Toronto is favored by 7½ over the Bucks and the Clippers are giving 9 to the Jazz, who will be without center Rudy Gobert.

“When the home favorite loses Game 1, the public loves to bet them in Game 2 because they don’t think they’ll lose two in a row,” Simbal said. “We already need the Jazz and we already need the Bucks.”

According to statistics posted by Sportsinsights.com during the 2016 NBA playoffs, teams that lost their previous game as a favorite of at least 4 points are 98-69 (58.7 percent) ATS. Also, teams that lost by at least four points as at least 4-point favorites are 79-46 (63.2) ATS. The first number would apply to all three home teams Tuesday while the second would apply to the Celtics and Raptors.

Bad beat

Bettors who wagered under 207 in Sunday’s Bulls-Celtics game suffered a wrenching loss when the teams combined for 17 points in the final 77 seconds to push the total over by one point in Chicago’s 106-102 win.

Parlay payouts

A William Hill baseball bettor turned $30 into $21,630 on Sunday after hitting a nine-team parlay at 721-1 odds at Reno’s Eldorado casino. The bettor had the Marlins (+110), Braves (-130), Pirates (+155), Rockies (+120), Diamondbacks (+175), Tigers (+200), Orioles (even), Royals (-105) and Mariners (even). Kansas City beat the Angels 1-0 on Alcides Escobar’s RBI single in the ninth and Seattle erased a 6-1 deficit in its 8-7 win over the Rangers. Nelson Cruz singled home the winning run to cap a two-run ninth-inning rally.

Another William Hill baseball bettor turned $2 into $1,442 on Wednesday after hitting an eight-team parlay at 720-1 odds at Henderson’s Skyline casino. The bettor took the Athletics and Braves at even money and six underdogs in the Padres (+150), Reds (+160), Cardinals (+180), White Sox (+220), Rangers (+125) and Brewers (+205). Atlanta scored a run each in the eighth and ninth to top the Marlins 5-4.

Heisman odds

Lamar Jackson won the 2016 Heisman Trophy but the Louisville quarterback is the third choice, at 8-1 odds at the Westgate sports book, to repeat as college football’s most outstanding player. Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold is the 5-1 favorite and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield is 7-1.

Follow all of our sports betting coverage online at reviewjournal.com/betting and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0354. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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