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How to Bet on the NBA Finals

• Basketball
• Betting
• NBA
• Sports Betting

Betting on the NBA Finals

If you’re at all serious about betting on basketball then you’ll need to know how to bet on the NBA Finals. This is a best-of seven series and the culmination of the NBA season, where the two best teams in the league go head-to-head. As you’d expect, the NBA Finals bring plenty of betting opportunities to basketball bettors and fans.

In this article we will tell you what kinds of bets are available and how they work. Betting on the NBA Finals is similar to betting on the NBA regular season in many ways, but there are also some unique betting opportunities that are worth looking into.

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NBA Finals Betting

There are a number of ways to bet on the NBA Finals, including many that you may be used to from betting on regular season games. We will explain how to bet on each game as well as how to take advantage of the various other opportunities that are available. 

Since the NBA Finals come around just once a year, it would be wise to make the most of them, and this article will show you how. 

NBA Finals Prop Bets

Prop betting started with the Super Bowl, but it has now spilled over into other sports as well. Sportsbooks will offer plenty of NBA Finals prop bets, and these bets are on things other than the final score or winner of a game. 

Here are a few examples of NBA Finals prop bets:

  1. Color of Gatorade dumped on winning coach.
  2. How many technicals will be given.
  3. Who will make the most three-point field goals.
  4. How long the National Anthem will be (any game).

As you can see, there is plenty of humour to be found in NBA Finals prop betting markets. Adding one or two modest 'fun wagers' alongside your more serious bets can increase your enjoyment of the series as a whole.

NBA Finals Over/Under

NBA Over/Under bets are normally concerned with the total number of points that will be scored in an NBA game. That said, an NBA Finals Over/Under market works a little bit differently. In this case, the focus is on the total number of games that an NBA Finals series will go to. 

Let’s use the 2019 matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors to explain this bet:

Warriors to Win in...Raptors to Win in...
4 Games4 Games
5 Games5 Games
6 Games6 Games
7 Games7 Games
NBA Finals Over/Under Example

Sportsbooks will set the odds for each of the results listed above. Not only will you have to correctly pick the winner of the NBA Finals, but you also have to pick how many games it will take. 

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How to Bet on Each Game

Besides the unique betting opportunities when it comes to the NBA Finals, you can also bet on each game of the series. If you know how to bet on the NBA, then you know how to bet on each game of the NBA Finals. 

Choose the betting option that works best for you, and that you are most comfortable with. Here is an explanation of all three betting types, using the matchup between the Warriors and the Raptors. 

Moneyline

A moneyline bet is the easiest betting market to understand, but it’s not the most common when it comes to betting on NBA Finals games. A moneyline bet simply requires you to pick the winner of each game. The sportsbooks will set betting odds based on their opinion of the most likely outcome. 

For example:

Golden State Warriors-145
Toronto Raptors+155
NBA Finals Moneyline Example

The Warriors are the favorites in this game, and the Raptors are the underdogs. You would have a bigger return if you bet on the Raptors and they won. However, the sportsbook has determined that there is a smaller chance of this happening. 

Over/Under

We have already discussed how NBA Finals Over/Under bets work for the entire series, but there are also Over/Under bets available for each game. This is sometimes referred to as a total bet because it deals with the total number of points scored in a game. 

Here is an example:

Golden State Warriors vs. Toronto Raptors

Over231.5 Points-110
Under231.5 Points-110
NBA Finals Over/Under Example

It’s important to note that most sportsbooks will offer the same odds for both sides of an Over/Under bet, meaning that it will take a $110 bet to win $100. All you have to decide is whether or not the two teams will combine for less than 231 points or more than 232 points. 

Regular-season games are usually more high scoring than NBA Finals games. 

Spread

If you have ever heard someone refer to betting against the spread, they are talking about spread betting. Sportsbooks will set the odds for spread betting based on the probability of a certain outcome occurring. 

The bettor has to not only pick the winner of each game but also how big the spread will be. Here is an example:

Golden State Warriors-6.5
Toronto Raptors+6.5
NBA Finals Spread Example

The first thing to note is that the Warriors are the favorites in this matchup. Golden State would have to win the game by at least seven points to win the bet, while the Raptors just have to keep the final score within six points or win the game. 

How to Make Future Bets on the NBA Finals

A future bet is one that is placed on something that will happen at the conclusion of an event. In this case, it is predicting what will happen at the conclusion of the NBA Finals. The two most common NBA Finals future bets are:

  • Which team will win the NBA Finals.
  • Who will be names the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.

The future bet asking which team will win the NBA Finals is available throughout the regular season. If you want to bet on who will be named the Most Valuable Player, you will usually need to wait until the NBA Finals matchup is set. 

How to Bet In-Play

Live or in-play betting has become extremely popular, especially on big events such as the NBA Finals. Sportsbooks will offer live bets for each game of the NBA Finals, and all of the betting types that we mentioned above will be offered. 

Live betting is done quickly, which won't give you much time to conduct any research. However, it does give you a chance to 'hedge' your bets, or make up for losses that you have incurred previously in each game. 

How to Bet NBA Finals Online

Sports betting continues to grow in the United States, and online betting is becoming increasingly available. If you understand how to bet on the NBA Finals, then you know how to bet on the NBA Finals online. The markets and principles involved are exactly the same.

In order to be able to bet on the NBA Finals online, you will have to be in a state where online sports betting is legal. If you are, you can enjoy the convenience of making an NBA Finals bet from the comfort of your couch. DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet are three of the top online sportsbooks that will have bets on the NBA Finals. 

How to Bet on NBA Finals in Vegas

If you want an experience to go along with your NBA Finals betting, then taking a trip to Vegas is the right move for you. Vegas has a huge number of retail sportsbooks and casinos that will offer betting on the NBA Finals, and you can watch the game as you bet. 

If you plan on live betting the NBA Finals, this can also be done easily while in Vegas. 

Of course, if you don't want to go to Vegas, betting at your nearest land-based sportsbook is another option to consider.

NBA Finals Betting Tips and Strategies

If you are planning on betting on the NBA Finals, here are some betting tips and strategies that might prove useful:

Do Plenty of Research

This is a betting strategy that you should employ regardless of what sport you are betting on. You always want to be properly prepared before making any bets, and research is vital.

While doing your research, you should be looking for past success in the NBA Finals as well as regular season performance. Also make yourself aware of any injuries to key players who are set to participate, as those could have a huge impact on their team's chances.

Look at Recent Matchups

Even though teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences don’t play each other a ton during the regular season, those games can give you an idea of how the NBA Finals series will play out. 

Go back a few years, especially if the teams have many of the same players. Recent betting trends can always change, but it is a great place to start. 

Listen to NBA Betting Experts

There are many different ways to accomplish this, but listening to an NBA Finals betting podcast is a great way to get some extra information. 

You can also subscribe to services that will deliver NBA Finals betting tips right to your inbox. You still want to do your own research, but listen to the experts as well. 

How to Bet on the NBA Finals FAQ

How many games are played in the NBA Finals?
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The NBA Finals is a best-of-seven series, and so it can end after as few as four or as many as seven games.

The first team to win four games becomes the NBA Champion and wins the NBA Finals series.

Where are NBA Finals games played?
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NBA Finals games are played at the homes of the two teams that are participating. One team will get to play four home games if the series goes all seven games, while the other team will get to host three home games.

How do they determine home-court advantage in the NBA Finals?
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Home-court advantage in the NBA Finals is given to the team that finishes with the better record during the regular season. If there is a tie, then the league will look at head-to-head matchups between the two teams that are participating.

Where do I find NBA Finals betting predictions?
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You can find NBA Finals betting predictions by listening to an NBA betting podcast, or by subscribing to an NBA betting service.

Where can I bet on the NBA Finals?
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You can bet on the NBA Finals through an online sportsbook, or by visiting a retail sportsbook. Both of these options are now available in several states throughout the United States.

Another, more extreme option, is to visit Las Vegas, which is the sports betting capital of the world.

How does NBA Finals prop betting work?
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Prop bets are made about something other than the winner or final score of a game. For example, you can bet on who will be the leading scorer of the series, or whether anyone will get ejected from a game.

Sportsbooks will offer prop bets on a variety of things, so shop around to see what’s available before betting.

About this author

Ian Bruce author profile

Ian is a keen sports fan with an even keener eye for advantageous betting odds. The only thing he enjoys as much as watching his favourite teams win is being able to land sportsbook winners at the same time. He takes a strategic and mathematical approach to betting and he encourages others to do the same.

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