NBA Finals Betting: Learn How to Bet on NBA Finals

• Basketball
• Sports Betting

NBA Finals Betting: Odds & Lines Explained

NBA Finals betting is a definite must for every serious basketball bettor. Knowing how to bet on this majestic sporting event separates the wheat from the chaff in betting terms. 

That’s exactly why you’ll need to learn how to bet on 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. Therefore, one might define it as the pinnacle of NBA betting. As you’d expect, there are NBA Finals betting opportunities aplenty to basketball bettors and fans.

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

NBA Finals Betting: Over/Under

If you want to learn how to bet on the NBA Finals, you need to familiarize yourself with NBA Over/Under bets. These 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 2020 matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat to explain this bet:

Lakers to Win in...Heat 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. 

Over/Under bets are also 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:

Phoenix Suns vs. LA Clippers

Over221.5 Points-111
Under221.5 Points-109

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 $111/109 bet to win $100. In this example, all you have to decide is whether or not the total number of points scored by the two teams will be more or less than 221.5. 

It is worth noting that regular-season games are usually more high scoring than NBA Finals games. 

NBA Finals Betting: Prop Bets

Prop betting might have 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. 

When betting on the NBA Finals we see many different types of prop bets, they range from more serious player based props. For example:

  • LeBron James to get over 29.5 points
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo to make over 4.5 blocks
  • Steph Curry to make over 8.5 threes

But there are also more wacky prop bets based on other in-game events, such as:

  • The color of Gatorade dumped on the winning coach.
  • How many technicals will be given.
  • Who will make the most three-point field goals.
  • 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 Betting Odds & Lines: Moneylines

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:

Brooklyn Nets-108
Milwaukee Bucks-110
NBA Finals Moneyline Example

The odds here have the two sides as difficult to split. These odds are very similar and it is more of a 'pick'em' bet. Nets are favourites by a small margin at UniBet. See live NBA odds here at HowToBet!

NBA Finals Betting: 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 predict how big the winning margin will be. Here is an example:

Brooklyn Nets-1.5
Milwaukee Bucks+1.5
NBA Finals Spread Example

Something to note is that the Nets are the favourites, but only marginally. It is set to bet a very close match-up. Spreads that are around 1-3 are usually difficult to predict as the teams are so close in quality.

NBA Finals Betting: Futures

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. 

NBA Finals Betting: MVP

When conducting NBA Finals betting, most new bettors will gravitate toward an outright bet on who will take home the World Championship. It is a very difficult one to predict as there are shocks in basketball all of the time.

Most teams in the NBA have one or two players who are the stars of the team. So if you choose a team to win the Championship, the chances are one of the stars from that team will win the MVP award. For example, in the 2021 Finals the Milwaukee Bucks took home the championship with Giannis Antetokounmpo winning the MVP award. There is usually a correlation here, keep this in mind when outright betting on the overall winner and the MVP.

NBA Finals Betting: In-Play Betting

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. 

NBA Finals Betting: Parlays

When betting on the NBA Finals online, parlay betting or 'accas' are very popular. This is because they can bring higher odds that seem more likely. A parlay bet, for those of you who are unfamiliar, is basically a stacked up bet. You combine different bets on one event or many to create a higher odd. For the bet to come in every single bet you've stacked into the parlay must be correct. One mistake and the bet is a loss. This can make parlay betting on the NBA Finals a very cruel betting type.

Here is an example of bets that could be stacked into a parlay-

  • LeBron James to get over 29.5 points
  • Lakers to win
  • Game total over 235.5

How to Bet on NBA Finals with Online Sportsbooks

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.

NBA Finals Betting: Best 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. 

NBA Finals Betting FAQ

How many games are played in the NBA Finals?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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.