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NBA Series Prices: Which Teams Down 0-2 Can Still Come Back and Win?

History is Not Kind

As of Thursday, four of the eight NBA Playoffs series have teams down 0-2. Not all are equal. We have the obvious underdogs in the eight-seed Washington Wizards and seven-seed Boston Celtics, a slight underdog in the six-seed Miami Heat, and a surprising favorite and title contender, the four-seed LA Clippers.

Now the NBA betting odds have all but written most of these teams out. In NBA history, 426 teams have fallen to an 0-2 series deficit. Only 27 of these teams came back to win. That’s only 6.3%, which would be around 15-1 if converted to a betting line. Yikes.

Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat shoots in the first quarter against Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks
Quinn Harris/Getty Images/AFP

But it’s “not over till it’s over” as they say and we size up if any of these four underdogs have a shot at making a comeback beginning with a player who has done it before.

Comeback Odds for Each Team Down 0-2

#4 LA Clippers

  • Odds to win Series: +240
  • Implied Probability: 29.41% 
  • Opponent: Dallas Mavericks (-290)

Being down 2-0 is nothing new to the LA Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard. His Toronto Raptors faced a similar deficit against the Milwaukee Bucks in 2019. They won the next four games and went on to capture the NBA Championship.

Circumstances are a bit different with the Clippers, who lost both of their home games and head to Dallas where they are 1-1. The Clippers have been unable to stop Luka Doncic, who has burned them to the tune of 35 points, nine assists, and 8.5 boards. He’s shooting 60.4% from an effective field goal rate.

Defending Doncic hasn’t been the only issue. LA is getting next to no scoring outside of Leonard and Paul George. G/F Nicolas Batum is their only other double-digit scorer. The rest of the team will have to step up in a big way on both ends or this could be a sweep.

#6 Miami Heat

  • Odds to win Series: +700
  • Implied Probability: 9.09%
  • Opponent: Milwaukee Bucks (-1000)

Speaking of a team that blew a 0-2 lead, Giannis Antetokounmpo and his Milwaukee Bucks are looking different from that team. The additions of G Jrue Holiday and F PJ Tucker have given this team more bite and they can go up 3-0 against Miami.

Jimmy Butler is heralded by the NBA community for his ability to push a team to win, but he’s 0-2 when his teams face an 0-2 series deficit. Miami is getting shredded on defense and that is an issue for a team that’s supposed to be a defensive stalwart.

If Miami is to complete the comeback, it will have to do what the Raptors did in 2019: take Milwaukee’s best punches, wear them out with relentless defense, and beat them in crunch time. That’s a tall task.

#8 Washington Wizards

  • Odds to win Series: +2500
  • Implied Probability: 3.85%
  • Opponent: Philadelphia 76ers (-10000)

The Washington Wizards kept Game 1 close against the Philadelphia 76ers, but the wheels came off in Game 2’s 25-point blowout. The usually potent Wizards’ offense was limited to just 95 points. Bradley Beal scored 33 as the rest of the team could only muster 62 points on 23-of-64 (35.9%) shooting.

Washington also only shot 2-of-22 from deep and 19-of-30 from the line. It was a horrendous performance and more of what we can expect with the Sixers’ second-ranked defense. Even if the Wizards do get hot, the Sixers showed they can still beat them. Washington may win one game, but that will be it.

#7 Boston Celtics

  • Odds to win Series: +2800
  • Implied Probability: 3.45%
  • Opponent: Brooklyn Nets (-20000)

You don’t get to say 28-1 is still too low for the Boston Celtics. But that’s what happens when you’re facing the NBA’s most explosive offense and the title favorites in the Brooklyn Nets. Game 1 saw Boston score just 93 points and Game 2 saw them give up 130 points. Either way, they are getting their butts kicked.

The Celtics were already big underdogs heading to the playoffs thanks to missing Jaylen Brown. But against Brooklyn, they are just woefully overmatched as they can’t hope to contain the “Big Three” plus Joe Harris, who lit them up for seven three-pointers.

If You’re Praying For A Comeback, Pick…

The Miami Heat. Things look bleak given how badly they got blown out in Game 2. But the Bucks also blew Toronto out in Game 2 and we know what happened. Not saying it’s going to happen, but at 7-1, it might be worth a roll of the dice.

Pick: Miami Heat +700

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