Exclusive NBA Playoff Game Odds; Sunday Recaps

Good NBA teams play 82 games to get home court advantage, because the home team wins 61.2 percent of NBA games. The Miami Heat had an 87.6 percent of winning at home against the Bucks, and have a 49.97 percent of sweeping the series, while the Spurs and Nuggets had the second best chance at 85.2 percent. But the chances of all eight home teams winning Game 1 this weekend was only 8.2 percent - and they did it for the first time in nine years. All of the odds and recaps of the four games today are below.

To determine the chance of a team winning, take their plus-minus at home (Heat plus 29.1 percent) minus the away team's plus-minus on the road (plus 2.7 percent for the Bucks, for winning 41.5 percent on the road), plus the 61.2 percent average to calculate that the Heat has an 87.6 percent chance of a home win over the Bucks. The Nuggets are a slightly better home team than the Heat (plus 31.5 percent), but their opponent Golden State is a bit better road team than the Heat's opponent (plus 7.5 percent), so the Nuggets have a slightly lower chance of winning a home game in than series than the Heat. The chances of all eight home favorites are shown here:

Home Chance Home Games 1-2 Home+-61.2% Away Away+-38.8% Conf Seed
87.6% Miami 29.1% Milwaukee 2.7% East 1
85.2% San Antonio 24.2% L.A. Lakers 0.2% West 2
85.2% Denver 31.5% Golden State 7.5% West 3
82.7% Oklahoma City 21.7% Houston 0.2% West 1
80.3% New York 14.4% Boston -4.7% East 2
65.6% Indiana 12.0% Atlanta 7.5% East 3
58.3% L.A. Clippers 16.9% Memphis 19.7% West 4
51.0% Brooklyn 2.2% Chicago 12.4% East 4
8.2% All 8 Win        

Click on the game score for each of the four NBA playoff games Sunday to get the AP story on that game:

Thunder 120, Rockets 91
Heat 110, Bucks 87
Spurs 91, Lakers 79
Pacers 107, Hawks 90

Five of the eight lower seeds will be favored when the series switch to their arenas beginning in game three. While Memphis is the best home team of the lower seeds (plus 16.9), the Clippers almost cancel that out as one of the best road teams in the league (plus 19.7 percent), which means the Golden State Warriors actually have the best chance of a home win in Game 3 since the Nuggets are the worst road team of any of the 1 through 4 seeds in either conference. 

Two caveats when applying these formulas - this is a slightly simplified version as there is a slight curve if using precise calculations.  For example, if the home team won 90 percent at home and the visiting team only won 10 percent of their road games, this formula would show a better than 100 percent chance of a home win. Also, this formula does not account for injuries or a team getting hotter or colder at the end of the year. Obviously, the L.A. Lakers without Kobe Bryant would be expected to have less than a 53.4 percent chance of beating the Spurs in Game 3 and on the table above the Brooklyn Nets actually had better than the 51 percent chance shown since the Bulls were missing key players to injury. However, the tool is very accurate as long as those common sense adjustments are made.

Home Chance Home Game 3 Home+-61.2% Away Away+-38.8% Conf  
60.8% Golden State 7.1% Denver 7.5% West 6
58.3% Memphis 16.9% L.A. Clippers 19.7% West 5
53.4% L.A. Lakers 9.5% San Antonio 17.3% West 7
52.3% Atlanta -0.2% Indiana 8.7% East 6
50.2% Boston 6.3% New York 17.3% East 7
46.1% Houston 9.5% Oklahoma City 24.6% West 8
41.3% Chicago -2.7% Brooklyn 17.3% East 5
19.3% Milwaukee -10.0% Miami 31.9% East 8
49.97% Heat Sweep 4        

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