How many times have you seen the iconic images of Micheal Jordan soaring through the air, tongue wagging away, as he is headed for yet another slam dunk in a National Basketball League Finals series. He won six Larry O’Brien trophies so there are thousands of dunks. We wish you the best of luck to be as good at betting on the NBA as Mike was at dunking. Play smart, and you’ll reap the rewards!
The NBA Finals is the NBA’s championship series and is a culmination of the 82-game regular season and three-round conference playoffs. The Finals is a best-of-seven like the previous three series. The Eastern and Western Conference champions battle it out for the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. The Boston Celtics and Lakers have the most Finals appearances and championships with the Celtics having 17 titles from 21 appearances and the Lakers, 16 titles in 31 appearances. 23 of the 30 current NBA franchises have made at least one NBA Finals appearance but only 17 have won at least one NBA Championship.
NBA Finals Betting Trends
The NBA Playoffs come down to the best two teams in the Association. For Canadian sports bettors however, our hoop friendly sportsbooks are all champions when it comes to providing the best in NBA Finals action:
Bet On NBA Finals
We hope you like math! As the highest scoring major sport in North America, NBA basketball routinely features a wide range of Spreads and Totals that can leave even the smartest of us breaking out the calculator. With most Canadian sportsbooks offering the ability to buy points and thus increase, or decrease any given point spread, knowledge of a team’s past performance can go a long way.
Point Spread betting is the most popular, but often the most stressful in NBA Finals betting. Moneyline wagering may result in fewer payoffs, but is still profitable for punters and can leave you with fingernails still on your hands. Series props and player props are also very popular in the Finals, especially with Live In-Game betting platforms where you can get on each Finals game as it happens.
National Basketball Association Championship Handicapping
NBA Basketball may be a team sport, but individual players can win games come NBA Finals time. Does Team A’s superstar play well on the road? Does Team B have a “lock down” defender, or tend to rotate their coverage? Can a zone defense throw a team’s entire offense into a 3-point shooting contest? Knowing the answer to these questions is a must come NBA Finals time.
While knowledge is key in the NBA Playoffs so too is gut-feeling. You’ll often hear terms like “dynasty” and “destiny” thrown around by the time of the final series, so Futures wagering can just come down to whose “time” is it? One thing’s for sure, while NBA superstars go for glory during the NBA Finals, Canadian sports bettors can find their own by backing the right team, and player.
The NBA Finals usually only lasts no more than two weeks but the amount of action in those two weeks is probably a lot more significant than most of the other games. If you’re looking to take part of that, familiarize yourself at least with the money line. This is where you place money on a team to win, straight-up. The prices manifest as either a minus or favorite determining favorite or underdog, respectively. A favorite at -175 translates to you needing to bet $175 to win back $100 while an underdog at +135 means a return of $135 on a bet of $100.
Dynasty Days: as of 2016, the NBA Finals has produced at least 11 repeat champions. Several of these champions were dynasties, a dominant team which wins multiple championships over an extended length of time. The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers fielded some early dynasties. Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls of the nineties was another very popular dynasty and most recently, the Miami Heat who won two titles out of four straight NBA Finals appearances.
Top Three Only: since 1950 until 2016, only two teams outside a top-three conference seed has ever won an NBA Finals: the 4th seeded 1969 Celtics and 6th seeded 1995 Houston Rockets. The eighth-seeded 1999 New York Knicks became the lowest seed (and the only eighth seed) to make an NBA Finals. This Knicks team was also one of only seven non-top three conference seeds to make the NBA Finals.
Props galore: if laying money to pick a winner straight-up is too plain for you, try the many prop betting options offered by various sportsbook. The prop bets are usually best to access before the first game is played as many of them are removed once the series has started. Prop bets include but are not limited to how many games the series will go to, how many games the winner will win in and who the Finals MVP will be.