An average of 4.25 million American viewers tuned in per game to watch the Milwaukee Bucks defeat the Phoenix Suns in the 2021 NBA Finals. Similarly, sportsbook betting numbers went through the roof and this is a theme that’s likely to continue next season.
If you wanted to place a wager during the Finals but didn’t feel confident in your knowledge base, or if you’re a newcomer to sportsbook gambling completely, read on to discover literally everything worth knowing about betting on the NBA Finals, starting at the very beginning with…
Best NBA Finals Betting Sites Reviewed
Below we’ve listed our reviews of five of the very best basketball sportsbooks when it comes to making a wager on the NBA finals. Take a read-through and try to find the site (or app) that best serves your wagering needs.
BetUS – NBA Finals Prop Bets Galore
Visitors to this sportsbook will find that both the site and app look great and that the content’s easy to navigate. Where betting on the NBA finals is concerned, BetUS allows its users to wager on the moneyline; the spread and total points betting lines during the NBA Finals, but did lag slightly behind some of the competition in terms of how quickly the odds were broadcast.
Don’t, however, be fooled into thinking that this sportsbook lacks early-market optionality for the NBA Finals – that couldn’t be further from the truth: BetUS actually has the deepest prop market for the finals that we’ve seen to date. There are all kinds of interesting wagers: race to 35 points, first-quarter winning margin, and literally hundreds of other markets and variations. Plus, the BetUS sportsbook has tons of great content for fans and bettors to sift through, including NBA strategy guides and tips – it’s all very useful material indeed.
- The deepest prop market for the 2021 NBA Finals we’ve seen anywhere
- Easy to place parlay bets on the NBA Finals
- Stats for players/teams are easily accessible at the click of a button
- No live streaming of NBA Finals
- Slow to market with spread and total points during last season’s finals
MyBookie – NBA Finals Futures Markets Available Early
When it comes to the NBA Finals, this NBA sportsbook provides all the markets you could hope for (and nice and early!), competitive odds, and a host of interesting prop betting options.
The NBA Finals betting lines include moneyline, spread, and total points. But it’s the prop market we were most impressed with: visitors wager on when the game will end, the individual series games, the MVP, and the exact series score long before the NBA Finals actually tip-off.
- Tons of options for the NBA finals – all NBA betting lines open and early to market.
- Parlay betting feature is easy to use and works in tandem with NBA Finals
- Interesting selection of prop betting options for the finals
- No live streaming of NBA Finals
A sportsbook that’s ahead of the game when it comes to betting on the NBA Final, Bovada is quick to market with the major game lines (moneyline, spread, and total points) broadcasts highly competitive NBA Vegas odds, and a large and varied prop market to boot. It’s also possible to wager live on each game of the series once it gets underway on July 8.
Visitors to the site will find it easy to navigate and no doubt enjoy the fact that Bovada makes stats for the NBA teams and players so accessible. Betting on the NBA finals couldn’t be made easier!
Plus, newcomers can use this Bovada bonus code to wager some free dough on the finals, too.
- Plenty of prop bets already broadcast for the upcoming NBA finals
- Live betting on NBA finals is available
- $750 Welcome Bonus available during playoffs and finals
- Stats and metrics available
- No live streaming of the NBA Finals in the US
Intertops – Good Value on NBA Finals Odds
At present, Intertops only has moneyline odds for the NBA finals series broadcast on its site and app. Expect to see the spread and total points markets for individual games added prior to the start of the series, however.
The NBA sportsbook does allow for live-betting and has put a lot of effort into improving its live-betting experience in recent years so, if that’s something you enjoy, this basketball betting site is worth a visit during the finals if only because it tends to broadcast excellent odds when an event is live and in play.
The $200 deposit bonus is certainly another good reason to get involved with this sportsbook – free money is always great.
- Moneyline futures up early for NBA finals
- Site and app are both simple to use and navigate; there are fewer betting options but things are more streamlined
- $100 risk-free bet for NBA finals
- Competitive NBA odds for the finals
- No live streaming of NBA
- Lack of optionality in general – shallow markets
BetOnline – Quick to Market with NBA Finals Odds
This fresh-looking installment of the BetOnline sportsbook is a solid upgrade on the previous interface – we can’t fail to mention that; the site looks 100x better than it used to.
Where the NBA Finals are concerned, this basketball betting app provides broadcasts favorable odds; is quick to market with the spread and moneyline, and also allows visitors to wager on the quarter and the half. Generally speaking, BetOnline is famed for live betting and the site broadcasts varied prop markets as a result – so, we are expecting to see more interesting lines appear over the coming days
This sportsbook also offers a $250 deposit bonus to newcomers, which is always appreciated.
- The updated site looks and feels far superior to the old version
- Quick to market with NBA Finals spread & MVP
- Competitive odds for NBA Finals lines
- No live-streaming of NBA finals
- Prop markets for NBA Finals are not currently as deep as the competition
NBA Finals Betting Markets
To keep things simple, there are three main market variations when it comes to betting on the NBA finals. These are futures, game day (game lines), and live, in-play wagers.
To be thorough, we will cover each of the holy trinity to get our less experienced gambling readership up to scratch.
Betting On NBA Finals Futures
The futures market is the first market to open. In fact, the futures market for the outright NBA Championship Winner can come out as early as late August, 11 full months before the July finals get underway. Generally, the futures market is split into two: NBA team futures & NBA Player futures.
NBA Finals team futures: In August, the team futures market will just consist of each of the 30 teams and their respective odds. You can expect to find Orlando Magic at about +2500 for a championship campaign next season, for example.
NBA Finals player futures: Here, you will see a list of players that oddsmakers believe stand a chance of being crowned the NBA finals MVP. In August this is a long and thorough list. But, come June (now), it has of course been trimmed down to contain only the best players currently remaining in the playoffs – DraftKings has Trae Young at +700 and Giannis Antetokounmpo at +165 to be crowned Finals MVP, for example.
The futures market for the regular season and playoffs is large and varied: it’s possible to wager on the player with the most rebounds, assists, etc. But the aforementioned (champion and MVP) are your possible futures wagers for the upcoming NBA Championship Finals – at least, that is, until about a week before the final, titanic series of the basketball year gets underway…
Betting on the NBA Finals Championship Game: Game Lines & Series Lines
To be clear, betting on the NBA Finals game or series lines is kind of a future, too; it’s just not so far ahead. Think of futures bets as those bets that won’t see a return (or a loss) for some time.
The most popular kind of bet to put down on the finals is to wager on the game lines or series lines either on the day of (our favored method), or a couple of days before the game/series gets underway. There are three primary game line markets for the NBA finals (and every other NBA game, for that matter):
- Point spread (and alternate)
- Total points
On top of that, once the playoffs roll around, sportsbooks tend to add much more market optionality entice in the apprehensive bettor. Common examples include:
- Number of games until victory
- Score at the half/quarter
- Odd or even score
- Winning margin
- Race to 30/40 points
These game/series markets will appear once we know which two teams are set to clash. Obviously, it’s impossible for sportsbooks to put odds up for, say, the championship spread before the oddsmakers know which teams are playing in the finals, so bettors have to wait until after the Eastern/Western Conference Champions have been decided before they get a chance to wager on that… usually.
NBA Finals Live Betting
During each of the seven championship games, the very best sportsbooks will provide their respective patrons with a chance to wager on NBA live, in play – that is, as the game itself is unfolding on your TV set.
A fresh market of prop betting options opens up for NBA live betting. There are numerous prop betting options available throughout the NBA season. But the sportsbooks definitely up the ante on the finals, introducing a whole new range of wacky and wonderful options. Some of our all-time favorites include, ‘How Many Times will Michael Jordan’s name be mentioned in the Commentary Booth (Over/Under),’ and, from the 2017 final (LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry – ‘First Player to do Something Petty.’
The props mentioned above are more outlandish and fun. But there are more regular, interesting props available during the finals, too: Will Curry Break the All-Time Record for the Most 3-Pointers in the Championship Game, for example. Some of the other, more regular options include:
Player Prop Bets
- The first player to sink a field goal (2 points)
- Which player will score the first 3-pointer?
- Over/Under on player points: Trae Young +/- 30pts, for example
- The number of rebounds (over/under)
- Number of assists (over/under)
- Number of steals
Team Prop Bets
- The first team to score
- Last team to score
- Winning margin
- Will overtime be required to separate the teams?
- Home team total points
- Away team total points
With respect to the betting on the NBA finals, there are (and will be) plenty more prop betting options where all those came from. Be sure to check your preferred NBA sport betting app on July 8 to see what else is on offer.
NBA Finals Championship Betting Lines
Whether your team wins or loses, watching the pinnacle of sports entertainment’s championship series is meant to be an enjoyable experience. However, it’s not going to be so much fun for you if you’ve mindlessly thrown your hard-earned down the drain, wagering on lines you don’t understand. Losing money on NBA betting sportsbooks is likely to mean an uncomfortable seven hours of watching your funds depreciate.
So, what does it all mean? How do the game lines actually work?
Placing a Wager on the Moneyline before or during the NBA Finals
Betting on the moneyline is the easiest bet to make. Traditionally, the moneyline wager was just for the final result; the winner of the game. In recent years, however, the moneyline has evolved, and it’s now possible to win money betting on the victor of the series, game, half, and even the quarter.
All you need to do is decide which team you think will win (we advise doing some research), check the NBA betting odds on your favorite sportsbook, and then place a bet accordingly. We implore you to hold off on placing your bets until 24 hours before the tip. This is mostly because the NBA closing line value (CLV) has a tendency to fluctuate, depending on how much money is coming in on a particular team/player line, and, indeed, any last-minute news regarding the teams/players themselves (injuries, etc.)
To explain exactly how to bet on the moneyline for the NBA finals, let’s imagine that the Clippers and the Hawks beat the odds and emerge to the finals at the expense of the Suns and Bucks, respectively. It’s likely that the oddsmakers would favor the Hawks to win the series at about -150 on the moneyline. In this eventuality, the oddsmakers would probably go for the Clippers as the underdogs, with odds of about +150.
So, what does that mean? Well, put as simply as we can, because the Hawks are the favorites (-150), a bettor would need to wager $150 to win a $100 profit. Because the Clippers are longer on the odds at +150, a bettor needs to wager just $100 to win a profit of $150.
That’s it, the same rules apply for the game/half and quarter. And this is for betting on NBA games in general, not just the finals.
Betting on the NBA points spread is a favored option of the American bettor, so the NBA finals is a fun opportunity for them to cast bets since there are numerous alternate points spreads to wager on.
Spread betting is when oddsmakers decide which of the two teams (let’s say the Bucks vs. the Suns for this example) is the favorite/ underdog for the championship game/series. The NBA betting spread is then concocted depending on exactly how well the oddsmakers expect the two teams to match up – effectively, they will try to figure out the final score within a certain number of points: let’s say they decide the final score is likely to be Bucks 115-110 Suns = -5, for example. However, to avoid tying the spread, oddsmakers will then insert a decimal .5,
And that (-5.5) is the spread.
How to Beat the NBA Spread?
Beating the spread involves having your bet, in this case, the Bucks, the favorite for the game/series win by more than 5.5 points (so 6 points). The Bucks will be attributed a minus number, -5 in this example. The Bucks must then not only beat the Suns but beat them by 6 clear points in order for your bet to payout. Bucks 120-110 Suns, you win; Bucks 103-100 Suns, you lose.
The same is true in reverse for the underdog, who will be issued a + number and challenged to lose the game by less than X number of points. Sticking with the same teams and 5.5 as the spread, if you bet on the Suns at +5.5 and they win the game 110-109, you win. If you bet on the Suns and they lose the game but lose by less than 6 points you still win – Suns 102-106 Bucks, for example, means you win on the spread.
NBA Spread betting is designed to keep things competitive when there is a gulf in class between two teams. Of course, in the NBA finals, both teams are excellent, so the spread can be thin – +1.5, for example. So, alternate spreads are often added to entice gamblers back to the market. In the alternate spread section of your preferred sportsbook, you will see exactly that – alternate spreads. But, regardless of what the spread is, the same rules apply.
The total points market is easy to grasp – just remember that it’s the total combined number of points scored by both teams that you’re wagering on, and think of it as your last stick or twist in a game of blackjack at the casino.
Let’s say it’s the Clippers vs. the Bucks in the championship series, and oddsmakers have assessed the offense and defense of both teams and decided that the score is likely to be around Bucks 109-108 Clippers. They then combine the two scores to get 217 total points and set the odds (let’s say -110 for Clippers; -120 for Bucks), add the .5, and set that as the over/under – so, O217.5 (-110) Clippers; U217.5 (-120) Bucks.
If you wager on the Clippers O217.5, and less than 217 total combined points are scored in the game, you win. If more than 217 points are scored (Clippers 125-122 Bucks), you lose, and vice-versa. It’s that simple.
As with the spread, for the playoffs and championship series, alternate total points markets will be included, so you can find the exact total score you want and wager on that instead of the one assigned by the oddsmakers.
Betting on the NBA Finals Series
As mentioned, during the NBA playoffs, and the championship games, in particular, it’s possible to place wagers on the series. There are a few different options available here, and it’s worth covering them
Betting on NBA Finals Series Correct Score
As you no doubt already know, the NBA playoffs and the championship games are played in a best of seven format, meaning that the first team to win four games is the winner, in essence.
It’s possible to wager on the correct score of the series. So, you might see something like Milwaukee Bucks to win series 4-2 with odds of +300. The reason the odds are so kind is that it’s very difficult to predict the exact score of a series: there are just so many possible variables in a game of basketball, especially when someone like Trae Young is out on the court!
NBA Finals: Total Games Played
Using NBA betting sportsbooks to wager on total games played during the championship is simple enough. It’s another Over/Under market, so the general idea of it is much the same as total points – the bettor is simply wagering on the number of games played instead.
The options available tend to be Over/Under 5.5, i.e., a team wins 4-2, or Over/Under 6.5, i.e. a team wins 4-3.
You might fancy Devin Booker and the Suns to get the job done vs. the Hawks. But you might also have a feeling it could be a close-run game – in such case, a $100 wager on 6.5 total games played at +300 would make a lot of sense (should such odds come to pass).
Betting on the NBA Finals: Series Spread
This is the same basic concept as spread betting, which we looked at earlier in the context of one single game. Spread betting on the series is the exact same concept: you’re just wagering on how close the seven-game series will be.
Again, if you come across an NBA betting spread in the finals that reads ‘Atlanta Hawks -2.5 (+300) for the game spread, Hawks are the favorites to win and have effectively been challenged to win by 3 games (4-0 or 4-1). If you wagered $100 and Atlanta did indeed win the championship by four games to zero, you’d win yourself a tidy $300 profit
If the Clippers were to take them to 3-3 in the series, your bet would not payout.
NBA Finals Betting: Conclusion
For the vast majority of us, betting on the NBA Finals should be fun – don’t forget that. We’ve laid out as much information as we can in this article to help you make wise decisions with your dollars but, ultimately, the choice yours.
Just remember to sign up at a popular, accredited sportsbook; remember to never wager more than you can afford (less than 10% of your account on any one bet is the most we’d ever recommend), do your research, and, most importantly of all, NBA basketball betting is great and all, but go and enjoy the NBA Finals with friends and family! – they only happen once a year.
We personally recommend betting on the NBA Finals with BetUS: the sportsbook has fun and deep pockets where prop bets are concerned, great odds, and slick-looking graphics for live betting, too. Plus, BetUS is also a great place to bet on the NBA Draft, which happens about a week after the finals conclude.
The choice is, ultimately, yours – all sites mentioned are viable options, for sure. We just enjoyed BetUS the most.
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