NBA Playoffs Betting Tips, Strategies & Trends to Consider

Date IconLast Updated: 28 Sep 2022
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NBA Playoffs Betting Tips, Strategies & Trends to Consider

Betting on the NBA during the regular season can be a lot of fun, but the real excitement starts when the NBA playoffs tip-off.

With more teams in the mix than usual, basketball punters have never had so many potential wagering opportunities to choose from. There’s no time like the present for punters to visit the best basketball betting sites and experiment with a new NBA playoff betting system. But before you put your NBA playoff strategy to the test, you need to know that the tournament format is a lot different from the traditional setup.

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NBA Betting Trends

General NBA Betting Advice

20 Teams To Think About Instead of 16

The biggest difference is that 20 teams qualify for the post-season which is four more than we normally see. The first round of the tournament is a play-in. With the first to sixth placed teams in each conference having secured their playoff berths, the seventh to tenth place teams will battle it out in a single-knockout play-in for the final two spots.

The seventh-placed team will go up against the eighth-placed team whilst the ninth and tenth-placed teams face off. The losers will be sent packing whilst the winners will face each other to decide their playoff-round seedings. The winner of that match will play the conference’s number one seed whilst the loser will face the second seed.

Confused? Don’t worry. Once the play-in round is over with, things will resume in the traditional manner with a nice and square 16-team format.

NBA Playoff Brackets

The first round of the NBA playoffs will have the first-place team in both conferences going up against the loser of the play-in finals. The second-placed team will face the winner of the play-ins. Then you’ll have the third-placed team taking on the sixth-placed team whilst the fourth-placed team matches up against the fifth-placed team. In the next round, the highest remaining seed will play the lowest remaining seed and the middle seeds will clash.

This will bring us to the Conference Finals where the top remaining seed will hold the home-court advantage. Then it will all come down to two teams who will battle it out for the big prize. The team with the best regular-season record will host the opener and have the home-court advantage. If the teams have the same record, it then comes down to the team who won the regular-season series between the two.

NBA Playoff Betting Trends to Consider

If you are thinking about trying out a new NBA playoff betting system, you might want to think about a few promising NBA playoff betting trends that have emerged over the past few years. Even though it’s not a great idea to wager based only on trends, some of these look very solid.

NBA Playoff Betting Trends to Consider

Between 2008 and 2017, excluding game sevens in which both teams can close out, favourites were 118-58 straight up (SU) and 98-77 against the spread (ATS) when given the chance to move on to the next round.

If you look deeper into those 176 non-game seven matches, you’ll find some more intriguing betting trends. Road favourites looking to end a series went 39-13 SU and a stunning 36-16 ATS. This shatters the myth of home dogs being a good bet in the playoffs. At least over the past decade or so. On the flip side, home favourites trying to clinch a series win went a lop-sided 53-14 SU. However, they were only 35-32 ATS.

Back Home Favourites in Games 1, 5, and 7

In a seven-game series, the first, fifth, and seventh matches are the most important ones to win. Winning game 1 gets a team out of the gate with an early lead. In a game 5, the series will either be 3-1 or tied at two apiece. Of course, it’s winner-take-all in game 7. Between 2008 and 2017, home favourites were very profitable in game 5s when the series was tied at two games each. They were an astonishing 45-10 SU and a money-making 34-21 ATS.

Home favourites weren’t too bad in series openers either. They compiled a record of 89-34 SU and 71-52 ATS. As for home favourites in those do-or-die game 7s? Well, they went 25-8 SU and 19-14 ATS.

What should all of this tell you? If you want to make favourites a part of your NBA playoff betting system, you might want to think about betting on them in games 1, 5, and 7, especially when they are at home, and especially when they are in a closeout situation.

NBA Playoffs Betting Tips

The NBA playoffs are an exciting time for basketball punters. They will have plenty of live and pre-match betting options to choose from as well as a nice selection of futures and other propositions. This leads us to one of the most important betting tips for NBA playoff of all.

Don’t get too crazy!

The urge to take on more gambling action is hard to resist when you have so many things to bet on. Between the pre-match and in-play betting opportunities, it’s easy to go overboard. If you are making pre-game wagers, try to narrow your focus. That will increase your chances of making level-headed bets and a profit. If you want to place live wagers, anticipate certain scenarios and pounce on them only if they present themselves. And whatever you do, don’t bet more than you can afford to lose.

Do Your Homework

You could flip a coin, throw a dart, or read tea leaves to help you pick a winning bet. But that isn’t a sound NBA playoff betting strategy. If you want to give yourself the best chance of making an informed bet that wins, you need to study each game closely. There are so many different angles to look at that we couldn’t possibly list them all here. You need to study the individual players, head-to-head histories, offences, defences, team strategies, and on and on.

You might not come to a conclusion as to which team will cover the spread or if the game will go over or under the posted total, but you may pick up on something else. Perhaps you’ll notice that a certain player does particularly well against a certain team. You won’t have a tough time finding a prop bet to match your discovery.

Don’t be Afraid to Bet on Underdogs

Even though you may have an NBA playoff betting system that revolves around favourites, you shouldn’t shy away from pulling the trigger on an underdog if you’ve done your homework and feel that it’s the right pick. Underdogs come through sometimes and they can be quite profitable.

Take Full Advantage of Sportsbook Bonuses and Promotions

Taking advantage of bonuses and participating in promotions should be a part of any punter’s wagering strategy. There are countless reputable bookmakers that offer a variety of incentives such as free bets, risk-free bets, boosted odds, cashback, and bonus cash. Even though a A$5 free bet may seem like small potatoes, claiming a bunch of them can turn those bland spuds into a prime rib feast with all the trimmings. You may even be lucky enough to find a no-deposit bonus. Claiming bonuses can be the difference between losing money and turning a profit.

Bet at a Site that Offers Live Streaming

Live betting has exploded in popularity over the past number of years. Not only is it very exciting, but it also creates unique and potentially profitable betting opportunities. If you want to give yourself the best chance to find success in live bet situations, following the action in real-time on a live stream is immensely helpful. You can get a better feel for the match’s flow, a team’s form, and a better overall sense of what’s going on. Many bookmakers offer live streaming products that provide punters with informative insight related to betting. Live betting and live streams go hand-in-hand.

Keep a Level Head and Keep it Fun

You’ll win some, and you’ll lose some. The important thing about betting on NBA playoffs or any other sport is that you have fun doing it. Remember that betting should be merely seen as a form of entertainment. Sure, you should relish your victories, but you should also be able to shrug off a loss. Don’t go on tilt and start chasing your losses.


The cash out feature has become a standard fixture at the world’s top bookmakers. Simply put, this allows punters to close their bets before the end of a match. Like most other gambling-related things, there are pros and cons to using cas hout. If your team is winning, but they look like they are about to collapse, using the cash out feature will ensure your bet wins. You might not make quite as much profit, but it’s guaranteed cash.

Alternatively, if the team you bet on is losing, and things keep getting worse, you can use the cash out feature to at least get a portion of your stake back. It probably won’t be much, but it’s better than nothing.

Get the Best Odds

Why would you risk A$10 to win A$9 when you could wager that same A$10 on the same bet to win A$9.50? Whilst the difference doesn’t seem like much, it can really add up over time. Shopping around for the best odds is an essential part of any successful NBA playoff betting system. Doing so will ensure you win more money when you win your bets whilst minimizing your losses when things don’t go your way. Be sure to take advantage of odds boost promotions too.

NBA Punters are in for a Wild Ride

The start of the NBA playoffs is a great time for basketball punters to test their NBA playoff betting strategies. It also presents a prime opportunity to try new online bookmakers and get in on some wonderful welcome bonuses, reload bonuses, and ongoing promotions. With incentives like free bets and risk-free bets, putting your wagering innovations into practice won’t cost you anything if you fail. Bonus cash, enhanced odds, acca insurance, and cashback offer also go a long way toward making your NBA playoff punting more profitable.

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