Sports betting handicappers are always looking for an edge when it comes to finding ways to make money. One of their favorite opportunities in the NBA, NHL and MLB is when the playoffs begin. When the postseason hits, they can take advantage of the series bets that are offered at the best betting sites.
The odds for the series are adjusted following every game. That means they don’t even have to pick a winner until after the first game. The fact that you can jump in at any time presents an ideal opportunity to gain an edge.
The key is to figure out which series bets you want to hedge and which ones you want to keep. And always remember to use a hedge calculator to help you with the math. Here is a quick breakdown of how to hedge a playoff series from a betting perspective.
Underdog Gets Ahead
The ideal scenario for handicappers occurs when the underdog wins the opener of a seven-game series. In this situation, the odds for the series can be adjusted to favor the team that was the original underdog now that they have the 1-0 series lead. However, the fact that the original series favorite dropped the opener doesn’t necessarily mean they will lose the series. If they are now available at plus-money, you can be in the ideal situation to make some serious money. Patience is important here. Sports betting handicappers often monitor series lines in order to pounce on opportunities where they feel the team with the best chance to win is marked as the underdog based on an early defeat.
Getting Both Teams At Plus-Money
The fact that this scenario exists doesn’t necessarily mean you have to wait on the sidelines. If you see an underdog you think has an excellent chance to win a series, you can jump on that team before the opening game and make your bet. You are already confident that team will win the series. The intriguing part is that as long as that team wins the opening game, you're in good position to hedge the series.
For example, if you took the Oklahoma City Thunder at +150 to upset the San Antonio Spurs in a best-of-seven series. If the Thunder win the opening game, the series odds could shift to make the Spurs +120 to win the series rather than -180. In this scenario, you can hedge your bet of Oklahoma City at +150. Then you can put some money on San Antonio at +120. Now that you have both teams at plus-money, you are now bound to make a profit on the series. That's regardless of which team emerges as the eventual winner.
Hedging If The Dog Gets Down
The same concept can be applied to betting favorites in a series. Think about placing a bet on the Warriors at -180 to beat the Thunder in a best-of-seven series. And if they win the opening game, you can hedge your bet with a small play on the Thunder at solid odds. Your initial bet would remain Golden State at -180 to win the series. Then you could hedge by betting a small amount with Oklahoma City at +300 to climb back from a 0-1 hole. In these scenarios, the sports betting handicapper is effectively hedging a playoff series to guarantee they make a profit. That is a smart way to do business in the playoffs.