The NBA Finals conclude a two-month-long postseason season following 82 regular-season games. In contrast to the majority of other major American sports leagues, the National Basketball Association is often less prone to unexpected outcomes.
Are you an NBA betting enthusiast? Then you should review our comprehensive NBA Finals betting advice below. Fans of basketball betting are aware that although there are fewer surprises than in other sports, there is a great deal of action at the leading betting sites.
Wagering on the NBA Finals
Similar to the regular season, bookmakers utilize a point spread to forecast the winner and margin of victory for each encounter. Bookmakers also construct an over/under for the total number of points scored by both teams and whether the amount will be higher (over) or lower (under) (under).
For instance, if Golden State is favored by 12 points over Cleveland and a high-scoring game is anticipated, Golden State’s odds would look like this: GS -12.0, 9/4. Cleveland’s chances are as follows: CLE +12.0, 9/4. Golden State would need to win by more than 12 points to cover the spread. To cover the spread, Cleveland must either win or lose by fewer than 12 points.
Moreover, wagers can be placed on outright victories for both individual games and the entire series.
Bookmakers also give the ability to wager on who will be in the lead after each quarter, at halftime, and through three quarters, as well as in-game wagering. In addition, punters will have a variety of prop bet choices.
NBA Finals Prop Bets
During the NBA Finals, there are numerous prop bet choices for both the series and individual games. Also, gamblers can wager on the winner of the Most Valuable Player award.
For instance, some of the team prop bets for the 2018 NBA Finals included whether there would be a buzzer-beating shot, ejection, or suspension. What will be the largest victory margin? Will the game go into overtime? Will there be four, five, six, or seven games in the series?
There are often proposition wagers on the scoring, assists, and/or rebounds of the majority of prominent players, as well as head-to-head wagers between opposing players.
LeBron James’ average triple-double (10 or more points, 10 or more rebounds, and 10 or more assists) and Kevin Durant’s three-point field goal % are intriguing individual prop bets for the 2018 NBA Finals.
While wagering on the length of the series, take in mind that four-game sweeps are uncommon, with only nine occuring in the first 72 NBA Finals, whereas the most common series length has been six games (26 of 72). Five-game and seven-game series occur with nearly the same frequency, about 25% each.
In the United Kingdom, not every bookmaker will cover NBA, therefore it is essential to pick a betting service that covers a wide variety of events.
NBA Finals Wagering Advice
The emergence of so-called “superteams” (groups with three or more players) in the NBA has led to pretty predictable outcomes in the NBA Finals. From 2013 to 2019, the NBA championship has been won by a No. 1 seed or betting favorite in all but two seasons.
2017-18 and 2018-19 were the only seasons in which a No. 1 seed did not win over that era. During the 17-18 regular season, the Warriors overcame injuries and finished as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. They still had a -1/10 chance of defeating the Cavaliers, which they accomplished.
In 18-19, the Toronto Raptors upset the Warriors in six games to capture their first ever NBA Championship. They were the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and a 5/2 underdog into the Finals.
Cleveland (11/8) was the only other underdog to win the championship since 2013 during the 2015-2016 season. This Cavaliers club was also the only team in NBA Finals history to win despite trailing 3 games to 1.
Only seven third seeds, one fourth seed, and one sixth seed have won the championship in 2017-18. Never have five, seven, or eight seeds done so.
Wagering on the NBA Playoffs
Despite the fact that anything may happen in the NBA Playoffs, past tendencies appear to have a significant role in determining outcomes, something to bear in mind while betting on the NBA Playoffs.
The most prominent example of this is the fact that no team that’s lost the first three games of a series has ever come back to win that series.
This has been accomplished in other sports leagues, but never in the NBA, resulting in numerous non-elimination games being designated as “must-win” contests. Only three teams in NBA history have managed to force a seventh game, and it has only happened once in the NBA Finals (1951).
In NBA history, eleven teams have come back from a 3-1 hole, and four of those teams have won the NBA Championship. In 2016, when the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors, this achievement was accomplished for the first time in NBA Finals history.
While this incident is still vivid in the memories of many NBA fans, it is vital to keep in mind that such comebacks are exceedingly unusual and, in most cases, not worth betting on.
Seeding has also had a significant impact in determining and predicting future NBA winners. Since 1947, No. 1 seeds have won 74.3 percent of all championships, or 52 titles.
Only ten second seeds have ever won the NBA Championship, with the 2012 Miami Heat being the most recent. Seven third-place seeds, one fourth-place seed, and one sixth-place seed have accomplished the feat, but no fifth-, sixth-, or eighth-place seeds have ever done so.
The path to the NBA Finals
The NBA Finals conclude a two-month-long playoff season and 82-game regular season and are a betting market favorite around the world.
More than 70 percent of NBA winners have had No. 1 seeds, indicating that they had the best record in their respective conference. Long shots are uncommon in the NBA Finals, let alone winning ones. Yet, the best-of-seven series offers great betting options.
The National Basketball Association is divided into two 15-team conferences, the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference, with 29 American teams and one Canadian team. Each conference’s top eight teams qualify for the playoffs and are seeded from 1 to 8 to create a bracket. Teams in this bracket progress without being reseeded. Hence, in the conference semifinals, the winner of the 1-8 game faces the winner of the 4-5 battle, while the winner of the 2-7 matchup faces the 3-6 winner.
Starting with the 2015-16 season, the NBA began ranking its playoff teams based on their total conference records as opposed to rewarding division champions. Formerly, the division winners received the top three seeding, even if a non-division winner had a better record than one of the division winners.
Every round consists of a best-of-seven series, with the team with the higher record hosting Games 1, 2, 5, and 7. The conference champion with the best record has home-court advantage in the NBA Finals.
Using the “ante post” or futures area of a betting website, you can wager on the NBA season’s outright champion early in the season.