NBA Finals Online Betting – How to Bet the NBA Finals

Eddie Griffin

Written by: Eddie Griffin

Last Updated:

Read Time: 13 minutes

The NBA Finals marks the end of the NBA season, as the champions of the Eastern Conference and Western Conference meet in a best-of-seven series to crown the NBA champion. The NBA Finals typically takes place in late May or June, though the 2021 NBA Finals are tentatively set to begin on July 8 due to the season’s December start.

Here, you will find all of the information that you need to be able to bet on the NBA Finals. That includes online betting guides, bet types, NBA Finals odds information, historical NBA Finals information, and other informative content.

NBA Finals Online Betting

To help determine the best online betting sites for NBA Finals betting, we have tried and reviewed dozens of online sportsbooks. All of the NBA Finals betting sites that we recommend are fully licensed in the USA, making them safe and secure.

Our reviews consider a number of factors, some of which apply to all types of betting and others that apply specifically to NBA Finals betting, NBA betting, or basketball betting. Here is a list of some of the factors we took into consideration when evaluating the best places for NBA Finals betting.

Mobile Compatibility

Mobile betting has become an essential part of the sports betting experience, as the average sports bettor enjoys being able to place and track their bets wherever they are. When it comes to the NBA Finals, you are likely to be in front of the TV, spending time with family or friends, or doing something else that does not involve being in front of a computer. We review the mobile versions of online betting sites to make sure that they are equipped to provide the most satisfying sports betting experience.

Offering mobile betting of some sort is a must now, but merely having mobile betting functionality isn’t enough to make the grade. Sites that have standalone iOs or Android apps get extra credit in our reviews.

Promotions and Bonuses

When making a decision on which online sportsbook to trust with your funds, promotions and bonuses are a factor that many sports bettors consider. Sportsbooks typically provide special promos for events like the NBA Finals, so it is wise to evaluate your options before deciding where to make a deposit.

Offers at our recommended sites can include the following bonuses and promotions, among others:

  • Deposit bonuses
  • Risk-free bets
  • Boosted odds
  • Special odds markets

Live Betting

Along with mobile betting functionality, a quality live betting platform is an important factor for many sports bettors. Live betting provides an extra angle to following the game that you are watching. It also offers the opportunity for sports bettors to hedge or add to bets that they may have placed before the game, based on the outcome to that point. Basketball is one of the main sports to place live bets on, and NBA Finals live betting will be very popular.

With time being of the essence when it comes to live betting, online betting sites and sports betting apps that have a live betting platform that is clean, quick, and easy to understand are going to have an edge.

How to Bet On the NBA Finals

If you partake in NBA betting or basketball betting of any kind throughout the year, you will be familiar with the types of NBA Finals bets there and how to navigate NBA Finals betting. But if you are dabbling in NBA Finals betting for the first time or bet on basketball or other sports infrequently, there might be a lot to wade through.

Here, we list the primary types of NBA Finals bets that are available and provide the basic information that you need to confidently tackle NBA Finals online betting.

NBA Finals Betting Odds and Bet Types

There are many different ways to bet on the NBA Finals, but this page will focus on the main types of NBA Finals bets that the average sports bettor will be interested in.

We break down each of these wager types, describe how to make those bets, and look at some of the other ways to partake in NBA Finals betting.

Game-to-Game Betting

Most NBA championship betting will be done on the spread, moneyline, or total of each NBA Finals game. Here is an example of each type of bet:

Spread Betting: Spread bets are bets placed on one team to achieve a particular outcome. For example, if the Brooklyn Nets are favored to beat the Los Angeles Lakers by four points at home at -110 odds, the spread lines would read:

  • Los Angeles Lakers +4 (-110)
  • Brooklyn Nets -4 (-110)

Backing the Brooklyn Nets’ spread would mean that the Nets would need to win by five or more points in order for the bet to win. Backing the Los Angeles Lakers’ spread would mean that the Lakers would need to lose by no more than three points for the bet to win.

If the Nets win by exactly four points, there would be no winner or loser. All bets would be considered what was known as a “push”, or a no result, and the original stake would be refunded.

A winning $100 spread bet on either outcome at -110 odds would return $90.91 plus the original $100 stake.

Moneyline betting: Moneyline bets are bets placed on one team to win a specific game, half, or quarter.

For example, if the Brooklyn Nets are favored to win at home and the Los Angeles Lakers are considered the underdog, the line could look like this:

  • Los Angeles Lakers +150
  • Brooklyn Nets -200

In this situation, if the Nets win the game, all moneyline bets made on the Nets would win, while all bets on the Lakers would lose.

A winning $100 bet on the Lakers would return $150 plus the original $100 stake, while a winning $100 bet on the Nets would return $50 plus the original $100 stake.

Totals betting: Totals bets are placed on how many points will or will not be scored in a specific time period, whether a quarter, a half, or the full game.

For example, if the total for the Los Angeles Lakers vs Brooklyn Nets NBA Finals game is set at 232 points, here is how the line could look:

  • OVER 232 (-115)
  • UNDER 232 (-105)

If the final score of the game is 119-114, OVER 232 would be a winning bet.

If the final score of the game is 118-113, UNDER 232 would be a winning bet.

If the final score of the game is 118-114, all total bets would be graded as “no result”/a push, and betting stakes would be refunded.

A winning $100 bet on OVER 232 at -115 odds would return $86.96 plus the original $100 stake. A winning $100 bet on UNDER 232 at -105 odds would return $95.24 in addition to the original $100.

Along with offering these types of bets on the outcome of the full game, most reputable online betting sites offer these types of bets on some or all quarters and each half. Being able to make second-half bets can be important when it comes to NBA Finals betting and basketball betting in general. If a full-game bet has been made that does not appear to be working out, a second-half bet can be made that will mitigate losses or even provide a profit. This is called hedging.

Futures Betting

NBA Finals futures betting can be done well in advance of the NBA Finals, or it can be done during the series.

During the season, NBA Finals futures are primarily available in the form of odds to win the NBA Finals, odds to be Eastern Conference champion, and odds to be Western Conference champion.

Here’s an example of what NBA Championship odds might look like at a participating sportsbook:

NBA Finals Example Odds
Booklyn Nets+220
Los Angeles Lakers+350
Los Angeles Clippers+700
Utah Jazz+700
Milwaukee Bucks+750

If a $100 stake in the Los Angeles Lakers to win the NBA championship at +350 odds comes out a winner, there will be a return of $350 in addition to the original $100 stake.

During the NBA Finals, futures bets can be made on the outcome of the series and what the final result of the series will be in regards to the amount of games won on each side.

Prop Betting

Prop betting provides the chance to have more of a stake in the action than just the spread, moneyline, or total.

Props can range from player props, team props, series props, and more. And while there is some element of seriousness to many prop bets, frivolous prop betting is often a part of betting on major sporting events.

Live Betting

As mentioned above, live betting is an exciting way to do some NBA Finals betting while the action is taking place. Online betting sites offer up many kinds of live betting options. That includes the usual spread, moneyline, and total bets, bets on what will occur during a specific moment or time period, team and player props, and much more.

NBA Finals Picks and Previews

With the NBA Finals being a major event on the sports calendar, there are many sites and services that will offer up NBA Finals betting picks. However, it is necessary to distinguish between which services are out to legitimately help sports bettors have success and those that are not. There are many paid services out there, but if you are going to use a paid service, do your research. Beware of those that attempt to lure you with phrases and words like “guaranteed winners” or “locks”.

At Betting News, we have NBA betting matchup pages that provide in-depth betting previews, detailed betting stats, odds from several reputable online betting sites, aggregated picks from top sports betting industry sources, and more for every NBA betting matchup daily. In addition, our writers will be providing a great deal of content to further help your NBA championship betting experience be as stress-free as possible.

NBA Finals Historical Information

When looking at NBA Finals betting odds and deciding what NBA Finals bets to make, historical information can sometimes be a factor if there are any noteworthy trends. Of course, trends must be evaluated with caution due to how different various factors can be from one season or one era to the next.

Still, it is interesting to see what notable NBA championship betting trends pop up. How often do the favorites win? What are some of the biggest NBA Finals upsets? How have the NBA Finals played out in recent seasons? Does a player from the losing team have much of a chance to be NBA Finals MVP?

Let’s take a look at the list of all-time NBA Finals results.

NBA Finals Results
2020Los Angeles Lakers4-2Miami Heat
2019Toronto Raptors4-2Golden State Warriors
2018Golden State Warriors4-0 (sweep)Cleveland Cavaliers
2017Golden State Warriors4-1Cleveland Cavaliers
2016Cleveland Cavaliers4-3Golden State Warriors
2015Golden State Warriors4-2Cleveland Cavaliers
2014San Antonio Spurs4-1Miami Heat
2013Miami Heat4-3San Antonio Spurs
2012Miami Heat4-1Oklahoma City Thunder
2011Dallas Mavericks4-2Miami Heat
2010Los Angeles Lakers4-3Boston Celtics
2009Los Angeles Lakers4-1Orlando Magic
2008Boston Celtics4-2Los Angeles Lakers
2007San Antonio Spurs4-0 (sweep)Cleveland Cavaliers
2006Miami Heat4-2Dallas Mavericks
2005San Antonio Spurs4-3Detroit Pistons
2004Detroit Pistons4-1Los Angeles Lakers
2003San Antonio Spurs4-2New Jersey Nets
2002Los Angeles Lakers4-0 (sweep)New Jersey Nets
2001Los Angeles Lakers4-1Philadelphia 76ers
2000Los Angeles Lakers4-2Indiana Pacers
1999San Antonio Spurs4-1New York Knicks
1998Chicago Bulls4-2Utah Jazz
1997Chicago Bulls4-2Utah Jazz
1996Chicago Bulls4-2Seattle SuperSonics
1995Houston Rockets4-0 (sweep)Orlando Magic
1994Houston Rockets4-3New York Knicks
1993Chicago Bulls4-2Phoenix Suns
1992Chicago Bulls4-2Portland Trail Blazers
1991Chicago Bulls4-1Los Angeles Lakers
1990Detroit Pistons4-1Portland Trail Blazers
1989Detroit Pistons4-0 (sweep)Los Angeles Lakers
1988Los Angeles Lakers4-3Detroit Pistons
1987Los Angeles Lakers4-2Boston Celtics
1986Boston Celtics4-2Houston Rockets
1985Los Angeles Lakers4-2Boston Celtics
1984Boston Celtics4-3Los Angeles Lakers
1983Philadelphia 76ers4-0 (sweep)Los Angeles Lakers
1982Los Angeles Lakers4-2Philadelphia 76ers
1981Boston Celtics4-2Houston Rockets
1980Los Angeles Lakers4-2Philadelphia 76ers
1979Seattle SuperSonics4-1Washington Bullets
1978Washington Bullets4-3Seattle SuperSonics
1977Portland Trail Blazers4-2Philadelphia 76ers
1976Boston Celtics4-2Phoenix Suns
1975Golden State Warriors4-0 (sweep)Washington Bullets
1974Boston Celtics4-3Milwaukee Bucks
1973New York Knicks4-1Los Angeles Lakers
1972Los Angeles Lakers4-1New York Knicks
1971Milwaukee Bucks4-0 (sweep)Baltimore Bullets
1970New York Knicks4-3Los Angeles Lakers
1969Boston Celtics4-3Los Angeles Lakers
1968Boston Celtics4-2Los Angeles Lakers
1967Philadelphia 76ers4-2San Francisco Warriors
1966Boston Celtics4-3Los Angeles Lakers
1965Boston Celtics4-1Los Angeles Lakers
1964Boston Celtics4-1San Francisco Warriors
1963Boston Celtics4-2Los Angeles Lakers
1962Boston Celtics4-3Los Angeles Lakers
1961Boston Celtics4-1St. Louis Hawks
1960Boston Celtics4-3St. Louis Hawks
1959Boston Celtics4-0 (sweep)Minneapolis Lakers
1958St. Louis Hawks4-2Boston Celtics
1957Boston Celtics4-3St. Louis Hawks
1956Philadelphia Warriors4-1Fort Wayne Pistons
1955Syracuse Nationals4-3Fort Wayne Pistons
1954Minneapolis Lakers4-3Syracuse Nationals
1953Minneapolis Lakers4-1New York Knicks
1952Minneapolis Lakers4-3New York Knicks
1951Rochester Royals4-3New York Knicks
1950Minneapolis Lakers4-2Syracuse Nationals
1949Minneapolis Lakers4-2Washington Capitols
1948Baltimore Bullets4-2Philadelphia Warriors
1947Philadelphia Warriors4-1Chicago Stags

Now, let’s take a look at the list of NBA Finals results based on NBA Finals betting odds, dating back to 1985 (Credit:

NBA Finals Winner Odds
SeasonTeamPreseasonAll-Star BreakPlayoffsFinals
2019-2020Los Angeles Lakers+450+265+280-350
2018-2019Toronto Raptors+1850+1100+975+230
2017-2018Golden State Warriors-187-168+137-1075
2016-2017Golden State Warriors-128-160-173-300
2015-2016Cleveland Cavaliers+280+340+475+180
2014-2015Golden State Warriors+2800+425+175-220
2013-2014San Antonio Spurs+1200+900+330-155
2012-2013Miami Heat+225+185-125-220
2011-2012Miami Heat+225+150+200+155
2010-2011Dallas Mavericks+2000+1600+1800+155
2009-2010Los Angeles Lakers+225+225+225-190
2008-2009Los Angeles Lakers+350NA+160-280
2007-2008Boston Celtics+1000NA+180+160
2006-2007San Antonio Spurs+450NA+400-450
2005-2006Miami Heat+350NA+500+130
2004-2005San Antonio Spurs+400NA+250-250
2003-2004Detroit Pistons+1500NA+700+500
2002-2003San Antonio Spurs+1100NA+250-330
2001-2002Los Angeles Lakers+200NA+140-750
2000-2001Los Angeles Lakers+180NA+300-2000
1999-2000Los Angeles Lakers+400NA-125-800
1998-1999San Antonio Spurs+450NA+350-900
1997-1998Chicago Bulls+140NA+140-115
1996-1997Chicago Bulls+100NA-200-600
1995-1996Chicago Bulls+350NA-400-950
1994-1995Houston Rockets+450NA+1800+130
1993-1994Houston Rockets+1200NA+600-220
1992-1993Chicago Bulls+120NA+300-240
1991-1992Chicago Bulls+250NA-200-250
1990-1991Chicago Bulls+700NA+250-200
1989-1990Detroit Pistons+300NA+200-400
1988-1989Detroit Pistons+400NA+160+100
1987-1988Los Angeles Lakers+120NA-167-260
1986-1987Los Angeles Lakers+400NA-250-600
1985-1986Boston Celtics+250NA-167-700
1984-1985Los Angeles Lakers+200NA+120-200
1983-1984Boston CelticsNANA+200-120
1982-1983Philadelphia 76ersNANA+140NA
1981-1982Los Angeles LakersNANA+250-160
1980-1981Boston Celtics+300NA+300-260
1979-1980Los Angeles LakersNANA+200-190
1978-1979Seattle SuperSonicsNANA+300+130
1977-1978Washington BulletsNANA+800+120
1976-1977Portland Trail BlazersNANA+500+140
1975-1976Boston CelticsNANA+200-200
1973-1974Milwaukee BucksNANA+200NA
1972-1973New York KnicksNANA+800+140

Next, let’s take a look at the list of NBA Finals MVP winners. There has been only one NBA Finals MVP from a losing team. NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West was named the 1969 NBA Finals MVP despite the Boston Celtics edging out West and the Los Angeles Lakers four games to three.

NBA Finals MVP Winners
SeasonPlayerOdds (Entering NBA Finals)
2019-2020LeBron James-160
2018-2019Kawhi Leonard+245
2017-2018Kevin Durant-135
2016-2017Kevin Durant+190
2015-2016LeBron James+225
2014-2015Andre Iguodala+12500
2013-2014Kawhi Leonard+1800
2012-2013LeBron James-250
2011-2012LeBron James+130
2010-2011Dirk Nowitzki+160
2009-2010Kobe Bryant-182
2008-2009Kobe Bryant-300
2007-2008Paul Pierce+500
2006-2007Tony Parker+500
2005-2006Dwyane Wade+200
2004-2005Tim Duncan+100
2003-2004Chauncey Billups+1500
2002-2003Tim Duncan-125
1987-1988James Worthy+500

Here’s a look at that data broken down by position:

Finals MVP Winner by Position
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Over the course of NBA history, Finals MVPs have been pretty evenly distributed among positions (Guard-Forward-Center) but if you look more closely at winners, you’ll see that a forward has won the award in 13 consecutive seasons:

  • 2020: LeBron James
  • 2019: Kawhi Leonard
  • 2018: Kevin Durant
  • 2017: Kevin Durant
  • 2016: LeBron James
  • 2015: Andre Iguodala
  • 2014: Kawhi Leonard
  • 2013: LeBron James
  • 2012: LeBron James
  • 2011: Dirk Nowitzki
  • 2010: Kobe Bryant
  • 2009: Kobe Bryant
  • 2008: Paul Pierce

This is a big departure for a league that was long dominated by center and guard play. Before the current run that’s seen a forward win MVP in 13 consecutive Finals, no forward had won the award since 1988, when James Worthy helped the Lakers topple the Pistons in 7 games.

NBA Finals General Information

The NBA Finals is a best-of-seven series that determines the champion of the NBA season, and it pits the Eastern Conference champion against the Western Conference champion.

The winner of the NBA Finals receives the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. It is named after former NBA commissioner Larry O’Brien, who was the league’s commissioner from 1975 to 1984.

To reach the NBA Finals, each participant must win three NBA playoff series in their respective conference: the conference quarterfinals, the conference semifinals, and the conference finals. For the 2021 NBA playoffs, there will be a new playoff format. The teams who finish seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth in each conference in the regular-season NBA standings will take part in a play-in tournament to determine who receives the seventh and eighth playoff seeds in their respective conferences.

Each game of the NBA Finals will take place at the home arena of one of the participants. The team that has the superior regular-season record receives home-court advantage for the NBA Finals, which can be decisive in a seven-game series. The first two games of the NBA Finals are played at the arena of the team with home-court advantage, with the next two games played at the other team’s home arena. The remaining three games, if necessary, will alternate between the arenas. The team with home-court advantage will be at home for the fifth and seventh games, while the other team will be the home team for the sixth game.

Where Can You Watch the NBA Finals?

In the United States, every game of the NBA Finals will be broadcast by ABC. NBA Finals games typically take place at night, regardless of the day of the week.

NBA Finals Betting FAQs

Can I bet on the NBA Finals online?
Yes, NBA Finals betting is available online. There are many legal online sportsbooks that offer NBA Finals betting. Sign up, make a deposit, and place your NBA Finals bets.
Who takes part in the NBA Finals?
The champion of the Eastern Conference and the champion of the Western Conference meet in the NBA Finals. To reach the best-of-seven NBA Finals, the conference champions must win three best-of-seven playoff series within their respective conferences.
What types of bets can I make on the NBA Finals?
There are many options for NBA Finals betting, but the main NBA Finals betting options are game betting, futures betting, and prop betting. NBA Finals game betting includes a variety of types of bets, but the most common game bets are spread, moneyline, and total bets. NBA Finals futures betting involves betting on the outcome of the NBA Finals. NBA Finals prop betting includes game props, player props, team props, series props, and more. NBA Finals live betting is also a very popular feature available at online betting sites that offer NBA championship betting.