NBA Playoffs Odds
Every spring, NBA teams battle it out for the right to be hailed as pro basketball’s best. Are you interested in betting on the NBA playoffs for real money?
This article discusses how to read and understand NBA playoffs odds and explains how play-in tournaments work. We also include the types of bets bettors can make in the NBA to increase their chances of winning.
At MaximBet.com, we’ll help you analyze NBA betting lines. We are a licensed online sportsbook dedicated to giving you the best NBA Championship odds for fun and possibly profitable betting endeavors.
Betting on the NBA Playoffs
Types of Bets Available in the NBA Playoffs
Picking a winner is the most straightforward type of betting in the NBA playoffs. On the moneyline, the favorite team is always represented with a minus (-) sign. In contrast, the underdog team is represented by a positive (+) symbol.
For example, the Brooklyn Nets face the Utah Jazz in the first game of the NBA Finals. The oddsmakers may list the Nets with -250 odds for Game 1.
For a better chance at even money, where you stand to lose or win the same amount of money, you can bet on the point spread.
The point spread is set based on a number that oddsmakers think will encourage action on both sides of the betting line.
Let’s take the first round of last year’s playoff as an example. During Game 4 of the series, the Lakers were expected to blow past the eighth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers.
L.A. (-9.5) would have to win double digits for their backers to cash out. Meanwhile, those bettors who backed the Blazers (+9.5) would receive a payout as long as Portland lost by nine or fewer points.
In the 2020 NBA playoffs, most point spreads were small since there was no home-court advantage. Most spreads were hovering around -1.5 or even a PK (pick’em) line that works like a moneyline.
With last-minute free throws and late buckets, some bettors prefer to bet on the point total or over/under to point spread or moneyline. The point total, the two teams’ combined score, ranges between 205 and 230 points in today’s NBA.
For example, the betting line between the New York Knicks and the Atlanta Hawks is set at 222.5. If the Knicks beat Atlanta, 112-110, the “under” bet is successful.
You may also bet on the prospect of individual players’ performance by betting props.
Prop bets are an excellent way to strategize while betting on the NBA. When a player thrives in a particular matchup, it’s easy to predict the games in which they’ll give their best effort.
For example, the Lakers are playing in Game 7 of the Western Conference. You can bet on LeBron James going “over” 46.5 combined points, assists, and rebounds. If King James posts his usual line of 27 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds, the “over” will cash.
You can also make novel props. Examples include predicting whether a particular NBA player will record a double-double, triple-double, or hit a specific number of three-pointers.
Since each playoff game has a betting line, you can bet on the future outcomes without choosing the team likely to win the NBA championship.
For example, the third-seeded Milwaukee Bucks had -310 odds, beating the Miami Heat at +240 during last year’s first round. The odds changed after each game, with the team leading the playoffs being the clear favorite.
NBA futures are bets made on basketball events that haven’t taken place yet, such as the 2022 NBA Finals. For example, you can bet whether the L.A. Clippers will win the championship.
Let’s say the Clippers have the betting odds of +210. If you were to lay down a hundred dollars on them, you’d get a payout of $310 if they win the coveted title (inclusive of the original bet of $100).
Typically, odds in various legal sports betting sites, like Nevada, New Jersey, and other states, change as the season progresses, so do your research.
Know the history of the team you’re backing and check its stats and individual player’s performance. Also, monitor player movements in NBA free agency and take note of the superstars joining new teams.
Read FAQs to help you gain knowledge about how teams play. More importantly, go only with legit sportsbooks, like Maximbet.com, Fanduel, and Draftkings, that are dedicated to giving bettors the latest NBA odds.
How Play-In Tournaments Work
The NBA and the Player’s Association added a new playoff format during the 2020-2021 NBA season, the play-in tournaments.
With four teams from each conference seeded from seven to ten in the standings, play-in tournaments aim to bring more excitement to the league.
The new format allows the ninth and tenth place teams in the final regular-season standings in each conference to qualify for postseason play. The seventh and eighth seeds play against each other, and the matchup winner will secure the seventh spot in the standings.
Meanwhile, the loser of the seventh and eighth seed matchup competes with the winner of the ninth and tenth seed game. The winner of this crucial matchup will have the number eight spot in the standings.
Let’s look at some examples below to see how play-in tournaments work:
During the 2020-2021 season, the Los Angeles Lakers clinched the seventh seed in the Western Conference by toppling the Golden State Warriors.
In the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics secured the seventh seed by beating the Washington Wizards.
The Wizards’ second play-in game was much better than their first as they thumped the Indiana Pacers to land the eighth spot in the East. Meanwhile, the Warriors went 0-2 in the play-in, losing to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The NBA Board of Governors agreed to extend the play-in tournament through the 2021-2022 NBA season.
Since the play-in tournament keeps more teams in the playoffs, the late-season NBA games are more meaningful. This format may ultimately become permanent.
The NBA Conferences
Betting on the NBA playoffs is fun and potentially profitable at the same time. Below is a list of NBA teams and their respective conferences:
The Eastern Conference
Below are the 15 teams playing for the NBA Eastern Conference:
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Brooklyn Nets
- Milwaukee Bucks
- New York Knicks
- Atlanta Hawks
- Miami Heat
- Boston Celtics
- Washington Wizards
- Indiana Pacers
- Charlotte Hornets
- Chicago Bulls
- Toronto Raptors
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Orlando Magic
- Detroit Pistons
The Western Conference
Below are the 15 teams playing for the NBA Western Conference:
- Utah Jazz
- Phoenix Suns
- Denver Nuggets
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Dallas Mavericks
- Portland Trail Blazers
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Golden State Warriors
- San Antonio Spurs
- New Orleans Pelicans
- Sacramento Kings
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Houston Rockets
Sports betting in major leagues like the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, and even the Olympics is fun. However, it can be addicting, especially if you don’t know how to set some boundaries.
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