FanPost

History: Odds Still Favor Suns Over Blazers in Series

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The Blazers victory over the Suns in game 1 on the road was fantastic.  No team deserves a series win more than the Blazers, given that all the challenges the team has faced -- and met -- this season.  This win greatly increases the chances that we win the series. And I think – and fervently hope – that we will prevail.  But we by no means have a commanding lead.

 

We've heard the “winner of the first game wins the series 79% of the time” over the past few days. However, history shows that the Blazers still face an uphill battle, despite seizing home court advantage. I researched all first round matchups where the underdog won the first game on the road since 2003, when the NBA went to the 7 game first round format.

 

There have been 16 first game upsets over this time period. The lower seed has gone on to win 7 and lose 9 of these series, for a series winning percentage of 44%. So you could say that the “underdog winner of the first game of a seven game first round series goes on to win the series 44% of the time.”

 

There is a noticeable split between the 5th-6th seeds and the 7th-8th seeds. The former have a series record of 6-4 (60%), while the latter have a series record of 1-5 (17%).  So you could say that the “7th-8th seed winner of the first game of a seven game first round series goes on to win 17% of the time.”

 

To summarize, eight years of NBA playoff first round history shows us that:

 

79% of first game winners go on to win the series

44% of underdog first game winners go on to win series

17% of 7th-8th seed first game winners go on to win series.

 

This is sobering, and presents a far different picture than the 79% "commanding lead" number. Our winning the series is by no means a “lock” as this percentage would indicate. Far from it, according to history. The Blazers still have either slightly less than fifty-fifty odds (44%), or quite long odds (17%) of advancing.

 

Despite these odds, I believe that the Blazers will prevail. But we are facing a strong headwind, and we'll have to play our best to win, especially since we are playing without our All-Star. If any team can do it, this Blazers team can.

 

GO BLAZERS!!!

 

PS - It is with mixed emotions that I post this somewhat downer info at this time of great elation.  But I think it is important to more fully understand the odds of the situation, and how special our victory will be!

 

 

 

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