The NBA Finals is the name given to the best-of-seven series that crowns the champion at the end of each NBA season. There have been several different names of the championship series, but the NBA settled on the NBA Finals name in 1986.
The Larry O’Brien Trophy is given to the NBA Champion each season since the 1983 season. Basketball is gaining in popularity globally, and the NBA is quickly becoming one of the most popular sports leagues in the world. The excitement on the court is ultra-competitive, and betting on the NBA is becoming increasingly popular.
The Boston Celtics hold the record for most NBA Championships in league history, winning the title 17 times. The Lakers aren’t far behind in total championships, but they also hold the record with a whopping 31 appearances in the NBA Finals since the league began.
A total of 19 different NBA franchises have won the league title, and the Eastern Conference has been better than the Western Conference. Teams from the East have racked up 38 titles to just 32 from the West.
Ways to Bet on the NBA Finals
The NBA Finals offer several unique ways to bet on basketball while still giving the opportunity to bet on each individual game. Let’s take a look at the unique ways to bet on the NBA Finals as well as explaining the different ways to bet on the games themselves.
Futures Betting: One of the ways to bet on the NBA Finals can actually be done anytime during the NBA regular season and playoffs. A bettor can place a futures bet on who will be crowned the NBA Champion in June and the odds will be continuously updated throughout the season. Obviously, the earlier a bet is made the bigger the reward will be, but it is hard to predict what will happen a few months down the road. Currently the Golden State Warriors are the favorites at -190 while the Toronto Raptors come in next at +650.
Prop Betting: Another unique feature of betting on the NBA Finals deals with prop betting. A prop bet is a bet placed on something other than the final score itself, and they can be really fun and interesting. Most sportsbooks will have live prop betting options available so you can make bets during the game. Here are a few examples of a potential prop bet:
Which team will score 10 points first:
- Cleveland Cavaliers -145
- Golden State Warriors +160
- Stephen Curry Rebounds+Assists O/U 16.5 Over -110 Under -110
Each Game Betting: You can also bet on each game of the NBA Finals series, and these bets work just like they would for any other NBA Game. The three most popular type of bets are explained in detail below.
Moneyline: Betting on the moneyline is the easiest bet to understand. With this type of betting, you are simply picking the winner of a particular game. Here is an example:
- NBA Finals Game 1: Golden State Warriors -140 Cleveland Cavaliers +120
The Warriors are the favorite in this situation, and a $140 bet would win you $100 if the Warriors were victorious. But, a $100 bet on the Cleveland Cavaliers would win you $120 if the underdog won the game.
Point Spread: Another common type of bet that is placed on NBA Games deals with the point spread. A sportsbook will set a line, and then you will choose which team will win the game in relation to the point spread. Here is an example:
- Golden State Warriors -3.5 -110
- Cleveland Cavaliers +3.5 -110
If you think that the Warriors will win the game by at least 4 points then you will place a bet on Golden State. The Cavaliers can either win the game, or loss by three or less points to make you the winner of that bet.
Over/Under: An over/under bet deals with the combined total of points between both teams. For example, a sportsbook might set the over/under at 227.5 points, giving you the opportunity to pick if the final score will be more than 227.5 or less than that.
Tips For Choosing a Sportsbook to bet on the NBA Finals
Before you even start to think about placing bets, the first thing you need to do is find the right sportsbook. New sportsbooks are popping up all of the time, but not all of them are equal. If you don’t have any idea of what to look for in a sportsbook, take a look at the list below and try to find them while searching.
Customer Service Availability: People don’t always think about this when choosing a sportsbook, but it’s something that can cause you a ton of problems if you need help. Some sportsbooks have much better customer service, and you can find out which ones are the best on our sportsbooks reviews page.
Cheaper Lines: Finding a sportsbook that offers cheaper lines can be a hassle, but it can be well worth your time. A cheaper line can save you up to 5% per bet, which can add up really quickly if you are someone who plans on placing a lot of bets. An example of this is a sportsbook that offers lines at -105 as opposed to -110.
Live Betting: Live betting is becoming much more popular with online sportsbooks, and it can make betting on the NBA Finals a lot more exciting. To go along with finding a sportsbook that offers live betting, try to find one that has a mobile app available as well. Pulling out your phone to place a live bet is a lot easier than trying to find a laptop or desktop computer to bet on.
Reload Bonuses: Initially, you want to find a sportsbook that offers a great deposit bonus, but finding one that offers reload bonuses is important too. Sportsbooks want to keep your business, and the best ones will offer you different types of bonuses to keep you coming back with your money. A common type of a reload bonus is a “free bet,” which could be beneficial if you hit on the free opportunity. Check our reviews page to find the most generous sportsbooks in terms of bonuses and free bets.
NBA Finals Betting Strategies and Tips
As the NBA continues to grow in popularity, betting on the game itself is also becoming more common with sports bettors. Betting on any sport can be a tricky task, but the NBA seems to be one of the sports with a more clear outcome.
Making a “Futures” bet is a good way to win a good chunk of money, as long as a team other than the favorite wins the Championship. It is always tempting to bet on the dominating team of the season, but placing a bet on the NBA Finals favorite to win isn’t a profitable thing to do generally because of the way odds are set by bookmakers. Try to find a dark horse candidate to win the Finals. If there are some outsiders which are growing in power, the value bet might be there.
The best way to bet on the NBA Finals however is to focus on betting on each individual game of the NBA Finals. And in each game, the best way to win some money is by betting on the point spread, and also taking a peak at the over/under. Usually, if you have a good feeling about the point spread then that can help you make a decision regarding the over/under.
If you are a fan of prop betting then go ahead and make a few small prop bets, but the best way to make money is on each game itself. The NBA Finals are always super exciting, and winning money on the game can make it even better. Good luck on some bets and enjoy the world’s best basketball!