NBA Playoff Odds
The NBA Playoffs are the peak of basketball and the platform upon which the best compete against each other year after year. Winning four series in a row is a difficult task for even the best NBA teams, and sports bettors get to watch it all unfold.
Over the past decade, we have witnessed a few incredible playoff runs by teams such as the Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors winding up with that year’s championship. Read on for a guide to betting on the NBA Finals and playoffs in the state of Ohio.
2023 NBA Finals and Playoff odds
Here are the up-to-date odds for the NBA Finals and playoffs:
2023 NBA Finals favorites
One thing that sets basketball apart is the degree to which one player can have an outsized impact on the game. Thus the preseason favorites for the NBA title generally contain the best individual players. A big-name player moving teams can send his old team sliding down the NBA finals odds board while his new team rises. This season is no different because specific teams have higher expectations due to talented players and recent results.
Los Angeles Clippers
There are very few teams in the current NBA that have the combination of talent and bench players that the Clippers have. The problem is the team has had issues with staying healthy in past years.
They are solid at nearly every position with Kawhi Leonard on the roster as well as John Wall at guard.
If everyone on the Clippers roster can stay healthy, this is a team that could be a true contender.
The Milwaukee Bucks won in 2020, and star player Giannis Antetokounmpo recently committed to the club for the foreseeable future. That’s huge for the Bucks, who don’t have the luxury of being located in Los Angeles or Brooklyn to attract new superstars.
Give Bucks management credit as they have done a great job at building a roster around Giannis to maximize his talent. Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday played huge roles down the stretch of the 2020 NBA playoffs with big shots and key defensive plays.
While the Nets were at one point a laughingstock of the league, in recent years, they have established what might be the best collection of individual talent and skill in league history. This includes Kevin Durant, one of the best scorers ever to play the game but still looking for his first NBA championship outside of Golden State.
Behind Durant, the Nets also have Kyrie Irving and James Harden. These two guards are just as comfortable setting up a teammate with a slick pass as they break down their man to put the ball in the basket themselves.
2023 NBA finals longshots
While the teams mentioned above are some of the favorites to make the playoffs and compete for an NBA title, other teams in the league aren’t so lucky. Some franchises are going through a rebuilding stage and are looking to acquire young talent that they can develop in hopes of building a contender further down the road. Sometimes, though, that day can arrive sooner than planned.
The Pistons have struggled in recent years but are starting to assemble a group of young talent that will hopefully turn their franchise around. They selected Cade Cunningham with the first overall selection in the 2021 NBA draft, and if he pans out how many think he will, he could be the type of player to turn around the franchise.
The Sacramento Kings have been seemingly stuck in a down-cycle ever since their success in the early 2000s. While a few good young players are on the roster, the overall product they expect to put on the floor is unlikely to be good enough to be genuine contenders.
De’Aaron Fox is a shifty point guard who has been an asset for the Kings since they drafted him out of the University of Kentucky. Marvin Bagley Jr. is another young player who could be a part of a youth revolution that leads them back to relevancy.
A few years ago, the Rockets were one of the best teams in the NBA and regular contenders for the title. They have seen many of their top players leave and instead are projected to finish closer to the bottom of the standings than the top. It’s been a tough fall from grace for a Rockets franchise with a storied history and always expects to be among the elite.
There is hope for the future, though, with a few youngsters who have shown flashes of potential. Kevin Porter Jr., for instance, has demonstrated the ability to score in bunches. He can shoot and also drive hard toward the rim.
Cleveland Cavaliers playoff odds
The Cleveland Cavaliers are not expected to be championship contenders this season and will likely struggle even to make the playoffs. While they have started building a young nucleus that could help them be a strong team in the future, it’s too early for the franchise to have realistic title aspirations.
Below you will find a variety of odds for the Cavaliers, including live betting odds that they win their division, conference, and the NBA title.
How do NBA Playoffs odds work?
NBA playoff betting odds work much the same as they do for general NBA betting odds or any other major North American sport.
To start, you’ll need to understand the American odds format, as that is the default for the NBA playoffs across the country.
Odds in the American format will appear as either a positive number or a negative number. Positive numbers indicate how much a wager of $100 would win if correct. For example, let’s say that the Cleveland Cavaliers are +1500 to win the NBA title at DraftKings Sportsbook Ohio. You could bet $100 on them, and if they do win the title, you would win $1,500 for a total return of $1,600, including your original bet.
Negative numbers indicate how much you would need to bet to win $100. For example, let’s say that the Cavaliers have odds of -150 to make the NBA playoffs at FanDuel Sportsbook Ohio. You could then bet $150 to win $100, returning a total of $250 if they do end up making the playoffs.
Types of bets for NBA Playoffs and Finals
Sportsbooks have evolved to offer a variety of betting options. Some will have a short period between when you place the bet and when you know the results, while others will have a much more extended period. Here are the most common and popular bets during the NBA playoffs as well as at all other times of the season:
These are bets on beg events that can be well into the future, just as the name suggests. A good example is betting on a team to win the championship far before the playoffs started. However, other futures bets include division winners, conference winners, or just betting on whether a team will make the postseason.
Individual game bets
Betting on individual games is common at all levels, including during the NBA playoffs. The three standard single-game wagers are the moneyline bet, the spread and the total, though most sportsbooks nowadays offer many more than just those three.
Making a wager that encapsulates an entire playoff series is becoming more and more popular and is a favorite among NBA bettors when it gets to playoff time. Betting on which team is going to win the series and in how many games is common.
Prop bets are wagers on the smaller events in a game that often aren’t directly related to the overall game outcome. These can be things like the performance of individual players or other team statistics such as made 3-pointers.
NBA postseason betting tips
Here are some beginner tips for betting on the NBA postseason:
1. Bet with your head and not your heart
It’s important not to bet on a specific team just because it is your favorite. Instead, place a wager on a team because you believe you have the edge over the house.
2. Don’t chase big returns
Some novice bettors can get fixated on huge potential returns and only place wagers that have big odds. Instead, focus on placing bets with a variety of odds.
3. Don’t bet while intoxicated
Veteran bettors know that gambling while intoxicated will lead to more losses as your decision-making becomes worse and worse.
How to bet on NBA Playoffs and Finals online in Ohio
Here is how you bet online for Ohio sports betting. Sportsbook apps have established themselves as an easy way for everyone to place wagers from the comfort of their home. To start, follow one of the links on this site to a sportsbook of your choice, including such top books as BetMGM Ohio and Caesars sportsbook. The link will take you directly to the sign-up page.
From there, fill out all the necessary information and complete your sign-up process. From there, navigate to the basketball page, where you will find the online NBA betting section and be able to place all the wagers we discussed.
How does a team make the NBA Playoffs?
A team makes the NBA playoffs if it finishes in the top eight teams in its conference. However, there is a new play-in tournament that makes things a little more exciting. At the end of the season, teams seeded No. 7 through No. 10 in each conference play each other in a mini-tournament to determine who gets the seventh and eighth seeds.
The teams that finished seventh and eighth during the regular season get two losses before they’re eliminated, while the teams seeded ninth and 10th need to win two games without losing to secure a spot. From there, the playoff bracket proceeds as first vs. eighth, second vs. seventh, third vs. sixth, and fourth vs. fifth in a classic single-elimination bracket with each matchup being a best-of-seven series. Home-court advantage goes to the higher seed, and in the finals to the team with the better record.