The NBA playoffs are a perfect time to get your sportsbetting, and obviously basketball betting, fix. The field of competitors has narrowed significantly, to 16 teams, and there are new avenues of gambling to keep you interested. Yes, there are the normal bets, too. Spreads, moneylines, overs, unders, parlays, props and, in the case of some sportsbooks, even championship odds are still available to experiment with. But many sites will give you the option of betting round winners. These are like miniature future plays.
Simply pick the team you think will win the series, and presto, you’ll have placed a bet that, typically, has favorable compensatory odds.
The most favorable of these odds, remember, are available before a series starts. Once you get into the matchups, picking round winners isn’t anywhere near as lucrative—unless, of course, you’re investing in the underdog. But more on that shortly.
Best NBA Playoff Sportsbook Odds
Get all the information you need for NBA playoff betting right here. Check out the spreads. The moneylines. The overs. The unders. See which teams are in action.
Lines for every playoff are can be available a day or two in advance. Jump on them as soon as you can. You’ll get the most favorable odds, before they move, the earlier you place a wager. Don’t be afraid to wait, of course, if you’re hoping to hear on the status of an injured player. But if you can, getting your bets in well before tip off is a great idea.
What Are The NBA Playoff Standings Today
This glance at the NBA’s playoff standings is helpful because it lets you plan ahead. The schedule isn’t as hectic during the postseason, especially as you get into the later rounds, but it’s still important to study trends.
How many nights of rest are the teams playing on? Where are they playing? How does either team fare on the road? What about at home?
You’re also able to look back and see the rest of the playoff bracket at a glance, allowing you to suss out winning streaks and losing streaks, and whether or not a team is struggling or playing up to snuff overall.
|EC - Atlantic Division|
|5||New York Knicks||82||17||65||8575||9330||0.207|
|EC - Central Division|
|EC - Southeast Division|
|WC - Northwest Division|
|4||Oklahoma City Thunder||82||49||33||9387||9108||0.598|
|WC - Pacific Division|
|1||Golden State Warriors||82||57||25||9650||9120||0.695|
|WC - Southwest Division|
|2||San Antonio Spurs||82||48||34||9156||9018||0.585|
|3||New Orleans Pelicans||82||33||49||9466||9575||0.402|
How To Make Money Betting On NBA Playoffs
Some sportsbooks will let you make super specific bets during the NBA playoffs. Don’t waste your time on those—unless you’re a fan of losing.
Picking how long a series or entire playoff run is going to last ranks among the most difficult wagers out there. It’s harder than even betting championship or conference futures. One game can turn an entire series. One injury can change its course. A single, solitary curve ball could throw the entire matchup for a whirl.
Instead, as previously noted, focus your attention on round winners. Broader bets such as those won’t be as lucrative on their returns, but they’re at least feasible outcomes to predict.
Mid-series bets on round winners are complicated. Unless you’re betting on the underdog, there’s no real incentive to making them. You have to bet too much money on the favorite to win a small sum, and underdogs typically don’t come back once they’re down.
Betting on the underdogs is most acceptable when it’s not a 3-0 situation. It’s not recommended for 3-1, either. As for 3-2 scores, make judgments off how the previous contests went. Other possibilities such as 1-0, 2-0 and 2-1 are your prime underdog wagers. More often than not, the trailing team will still lose, but they at least have a better chance of erasing the deficit. So if you feel really confident in a particular squad that finds itself down 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 in a series, you can translate that faith into a bet which, should it prove successful, rewards you with a fairly absurd payout.
Investing in over/under gambits for individual games is still encouraged. And do not be discouraged from betting the over. Some people like to say the pace of play slows in the postseason, driving down the score totals by default. That can be true when you’re talking about a series between two physical, lumbering, defense-first teams, but offensive flamethrowers are still offensive flamethrowers. Postseason shootouts are not rare in this day and age.
If you’re going to bet the over/under, it’s a good idea to look at the average total score between the two opponents in question dating back to the regular season and any playoff games they have already played. You can see where that mean falls relative to the night’s over/under, and whether the sportsbooks are being more generous or aggressive with their prediction.
Obviously, your interpretation of these numbers can change if the makeup of either team has been altered a great deal since the regular season. But, if there are no major shakeups to report, dissecting the macro view of things is never, ever going to hurt your chances.