Simply out, these are teams that made it to the NFL Super Bowl game but failed to win the trophy.
The one common denominator of these teams is they have struggled, both straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS), the following season.
Thanks to my powerful database, I explored the same school of thought with NBA teams that made it to, but lost, in the Championship series. More specifically, how these have fared in the post season the following year.
The results were interesting, to say the least. Presented below are four situations that warrant attention when it comes to backing defending runner-ups in the playoffs. All results are from 1991 through last season.
Rest can be a killer when opposing teams happen to be the beneficiary, especially for these defending losers.
That’s because these teams are 13-29-1 ATS when playing facing an opponent playing with three or more days of rest, including 5-15-1 ATS when the runner-ups are playing off a SU and ATS win.
TWICE IS ENOUGH
These defending losers don’t like it when they’ve been beat two times in a row.
That’s confirmed by their 17-12 ATS overall mark in games when playing off back-to-back defeats, including 13-5 ATS when they are on their home court.
A DOZEN WILL DO
Defending runner-ups do not like it when they’ve suffered a bad beating, and it shows.
These guys are a highly profitable 19-8-1 ATS in playoff games off a loss of 12 or more points, including 12-4 ATS at home. FYI: they are on a nice 6-0 SU and ATS run in this role the last three years.
WORST IN SHOW
Let a defending loser pull the rug out on an opponent as an underdog and watch their tail stop wagging.
These teams are 10-18-2 ATS off a SU underdog playoff win, including 4-11 ATS at home.
There you have it. A quick look into some of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to ‘playing on’ or ‘playing against’ defending NBA Championship game losers.
Keep a close on the Boston Celtics this season and play accordingly.