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NBA Finals Betting Sites
The NBA Finals are the culmination of a 30-team, 82-game regular season and 16-team postseason. The winner of the eight-team Eastern Conference playoffs and the eight-team Western Conference playoffs square off in a seven-game series to determine the league’s champion.
With individual star power that has the most direct impact of any major sport, the NBA Finals provides NBA betting fans various player and team wagers to make over the seven-game series.
From individual player propositions involving points, rebounds, assists, 3-pointers and more, to point spread betting, moneyline betting, over/under betting and series odds, there is a significant array of short-term and long-term plays during the series.
How to Bet on the NBA Finals
The most common NBA Finals bet is, of course, choosing the winner. The series odds change significantly from game-to-game during the best-of-seven set.
The team with a better regular season record holds homecourt advantage in the Finals, and plays at home for Games 1, 2, 5 and 7.
The other popular future play is the MVP of the Finals. National media members vote on the award following the completion of the series. Through the 2018 season, only one player on a losing team has ever won the award (Jerry West, 1969).
Traditional game wagers are also popular. Bettors can gamble on the moneyline, point spread or game total. A negative moneyline (such as -150) indicates how much you need to bet to win $100. A positive moneyline (such as +200) indicates how much a $100 bet would win.
For example, if the Golden State Warriors are the favorite to win the Finals, they could have a spread of -4.5 and a moneyline of -200 in Game 1. Their opponent, the Boston Celtics, would then be +4.5 against the spread and have a +150 moneyline to win the game outright.
If the Warriors won the game by five or more points, both their spread and moneyline wager would yield a win. A Celtics loss by four points of fewer, or an outright win, would yield a victory for those betting on Boston. The game total is the total number of points scored by both teams.
What are the Best NBA Finals Bets?
Beginning with macro bets and working to micro, choosing the winner of the series is the best bet to make. Though injuries do happen, an 82-game regular season and three-round playoff series sample size is large enough to make an accurate assessment on the quality of the two teams.
More times than not the winner of the NBA Finals MVP is the best player on the winning team. We’ve seen a few instances where this hasn’t been the case, but by in large, the MVP goes to a superstar. Identifying which team will win the series makes the MVP vote that much easier.
Game spreads and moneylines are good bets to make. Home teams have a distinct advantage in the NBA, but even more so in the postseason and in the Finals. With more on the line and rowdy, sellout crowds, home teams have an advantage that sometimes even top NBA oddsmakers can’t even account for.
Taking the series record into account is also important; a team heading back home down 0-2 in the series is likely to play with that urgency back in their home arena.
Consider, also, first-half wagers in this regard. Though game lines, moneylines and win totals are good bets, identifying teams that do well in the first half can be just as important.
Player proposition bets are also solid plays. Superstars take on even larger roles in the postseason and the Finals, so over-unders on points, rebounds, assists, etc. are usually higher than in the regular season. But on the game’s biggest stage, these players are likely to go over. The game slows down in the postseason, but the true stars still shine early and often.
Choosing NBA Finals Betting Sites
For the most part, series odds and point spreads will be the same on most betting websites. Then again, even a point or half-point can be the difference between pushing a bet and winning a bet.
Check multiple sites for higher spreads when betting the underdog, and conversely check sites for lower spreads when betting the favorite.
This is arguably even more important when considering player proposition bets. Those totals are of course lower than game totals, so gaining (or subtracting) an extra half-point from that total will have a real impact on the outcome of a bet.
Also, while a spread or point total may be the same on multiple websites, the cost of the bet may be different. Point spread moneylines can range from -105 to -115, which may not seem like a lot but saves a bettor $10 on a bet attempting to win $100. That adds up over time.
Making NBA Finals Betting Picks
Decide Early Which Team to Bet
Ironically, the best time to make an NBA Finals bet might be as early as possible. Though a bet that will be won or lost months later may seem more difficult, odds are better before the season than they are once the postseason begins.
That’s what makes the NBA unique: There are far fewer upsets and Cinderella winners that come out of nowhere to win championships. Especially in the era of super-teams, the top few seeds are the only realistic options to take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Location, Location, Location
Home teams reign supreme in the Finals unless the matchup is severely lopsided.
Style of Play Matters for Prop Bets
While possessions may be lower, superstars always have the ball in their hands more during this series. Watching how each team is attacking its opponent – going small, shooting more 3s, slowing the pace – should be taken into consideration.
A team’s best rebounder is more likely to go over his prop bet if the opponent wants to play smaller and in transition. An injury to a secondary star makes it more likely that a team’s go-to scorer will go over on his point total prop bet.