The NBA lasts for 1,230 regular-season games and 76 playoff games, but it would seem that the NBA Finals has become its own season. In the era of super teams, free agents are more concerned with winning a chip than they are with cashing big contracts. And for this reason, we are seeing some of the most talented teams ever play in this final series of the playoffs.
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The NBA finals presents some unique betting opportunities for sports fans, as every factor is heightened dramatically. The point spreads will be tighter, and the home-court advantage is even more important. Injuries hit teams harder, and moneyline’s feel a pinch too. These are the biggest games of the year, and they will see the most action in the sportsbooks, with moving lines and changing odds all the way up to tip-off. Needless to say, it’s an exciting time of year for everyone.
It’s not just the individual matches that hold chances for punters to maximize their best in the finals either, as the punter can lay their stake on the outright winner market. This selection opens up at the end of the previous season, but the odds can change drastically throughout the regular season. Punters will need to do their best to then find the optimal time to place their wager to get the best possible returns. That remains the most popular betting option for punters, but there isn’t much value for it when we get to the final two.
How to Bet on NBA Finals
The selection of betting markets available to punters may feel overwhelming for the NBA Finals themselves, but there are multiple ways in which maximum returns can be achieved. There are unique betting markets just for this series, while many of the individual betting options from the regular season also remain. Here are some of the betting markets you can expect to bet on.
The most popular way of betting for those just learning how to bet on the NBA finals is in the outright market. Here, the punter will just need to select the side that they believe will win the competition. As we have mentioned, the prices on the teams change as the season goes on, so it is important to keep an eye on these and ensure that you seize the opportunity when it arises.
There are a few reasons why prices may change. Teams may shorten in price because of their solid form heading into the playoffs and the lack of injuries that the squad has. This was the case for the Toronto Raptors last season as they began the season as a 20/1 chance before being shortened to 10/1 as the playoffs started. The momentum is crucial when entering the post-season, and any side that is hopeful of winning the playoffs will need to have momentum on their side.
Team’s prices can drop if they have gone through a poor run of form and are losing star players to injuries. The severity of these injuries will be the crucial aspect that the sportsbooks will take into account. If a star man is out for the rest of the season, then the chances are that their price to win the championship would be significantly higher than it previously would have been.
Best Time to Bet on NBA Finals
One of the crucial aspects that punters learning how to bet on the NBA finals must understand is that timing is everything. They will need to keep an eye on the markets throughout the season, as there will always be one chance to get the best possible value. This could be after a couple of defeats, or right at the beginning of the campaign. Either way, punters should monitor this.
If you want to win the most amount possible in your returns, then this will be the best way to do so. This also means that punters should keep an eye on the latest news and ensure that they don’t bet on a side that have high odds purely because they do. They must examine why the side has high odds. Is it because they are out of playoff contention, or maybe they have an injury to their leading points scorer? Both of these aspects must have the correct outcome before the punter thinks about placing their best, no matter how good the odds may be.
At the beginning of the season is the best time to get the maximum odds as all sides will start the season on zero points. If you have stayed up to date with the trade news and pre-season fixtures, then this could present an ideal chance to maximize returns on your bet before the season even starts. However, teams that start the season as the outright favorites may be best for punters to wait a while as they will drift at some point during the season. Should the research be comprehensive, then punters will be able to find the best time to place their NBA finals bet.
When it comes to the best of seven series, there a few choices for punters to bet on. Each could present value, but more extensive research will need to be done before placing the most exact bet type. These are the two most popular ways to bet on the series outcome in betting.
This one is a very similar betting option to the outright market. Once the conference finals have ended, and the NBA Championship final has been set, then punters can wager their money on the series winner.
The bet is a simple win or lose depending on how the finals go. Should a punter put their money on the La Lakers to win the series in the final against the Milwaukee Bucks, then they will need to come out on top in the best of seven series for the bet to be a winner. If they don’t, then the stake is lost.
Exact NBA Finals Result
One of the more lucrative ways of betting on the finals is by correctly guessing the amount of games that it will take for one team to win the championship. Since it is a best of seven series, the minimum amount of games that will be played in four. But it is extremely rare that a team at the highest level is able to whitewash their opponent in the finals.
Punters can guess how many games each side will win during the finals. For instance, you could bet on the LA Clippers beating the Boston Celtics in six games. The only way that you will be able to win this type of bet is if both of those aspects are correct. If the Celtics win, then the bet is already lost, while if the Clippers win in four, five, or seven games, then the stake is also lost. It is the most profitable way to bet on the series in the finals should the punter have done the correct research.
How to Bet on NBA Finals- Individual Matches
If you’re a seasoned gambler on the basketball, then you would already know the basics on how to bet on the NBA finals. The regular season markets for each game are the same in the finals, but the prices are a lot tighter than you might be used to. These are some of the most popular ways to place individual match bets on the NBA finals.
The most common way to bet on the basketball in the NBA finals is once again on the spread. It is the most common way to bet on any basketball match, but in the finals, it isn’t nearly as lucrative since the two sides match up fairly well. The sportsbook will set a handicap on the favored side in the finals and will give them a head start in terms of points.
For instance, the Denver Nuggets may begin their clash with the Miami Heat with a -4.5 handicap. If you were to bet on the Nuggets to win on this market, they would need to win by at least five points for the bet to be a winner. If they don’t, then the stake is lost.
A good betting market for those that want to bet on the NBA Finals without having to pick the winner of the game would be the over/under market. Punters will be set a benchmark by the sportsbook, and they will have to predict whether it will be more or fewer points than the total set by the sportsbook. These are normally given in half totals, so it is easier to win or lose.
For example, the bookmaker may set a total of 221.5. Punters would then have to put their stake on over or under depending on whether they believe there will be more points than that in total scored by both sides in that individual match. If there is a total of 222 or above and the punter has bet on over, then the bet will be a winner. However, if they have bet over and there was a total of 221 or less, then the stake would be lost.
The most straightforward way to put on a wager for the NBA finals is by simply putting a stake on the side that will score the most points in the match, and would, therefore, be the winners. The odds in this market aren’t as good as you will find in the spread, but the bet will be a winner regardless of the difference in points between the two. As long as the team that you have stacked your money on wins, then the bet is a winner.
Winning Margin Betting
Another good market to maximize returns is the margin betting market. After picking a side that the punter wants to bet on, they must then correctly guess how much the winning margin will be between the sides. The difference in points with most sportsbooks will go up in threes. For instance, you can bet on one of the sides winning by between 1-3,4-6 and 7-9. You can also choose to wager on the desired side to win by more than 21 points, but that is incredibly unlikely in the NBA finals since both sides will be evenly matched.
The research will be important for this betting market, as there could be signs in the previous meetings that this could be a possibility. Injuries could also play a crucial role in this as a team with lots of injuries could be blown away by the opposing side.
Will the Match Go to Overtime?
One of the more unique betting markets is the ability to predict whether the match will go into overtime or not. This betting market is typically a lot tighter in terms of odds than it would be in the regular season as both of the sides will be of high quality. Punters will simply have to put their money on either yes or no, depending on whether they think it will go into overtime. If a punter puts their stake on yes, then the match must go to overtime for it to be a winner.
Like the over/under market, this is also a popular choice should the punter not want to put their money on one specific team winning as the winning side doesn’t determine whether the bet is a winner or a loser.
Tips When Betting on NBA Finals
Like many other sports, punters will be looking for guaranteed wins. However, that is almost impossible with the NBA finals, and instead, punters should do as comprehensive research as possible to ensure that they have the best possible chance at winning their bet. There are more important aspects than others for punters to consider, and here’s what you should definitely be looking at before making your bet.
- Head to Head- The record in the recent fixtures should be the first port of call for punters, and this could give an immediate chance to one of the sides. Should a team have won their last five against their final’s opponent, then they should be a safe pick to continue that trend. However, if they have just won the previous meeting, then you should examine this further before making your bet.
- Home vs. Away- When it gets to the NBA finals, home form is particularly important. These are the games that you can’t afford to lose, and one away win could change the entire complexity of the final’s series. The side with the better regular-season record will have the advantage of finishing the series at home, and that could prove to be a crucial advantage.
- Trends- One of the most critical factors that punters should be on the lookout for are trends. This could be potential gold dust for punters. Should the last three NBA finals have been won by the Western Conference side, then this should be taken as a trend. Also, if one player has won the NBA finals with another team the season prior, this could also be an essential aspect. These trends will need to be examined further before punters bet on a team, but they could offer up an exciting betting route.
- Form- We have continually said throughout this article that one of the most important aspects to consider when betting on the NBA finals is form. Momentum is crucially for the NBA off-season, and teams that come into this stage of the campaign with a run of wins behind them always have the best possible chance of excelling when they get to the finals.
Past NBA Finals Since 2000
|Year||Winning Team||Losing Team||Result|
|2000||Los Angeles Lakers||Indiana Pacers||4-2|
|2001||Los Angeles Lakers||Philadelphia 76ers||4-1|
|2002||Los Angeles Lakers||New Jersey Nets||4-0|
|2003||San Antonio Spurs||New Jersey Nets||4-2|
|2004||Detroit Pistons||Los Angeles Lakers||4-1|
|2005||San Antonio Spurs||Detroit Piston||4-3|
|2006||Miami Heat||Dallas Mavericks||4-2|
|2007||San Antonio Spurs||Cleveland Cavaliers||4-0|
|2008||Boston Celtics||Los Angeles Lakers||4-2|
|2009||Los Angeles Lakers||Orlando Magic||4-1|
|2010||Los Angeles Lakers||Boston Celtics||4-3|
|2011||Dallas Mavericks||Miami Heat||4-2|
|2012||Miami Heat||Oklahoma City Thunder||4-1|
|2013||Miami Heat||San Antonio Spurs||4-3|
|2014||San Antonio Spurs||Miami Heat||4-1|
|2015||Golden State Warriors||Cleveland Cavaliers||4-2|
|2016||Cleveland Cavaliers||Golden State Warriors||4-3|
|2017||Golden State Warriors||Cleveland Cavaliers||4-1|
|2018||Golden State Warriors||Cleveland Cavaliers||4-0|
|2019||Toronto Raptors||Golden State Warriors||4-2|
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