How often does the favorite win in NBA?

How often does the favorite win in NBA

Updated: November 28, 2022

How often does the favorite win in NBA? – When having to choose between the favorite and the underdog, the general betting public usually chooses the favorite – especially if that also happens to be their preferred player or team.

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However, underdogs remain a big part of sports betting culture, and many advanced bettors intentionally pick the underdog to cash in on massive winnings.

Still, the odds of this happening vary greatly from sport to sport, and knowing how likely the favorite is to win is perhaps the most important detail.

How often does the favorite win in NBA?

 In the NBA, the overall winning percentage for favorites is 49.4%, and home favorites cover just 48% of the time. 

As you can see, the ratio is pretty balanced, which means that no matter who you bet on, you technically have equal chances of winning.

However, things are a little more complicated than that, so here are several details to keep in mind before placing your bet at NBA betting sites.

How good is the favorite, and how bad is the underdog?

When trying to predict the outcome of a basketball game, it's not enough to know who the favorite and underdog are and then choose either side.

 You should also consider their performance as a whole, not just compared to one another. 
  • For example, if the Raptors are facing off against the Cavaliers, they’re favorites, and they’re very likely to win because of their game.
  • However, if the Raptors are playing against the Pacers, their victory is no longer a given because the two teams are relatively close.

Is the favorite motivated enough to win?

 A team’s performance can change dramatically after they’ve qualified for the playoff or not. 
In the NBA, it’s quite common for underdogs to play better in the first couple of months after the season starts, but if they don’t make it to the playoffs, they tank because they’re no longer motivated to win.

This goes to show that it’s not enough who the favorite and underdog are, but also the trend in their performance.

What are the most unexpected underdog wins in recent NBA history?

Although the favorites are expected to win, there were plenty of times in the NBA when the underdog took everyone by surprise by making it to the final and even winning the trophy.

Dirk Nowitzki was named the Finals MVP

Dirk Nowitzki was named the 2011 Finals MVP

For example, in 2011, Miami Heat was defeated by the Dallas Mavericks, even though they had the “big three” playing together:

LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade.

In 2004, the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Detroit Pistons, despite having Kobe Bryant in his prime and three other Hall of Famers.

On the other hand, the Pistons had mostly unknown players, and by defeating the Lakers, they forced them to rebuild the team from scratch.

As you can see, betting on the favorite isn’t always a surefire way to win.

You will, 49.4%, of the time, but surprises can always happen.

To increase your winning chances, make sure you stay up to date with each team’s performance and odds because the victory of high-profile teams isn’t always guaranteed.

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