The NBA Finals is the season finale basketball sports bettors prepare all season for. The top teams from the Eastern Conference and Western Conference face off in a best of seven series, much like each round of the NBA Playoffs that precedes it. It may be tougher to predict who will win the 2021 NBA Finals due to the high calibre of talent on the court, but it makes betting even more exciting.
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NBA Finals odds are offered at all of the top online sports betting sites , offering plenty of options including props and futures alongside your usual NBA betting options. The selection is much more plentiful during the NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals, making it a betting event you don't want to miss.
The NBA Finals usually begins in May and runs until mid-June, but due to the 2020 NBA season being delayed due to COVID-19, the 2020 NBA Finals ended up taking place in October, delaying the start of the 2020-2021 season slightly. The 2021 NBA Playoffs will start May 22, 2021 placing the NBA Finals sometime in July.
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If you're looking to bet on the NBA Finals, the first step to take is to learn how to bet on the popular NBA Finals odds and lines. There will be several different betting options available and plenty of opportunities to bet on NBA odds during the four to seven game series.
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Let's start with the betting type that you will see long before the NBA Finals actually arrives. The NBA Finals futures odds will list each team and their likelihood of winning the NBA championship long before the NBA Playoffs even begin. These bets can be extremely profitable if you can pick the winning team, as the wagers are placed months in advance.
If you're wondering how a NBA Finals futures bet works, you essentially will follow the same guidelines as a moneyline wager, but there are more than two outcomes that could occur, making each outcome drastically more risky. Most futures odds have positive odds (+450), which will quickly show you what you'd win on a $100 wager.
NBA Finals Futures odds are released almost immediately after the previous year's championship. The NBA championship odds usually feature the reigning champion as the most likely team to win again the following year. A $100 wager on virtually any team, even the favoured team will produce a decent payout if you manage to pick a winner.
Usually, even the favoured team will have +200 odds, which would mean you'd walk away with an extra $200 in your pocket at the end of the season on a $100 wager. Betting on a huge long shot, let's say the Chicago Bulls at +50000 to win the NBA title, would generate a game-changing payout if you placed a wager on them and won.
NBA Finals Futures can be highly risky but ultimately produce a huge reward if you are strategic and/or lucky.
|Los Angeles Clippers||+550|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+1000|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+8000|
|New York Knicks||+50000|
Now that the NBA Finals series is here, we can look at how to bet on the actual games and those outcomes during the NBA Finals. The most popular betting option in many sports - not just in the NBA - is the moneyline wager.
The moneyline wager gives you two options: Team 1 or Team 2. Your job is to pick which team you think will win the game. Mind you, this will get tricky by the time you reach the NBA Finals, as the top two teams are competing against each other - they are from different conferences so they didn't play against each other until this series. It can be hard to predict how teams will fare when they’re matched up against another powerhouse team.
There will be moneyline odds on each game in the NBA Finals series, and the odds will not be the same on any two games.
Let's use the 2020 NBA Finals as our example:
In the above example, the Lakers are the favourite to win this NBA Finals game and the Miami Heat are the underdogs. The Lakers negative odds represents how much you would need to wager to win $100, and the Heat's positive odds represents how much you would win on a $100 wager.
You can bet any amount on a moneyline bet, but when reading American odds, this is the easiest way to look at it.
Point spreads can be a great option for betting on the NBA Championship as it allows for a small margin of error compared to moneyline and futures bets. NBA Point spreads will hypothetically level the playing field before the game even begins. If a team is heavily favoured to win the game in the series, the oddsmakers will set a line of a certain number of points, and that team must win by that number of points, or more. The underdog team will have to lose by less than that number of points or win the game.
These NBA odds are displayed in the positive and negative formatting, and usually have half points to negate any pushes which would cancel the wager. If the point spread was 5, and the favoured team won by five points, your bet would cancel, and your money would be returned to you - this is why those odds would be displayed as 5.5.
If the Lakers and Heat were playing with those odds, this is what it would look like:
The Lakers are still favoured to win in this scenario, meaning they will have to win this game by more than six points for a bet on the Lakers to cash. The Heat are the underdogs and can lose the game by less than five points, or win the game entirely, for a Heat bet to cash. These odds will have odds associated with them, most point spreads carry (-110) in odds, some have even odds, and some can be a little riskier.
Another great option when betting on the NBA Finals includes betting the totals. This type of wager can also be referred to as an over/under bet, and is exactly as it sounds: you will need to decide if you think the total number of points scored by both teams is over or under the listed line. You will be combining both team's points totals to create a collective score, and deciding if you think it will be higher or lower.
If the total for the Lakers vs Heat is 222.5, you will need to decide if you think both teams together will score more than 222 points. Again, the half point is added to prevent a push in the case 222 points are actually scored. These are situations where you weigh the team's scoring power and their defensive power and see if you think the teams will give up that many points.
Prop bets (or proposition bets) are side wagers you can place on instances within any given game or event. This type of NBA bet won't have much to do with the final outcome, like the above betting options, but a unique happening in the game that are just meant for fun. These props can be in the form of a moneyline (yes or no question), total (over/under of points a player might score in a game) or future wager (which player might win NBA Finals MVP).
Betting on props can make the NBA Finals more interesting, you can usually find some great odds to spice up your betting slip this June. It's common to lean on prop bets when there aren't many appealing betting types available for a particular game. If you don't feel confident in choosing a winner, or how many points the teams may score, you might want to take a look at props to not waste a perfectly good betting opportunity.
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Betting on the NBA Finals is an exciting time for both the avid NBA fans as well as sports bettors from all walks of life. Regardless if you keep up with basketball, we have shown you that there are plenty of NBA Finals betting options that don't require endless statistical analysis - so you can get in on the money-making action.
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Finding a new online sportsbook to place NBA bets is the next step now that your cup is full of NBA Finals betting knowledge. Choosing a betting site that meets your individual needs is important to us, so we've made sure to have our experts comb some of the top brands in the industry and determine which sportsbooks are worth signing up for.
We have written expert sportsbook reviews and determined the best sites for betting on the NBA Finals, ensuring they have a variety of NBA championship odds and props, applicable payment and withdrawal options, as well as proven safety and security. We even have some great promotional codes and free bets you can use when you sign up.
Check out a few sportsbook reviews, shop around for the best NBA odds and have a little fun with your NBA Finals betting once you find the perfect betting site for you.
The Los Angeles Lakers hold the title as the reigning NBA champion, after playing through the NBA COVID-19 bubble and defeating the Miami Heat in six. The Los Angeles Lakers hold the record for most NBA Finals appearances with 32 and are tied with the Boston Celtics for most NBA Finals victories with 17.
Currently, the Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Charlotte Hornets, Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans are the only teams to have not made appearances in the NBA Finals.
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