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NBA Playoffs Betting Odds


Thomas Snodgrass

Updated: May 20, 2024

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At the tip-off of the 2023-24 NBA Playoffs, the Boston Celtics were the betting favorite to be the last team standing.

Boston now sits atop the odds board with the wildly short odds of -175 to win the NBA Finals.

The Celtics (64-18) finished 14 games above the No. 2 seed New York Knicks for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Boston also finished with seven more wins than the two top clubs in the Western Conference, the defending-champion Denver Nuggets (57-25) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (57-25).

For the No. 1 seed Boston Celtics, this season is championship or bust.

The Western Conference was not nearly as lopsided in odds as the East, and it proved to be the case, with the No. 2 seed Denver Nuggets (the betting favorite in the West) getting dumped by the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

The No. 5 seeded Dallas Mavericks upended the No. 1 seed Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Semifinals as well.

In the first round of the NBA Playoffs, the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Lakers were all sent home.

After the conference semifinals, Boston stands as a heavy favorite over the Indiana Pacers and the red hot Timberwolves are more narrow favorites over Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving and the Mavericks.

Here’s a look at the best odds for each of the four remaining clubs:

Eastern ConferenceTo Win ConferenceTo Win NBA Finals
No. 1 Boston Celtics-900 BetMGM-150 DraftKings
No. 6 Indiana Pacers+680 FanDuel+3000 BetMGM
Western ConferenceTo Win ConferenceTo Win NBA Finals
No. 3 Minnesota Timberwolves-170 DraftKings+275 DraftKings
No. 5 Dallas Mavericks+145 BetMGM+525 Caesars

NBA Playoffs – Contenders

Eastern Conference

Boston Celtics (-900 To Win The East, -150 To Win The Finals)

The Boston Celtics finished the regular season with the best record in the NBA at 64-18, sitting far and away from the rest of the clubs in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics are led by their solid trio of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kristaps Porzingis.

Tatum entered the 2023-24 playoffs with the shortest odds to take home the NBA Finals MVP Award at +255.

Boston proved to have one of the most efficient and well-controlled offenses in the league, averaging 120.6 points per game (2nd-most in the NBA), and 11.9 turnovers per game (the least in the NBA).

Indiana Pacers (+680 To Win The East, +3000 To Win The Finals)

The Indiana Pacers have benefited greatly from the playoff opponents’ injuries this postseason.

In the first round of the NBA Playoffs, Indiana took out the Milwaukee Bucks in six games, with Bucks’ superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo not making an appearance in the entire series.

In the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Pacers eliminated the New York Knicks in seven games, with the Knicks relying heavily on role players to step up in a crucial spot.

OG Anunoby on played in three games in the series, Games 1, 2, and 7, with only four minutes on the floor in the final meeting.

Donte DiVincenzo and Josh Hart were called upon to lead the way, alongside Jalen Brunson; who also was suffering from a hand injury.

At the end of the day, Indiana is still in the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2013-14.

Offensively, the Pacers’ series against the Boston Celtics in the conference finals should be exciting, considering that Indiana finished the season as the highest scoring team in the NBA (123.3 ppg) and Boston finished second (120.6 ppg).

Western Conference

Minnesota Timberwolves (-170 To Win The West, +275 To Win The Finals)

The Minnesota Timberwolves have made it to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2003-04, and they did it in grand style, knocking out the betting-favorite Denver Nuggets in the largest comeback in Game 7 history.

At the 10:50 mark on the clock in the third quarter, Nuggets’ guard Jamal Murray sunk a jump shot that put Denver up by 20 points, 58-38.

From that point on, the Timberwolves outscored the Nuggets 60 to 32, ultimately winning 98-90, to steal a trip to the conference finals from the defending NBA champs.

Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards’ meteoric rise to superstardom continues into the 2024 playoffs. After averaging 25.9 points per game in the regular season, Edwards is averaging 28.9 points per game in the playoffs.

Edwards has shown an ability to put the Timberwolves on his back, with three 40+ point games in 11 appearances this postseason.

The offensively-focused Dallas Mavericks will have their hands full against Minnesota, as the T-Wolves led the NBA in points per game allowed (106.5).

Dallas Mavericks (+145 To Win The West, +525 To Win The Finals)

The Dallas Mavericks’ offense, led by Doncic (33.9 ppg) and Irving (25.6 ppg), continues to give opposing defenses fits.

When the Mavs’ have scored 100 or more points this postseason, they are 7-1, when scoring less than 100 points though, they are just 1-3.

Dallas’ offense needs to be firing on all cylinders to wear down the Timberwolves’ stifling defense, and their elite backcourt duo of Doncic and Irving could get the job done.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Mavericks eliminated the Los Angeles Clippers in six games, and in the finals three games of that series, Doncic turned it up a notch and recorded three straight triple-doubles.

In the Western Conference Semifinals over the Thunder, Doncic repeated that feat exactly. Winning the series in six games, and recording a triple-double in the final three games.

The Mavs need points to win and they’ve got a superstar duo that can do it.

How The NBA Playoffs Work

Most of us know that the NBA is divided into Eastern and Western Conferences. An equal amount of teams from both conferences make the playoffs each year.

The Top 6 teams from the East and the Top 6 teams from the West automatically earn a playoff spot.

Teams ranked 7th – 10th in both conferences take part in what is called the play-in tournament.

Play-In Games

Each conference has a play-in tournament, which is game between teams who finished 7th – 10th during the regular season.

The teams ranked 7th and 8th need to win one game to advance. The teams ranked 9th and 10th need to win two games to advance.

Two of the four teams in the mini-tournament will advance to the regular playoff format and participate in a Best of 7 Round 1 playoff series.

NBA Playoff Series Format

After the mini-tournament to decide the final two playoff spots, each conference will have eight teams remaining.

Each team will face an opponent in a Round 1 – Best of 7 series, with the first team to win four games advancing to the next round.

This Best of 7 format is repeated until one team is left from each conference.

Those two remaining teams will then play each other in the NBA Finals, which is another Best of 7 series format.

Home Court Advantage In The NBA Playoffs

The home court is decided by seeding in the first three rounds of the NBA playoffs. The team with the better seed or rank gains a home-court advantage.

In the NBA Finals, the team with the better regular season win percentage is determined to have a home-court advantage.

The Boston Celtics finished with the best record league-wide this year.

If the Celtics come out of the Eastern Conference and makes the finals, they will have home court advantage over whichever team from the Western Conference they face.

How To Bet On The NBA Playoffs

With an 82-game regular season and 30 different teams, there are many opportunities to bet on the NBA.

Once the playoffs begin, hardwood fans have even more options to place a wager on a game, series or their favorite teams to win it all.

Much like the regular season action, bettors can wager on individual playoff games. The traditional types of bets, such as point spread, moneyline, and totals betting, are still the most popular way for fans to bet on playoff action.

Series Odds

Another popular form of NBA Playoff betting is to wager on a team to win a series.

Cleveland vs OrlandoCleveland-205
Minnesota vs PhoenixMinnesota+114

Our table above is an example of how to bet on a couple of different NBA Playoff series.

For this type of wager, a bettor must decide which team will be the first to win four games and move on to the next round.

This isn’t a one-game bet, and the team you wager on can lose up to three times and still earn you a profit if they can advance to the next round.

Futures Betting

You can do futures betting year-round, but many bettors prefer to wait until the playoff matchups have been decided.

The most popular NBA Playoff futures bet is who will win the Championship. However, several different futures betting opportunities exist, including picking the teams to win the Eastern and Western conferences.

NBA Playoffs – Futures Betting

TeamsTo Win ChampionshipTo Win the Eastern ConferenceTo Win the Western Conference
Boston Celtics+180-175N/A
Denver Nuggets+300N/A+145
Los Angeles Clippers+1400N/A+650
Milwaukee Bucks+1600+750N/A

Player Prop Betting In The NBA Playoffs

Although point spread betting is still the most popular form of NBA wagering, player props are becoming increasingly more popular.

While sports betting is only in its infancy across North America, basketball fans have been playing fantasy sports for a long time.

This fantasy sports knowledge translates nicely into player prop betting.

Bettors can focus on specific players instead of having to wager on teams and games they may not be as familiar with.

Some of the more popular types of player prop bets include:

  • Total points
  • Total assists
  • Total rebounds
  • Total 3-pointers made
  • And more

NBA Playoff Game or Team Props

Sportsbooks will also offer a wide selection of game or team prop betting options for fans of NBA playoff action.

These game or team props are unrelated to player performance or the final score. Instead, they focus on specific events within a game, often referred to as a game, within game.

Some of the more popular available prop bets include:

  • Predicting the exact score
  • Team to score first
  • Predicting the winning margin
  • Team total points
  • And more

NBA Prop Betting Strategies

With literally hundreds of different prop bets available for a single NBA playoff game, many bettors believe it’s easier to find an edge in the prop market, as opposed to trying to bet the point spread or total (over/under) for a specific game.

One of the most popular prop bets available for NBA bettors is Player To Score The First Basket.

As the name suggests, bettors must decide which player will score the game’s first field goal. A sportsbook will provide ten players to choose from (5 from each team), with odds typically ranging from +300 to +2000.

For those looking for an edge with this fast-paced wager, you can use the first field goal resource page.

Understanding which team has the advantage with the opening tip-off helps a bettor with their overall strategy with this type of bet.

How BestOdds Edge Can Help

Sports betting has gone through a recent revolution lately because of the amount of data the world has access to.

There was a time when the fight between bettors and sportsbooks could hardly have been considered fair because sportsbooks had access to more data and the resources and deep pockets to spend on technology to help analyze it.

However, thanks to some forward-thinking companies, bettors now have access to all the same data and insights the operators do.

BetsOdds Edge is sports betting software designed for bettors and not sportsbooks.

This software does all the heavy lifting, gathering relevant data, analyzing stats and trends, and making player-prop betting projections.

Suppose a bettor is genuinely interested in competing with sportsbooks and being a long-term profitable player.

BestOdds Edge can be a valuable tool that will equal the playing field and help us make the most informed decisions possible.

Always Shop Around

As discussed above, today’s bettor has access to software and technology that allows us the same data and insights sportsbooks have when setting their odds for games and player props.

However, the single greatest edge a bettor has over the sportsbooks is our ability to shop around and find the Best Odds available.

NBA Championship Odds

Boston Celtics+150+145+180+160
Denver Nuggets+300+300+300+300
Los Angeles Clippers+1200+1500+1300+1200
Milwaukee Bucks+1600+1600+1400+1400

Looking at our table above, we get a quick example of why shopping around provides such an edge for bettors.

Imagine betting on the Los Angeles Clippers at +1200 when FanDuel has them available at +1500.

For a $100 bettor, that is an increase of $300 in profit, just with a single wager.

With all four teams listed above, there is a significant ROI advantage for anyone willing to shop around and find their Best Odds.


About the author

A fan of both the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, which is rare! Thomas provides sports betting content with the intent to educate and enter...

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