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NBA Zigzag Theory: A Winning Betting System


Put your money on the team that lost the last game in a playoff series.

It's not just basketballs that have bounced from one side of the court to the other during the NBA playoffs. It seems that victories have gone back and forth just as frequently.

Game 1 goes West. Game 2 goes East. And game 3? Yep, you guessed it, back West.

This is the premise of the Zigzag theory, and over the last three years, it's made sports bettors a lot of money during the NBA finals.

The NBA Zigzag theory is simple. In a nutshell, it states that you should put your money on the team that lost the last game in a playoff series. So, if the Thunder loses game 1, you'd take them to win game 2. It's that simple.

This betting system is commonly used during the NBA Playoffs since the losing teams tend to make more adjustments than the team that won the previous game.

However, with the 2012 NBA Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat heating up (pun intended), proponents of the Zigzag Theory believe it's worth considering to win big at the Championship.

Some call B.S. on the system. Others swear by it, stating that over the long haul, they've seen a bigger return on their investment by embracing the Zigzag.

Even with its naysayers, variations of the Zigzag theory have been used successfully for betting on the NFL and NHL playoffs; however, the majority of sports bettors who try the system have seen more luck when they use it to improve their basketball betting.

That's been the case at least for the last three years, according to Dave Johnson, head oddsmaker of

"We took a look at the NBA Finals over the last three years to see if the theory during the final series of the playoffs made a difference," stated Johnson. "We used a $100 bet for our units on both the ATS and money line in order to find out which turned a better profit."

You can find the specific results below, but here's the down and dirty:

Over the last three years, the Zigzag theory turned a profit in the NBA Finals, for both ATS and on the money line. A $100 bet on the zigzag has returned 5.6 units or $560 in profit over that time ATS. The money line, although not as profitable, turned a 3.5 unit profit or $350 over that same period.

Editor's note: This article originally appeared on
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