Wagering on the second round of the NBA playoffs is all about revealing things that will impact games, then figuring out how to exploit them.

Some situations can seem subtle on the surface, but end up being very significant to the way you bet. As for the NBA playoffs there might not seem to be much of a difference between the first and second rounds, but experienced sports bettors know that the two rounds are really quite different.

In order to maximize your profit here are the differences between the first and second rounds of the NBA playoffs to keep in mind as you handicap:

Nerves are settled

It doesn’t matter if a team has mostly veteran or younger players, when the playoffs start, the stakes are very high and every team is nervous. Title contenders are worried about whether they are good enough to win it all, and fear making a mistake that could possibly get them bounced out early.

Outmatched NBA teams are nervous about being embarrassed, and about their chance at pulling off a big upset. By the time the second round rolls around the confidence levels are much higher. Bettors in the know understand that nerves can have a significant negative impact on a team that you can look to exploit in the first round, but that isn’t typically the case in the second round.

Mismatches are a Rarity

In the first round the difference between the first and eighth second and seventh seeded teams, can be immense and practically insurmountable. It can be the difference between a very good basketball team and a very average one.

Mismatches are very common in the first round of the NBA playoffs, and upsets in these situations aren’t nearly as common as you might expect. By the second round, the four worst teams in each conference have probably gone home, and the NBA teams that are remaining are all talented, and each are probably capable of winning another round.

It’s quite possible to find a major mismatch in the first round of the playoffs. If you think you see a major mismatch in round two, more power to you, but it would be wise to take another look.

Ability to Study Opponents Playoff Effort

During the final weeks of the regular season it can be tough to see a team playing at full intensity.

If a team has a reasonably secure playoff position, they could be saving themselves for the playoffs. Once the playoffs start, you can be certain that every team is playing as hard as they can. Preparing for the first round can be tough because a team has to guess where their opponent is at and what to expect from them.

In the second round, teams have up to date video of their opponent preforming in “playoff mode” and can more easily evaluate what they are up against. That means that there are far fewer surprises in the second round. It also means that coaching staffs that are better at evaluating talent, spotting opportunities and exploiting them are going to be better positioned, especially if those coaches have a few days between series to prepare.

Increased Action

Each passing round in the playoffs means fewer games for bettors to spread their money between. Thus, betting volume on each game increases in the second round.

The higher the betting volume the more sports bettors have to be concerned about public sentiment and the impact that is has on line movements. It’s a very simple concept to understand, but many bettors tend to forget that oddsmakers set the lines to maximize their chances of profiting from the public.

Wear and Tear

By the time the regular season ends players in the NBA are already hurting. Playing 90 games including the preseason is going to leave any team feeling roughed up.

As the second round starts they have played several more games, and they have done so at full intensity. Teams that came into the playoffs with injury concerns are going to be in especially rough shape by the time that the second round rolls around. Adrenaline and the work of the training staff could keep them going, but you need to be even more focused on health as the league playoffs progress.

Players are highly unlikely to miss time unless they absolutely have to, so you will see a lot of walking wounded players. The better you are at spotting and correctly assessing the impact of their injuries, the better off you will be when it comes to handicapping the second round of the NBA playoffs.

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