The National Basketball Association, or NBA, is without a doubt the most well-known and most popular professional basketball league in the world. Even though the league’s teams are primarily from the United States (1 team is from Canada), the players that comprise the league come from all walks of life and from all over the world.
After each team finishes their 82-game regular season, the playoffs begin and culminate with the NBA Finals. Where most other sports have one, single championship game, the NBA’s outright winner is decided via a 7-game series and the team who can rack up 4 wins first. This is an interesting take on the traditional championship, and also ensures that there is no shortage of items upon which to bet. The following few sections will break down everything there is to know about betting on the NBA Finals.
If we are talking about the NBA Finals as a whole, there are plenty of wagers to be made with regard to who will end up the winner, how many consecutive games they win, and so much more. While these types of wagers are undoubtedly quite popular, many more people prefer to wager on the games individually, beginning with game 1.
As it is during the regular season, each and every NBA Finals game will have moneyline, spread, and over/under betting. In addition to this, segment bets, such as the over/under for the 1st quarter or the outright winner of the first half, also exist. Because it is the final NBA action of the year, sportsbooks do well to pack in as many betting markets as humanly possible. At any sportsbook worth talking about, it will take you a few minutes solely to view the holistic selection of betting options for one game.
In many cases, people entertain the idea of segment betting more in the NBA Finals than at any other point in the year. The reason for this is because the teams are often so evenly-matched, it is so tough to definitively say that Team A will beat Team B, or vice versa. Whether true or not, bettors often think that they can use their expertise to determine the outcome of a much smaller segment of the game, such as a single quarter. What’s more, people become antsy knowing that it is the end of basketball and therefore attempt to place as many wagers as they can.
As was touched upon above, sportsbooks really pull out all the stops when it comes to the NBA Finals. While even the most obscure regular season game will have more wagering options than the average bettor has time to view, the NBA Finals takes that to a new extreme.
Proposition bets, for those who may be unaware, are bets regarding a particular instance, statistic, happening, or whatever else you want to call it. They can range from something as simple as the amount of point a particular player will score, to the color of the shoes a particular player will wear. Prop bets have no limits, and this is exemplified perfectly every time the final two remaining NBA teams face off.
For example, in the 2016 NBA Finals, the notorious Draymond Green—who had previously been suspended for a number of unsportsmanlike moves—was listed at 7:2 odds to be suspended for any part of the series. In that same series, the odds of a fan streaking across the court was listed at 25:1 odds. We could go on and on with regard to specific proposition bets that are available to be made, but the two aforementioned bets do an apt job at driving home that point.
To many, prop bets are stupid and make very little sense. To others, they exist as a way of making the entire spectacle that is the NBA Finals that much more intriguing and fun to watch. After all, even though we are all watching for the basketball, the NBA Finals brings about plenty more storylines than those that are made between the out of bounds lines.
The NBA Finals take place every summer, typically sometime in the month of June. The format is a 7-game series, set up in what has become known as a 2-2-1-1-1 format. This means that the higher-seeded team will play the first 2 games at home, the next 2 games are played at the home arena of the lower-seeded team, and then the home team alternates from there on out. This may not seem all that important, but home court advantage is something that can heavily sway the momentum of a game or series in the favor of one team and out of the favor of another.
Historically, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have been some of the best teams and franchises, but in the 1990s the Chicago Bulls took over, and since then any team featuring Lebron James has seemed to find its way into the Finals more often than not.
If you want to place wagers on the NBA Finals but have never done so before, we suggest that you first try betting on regular season games to get a feel for things. Even if you are very familiar with the sport of basketball, the way it is played in the NBA is unlike anywhere else in the world.