Before the one season ends, it is not uncommon for sportsbooks to post odds on who will win the NBA Finals for the following season. By the time the Finals roll around, fans of teams already out of the picture will be more interested in next season. Why not?
But how do they project NBA Finals odds that far ahead? Every sportsbook will have its own method, but things like the last season, the growth potential, quality of the competition, salary cap space, roster stability, and more are probably factored in somehow.
Projections were certainly pretty accurate for the 2020 NBA Finals. Expectations were high on the Los Angeles Lakers even before they acquired Anthony Davis, whom everyone expected the Lakers to acquire. Since the duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James were as good as expected, the Lakers remained the favorites throughout the season.
After winning the NBA Finals in 2020, it was not surprising sportsbooks made the Lakers favorites to win again in 2021. However, while they still are at many books, the Brooklyn Nets are the favorite at some.
Current NBA Finals Odds
With the season working its way through the post-All-Star break part of the schedule, it is not hard to tell who the contenders are for the NBA Finals this season. The race may be a little tighter than expected. However, there really are not any surprises:
Implied probabilities are calculated using odds offered by DraftKings.
Last Updated: 2021-04-23 00:00:00 PDT.
|+220||+240||+250||+243||29.25%|| -0.54%|| -0.66%|| 0.52%|
|+350||+350||+350||+335||23.08%|| 0.32%|| 0.51%|| -2.59%|
|+700||+650||+500||+588||14.79%|| -0.24%|| -0.37%|| -0.37%|
|+750||+750||+800||+775||11.44%|| -0.55%|| 0.03%|| 0.91%|
|+700||+700||+800||+800||11.30%||0.00%|| 0.82%|| 0.82%|
|+1200||+1200||+1000||+1100||8.39%|| 0.49%|| 0.77%|| 0.65%|
|+2400||+2000||+1600||+1875||5.22%|| -0.11%|| 1.07%|| 1.53%|
|+3000||+3500||+3000||+2875||3.50%|| 0.15%|| -2.39%|| -1.92%|
|+3600||+3800||+2500||+3225||3.09%|| -0.27%|| -0.23%|| -0.41%|
|+4200||+4000||+5000||+4300||2.29%||0.00%|| 0.13%|| 0.14%|
|+6000||+5000||+5000||+5000||2.00%|| 0.12%|| -0.07%|| -0.47%|
|+8000||+6000||+5000||+6125||1.66%|| -0.09%|| -0.18%|| -0.11%|
|+19000||+10000||+10000||+12000||0.90%|| 0.11%|| 0.16%|| 0.28%|
|+16000||+15000||+10000||+12750||0.82%|| -0.12%|| -0.30%|| -0.42%|
|+25000||+10000||+10000||+15000||0.76%|| 0.33%|| 0.33%|| 0.28%|
|+24000||+25000||+15000||+18500||0.62%||0.00%|| -0.06%|| -0.20%|
|+25000||+15000||+20000||+18125||0.59%||0.00%|| 0.03%|| 0.12%|
|+16000||+15000||+25000||+18375||0.56%|| -0.21%|| -0.50%|| -0.47%|
|+24000||+25000||+20000||+21000||0.49%|| -0.15%|| -0.25%|| -0.16%|
|+25000||+25000||+15000||+22500||0.47%|| -0.06%|| -0.13%|| -0.09%|
|+25000||+25000||+25000||+22500||0.47%||0.00%|| -0.06%|| -0.02%|
|+25000||+50000||+25000||+31250||0.35%||0.00%|| -0.12%|| -0.12%|
|+25000||+50000||+100000||+50000||0.28%|| -0.06%|| -0.21%|| -0.12%|
|+25000||+100000||+100000||+76250||0.18%|| -0.05%|| -0.10%|| -0.05%|
|+25000||+150000||+100000||+92500||0.17%|| -0.07%|| -0.07%|| -0.01%|
|+25000||+150000||+250000||+130000||0.16%|| -0.02%|| -0.03%|| -0.02%|
|+25000||+150000||+500000||+192500||0.15%|| -0.02%|| -0.04%|| -0.01%|
|+25000||+150000||+500000||+231250||0.13%||0.00%|| -0.02%|| -0.03%|
|+25000||+150000||+500000||+231250||0.13%||0.00%|| -0.02%|| -0.03%|
|+25000||+150000||+500000||+231250||0.13%||0.00%|| -0.02%|| -0.03%|
Current Favorites For The 2021 NBA Finals
Los Angeles Lakers +350
As long as the Lakers have LeBron James and Anthony Davis, they will be one of the top contenders for the NBA Finals. With two of the biggest superstars in the game and a good corps of talented young players, they will be tough to beat.
Brooklyn Nets +250
If there is one team that could beat the Lakers in the Finals this year, it is the Brooklyn Nets. They were already considered one of the top contenders with a healthy Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving taking the court every night. But the addition of James Harden has many thinking the Lakers will not repeat this year.
Los Angeles Clippers +500
While the Lakers get most of the attention in Los Angeles, the Clippers remain one of the NBA’s better teams. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are one of the better duos in the NBA. But is the group of players around them good enough for the Clipper to take down the Lakers in a best of seven series?
Milwaukee Bucks +800
The Bucks may not be dominating the regular season like they did the last couple of years, but they are still one of the best teams in the NBA. But after two disappointing early exits in the playoffs the previous two years, fans may be understandably skittish about the Bucks getting the job done this season.
Utah Jazz +800
As the team with the best record in the NBA, the Jazz must be part of the conversation regarding NBA Finals contenders. They are a top-five team on the offensive and defensive side of the court this season and have played well against the best both conferences have to offer. But are they good enough to beat the Lakers or Clippers in a seven-game series? Or the Nets or Bucks.
Where Can I Bet On The NBA Finals Online
You are better off sticking with one of the major online sportsbooks like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, BetMGM, or William Hill for the most reliable service and competitive odds.
But every book is not available in every state:
- BetRivers: Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, and New Jersey (PlaySugarHouse.com)
- William Hill: Virginia, New Jersey, West Virginia, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee, and Michigan
- FanDuel: Illinois, Colorado, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee, and Michigan
- BetMGM: Michigan, Virginia, New Jersey, Nevada, West Virginia, Indiana, Tennessee, Colorado, Iowa, and Pennsylvania
- DraftKings: New Jersey, Virginia, New Hampshire, Iowa, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Colorado, Illinois, Tennessee, and Michigan
Because the odds will be competitive no matter who you decide to bet with, it can be hard to determine which sportsbook you should bet with. That is where you can/should factor in the site’s bonus offer.
Who is going to give you more if you bring your business to them?
- Welcome Bonus: Visit BetRivers Sportsbook and claim a 100% first deposit match of up to $250
- 1X play-through requirement
- You have 30 days upon receipt of bonus money to satisfy the play-through requirement.
- Welcome Bonus: Visit William Hill Sportsbook and claim a risk-free bet of $500 ($2021 in some states) – Use Code TODAYRF
- You must make your first bet within seven days of opening your account.
- Your account will be credited with a free bet equal in value to your first bet up to $500 (if you lost) and must be used within seven days.
- Welcome Bonus: Visit FanDuel Sportsbook and claim a risk-free bet with a max value of $1000
- Funds from lost wager returned as site credit and must be used within 14 days.
- 1X play-through requirement.
- Welcome Bonus: Visit BetMGM Sportsbook and claim a risk-free bet with a max value of $600
- For bets over $50, refunds in the form of free bets get issued in 20 % increments of what you wagered.
- Free bets must be used within seven days of them being credited to your account.
- Welcome Bonus: Visit DraftKings Sportsbook and claim a 20% first deposit match up to $1000
- Play through requirement is one of the stricter in the industry but can be met playing in the casino and DFS along with the sportsbook; for every $25 played, the user will receive $1 of bonus money
- One of the most trusted and respected sportsbooks in the US
How NBA Finals Bettings Odds Are Calculated
Betting odds for the NBA Finals can be a little tricky, but not because they are confusing or anything. It is because there are several things you can bet on.
There is the overall winner (futures), the outcome of each game played (point spread, moneyline, totals), and various prop bets related to the Finals (i.e., MVP, how long the series will be, and who wins, etc.).
Futures are available as early as prior to the previous season’s Finals and throughout the season. But those odds will often change once teams start making moves in free agency,
because of any trades, and the draft.
In-season, the odds will change depending on how well a team is playing, how well other teams may be playing, injuries, and any in-season acquisitions (like when the Nets acquired James Harden).
Generally speaking, odds are subject to change leading up to the Finals depending on how well a team is playing, injuries, and who they are facing.
As for the spread, moneyline, and totals, those will be dependent on how well each team is playing heading into the Finals and how well they play as the Finals progress. Injuries will, of course, factor in as well.
The same can be said for the various prop bets sportsbooks will offer heading into the Finals and as they progress.
NBA Finals Odds And Betting
There are several ways in which you can bet on the NBA Finals such as the outcome of each game (moneyline, point spread, and totals), futures, and prop bets.
You can’t bet on the outcome of each individual game until the moneyline, point spread, and totals are posted. For Game One it will be shortly after each participant has been decided. Odds for each subsequent game will come out after the conclusion of the previous game.
Futures, or who is going to win the NBA Finals, is something fans can bet sometimes during the previous Finals (or shortly after). Sportsbooks usually do not waste time posting odds for the next season.
Odds will shift throughout the year up until each conference championship is decided. Once it is down to the last two teams, betting typically shifts to the prop bets and game outcomes.
As for the prop bets, those will typically be posted when the point spread, moneyline, and totals are. Fans can usually bet on them right up until game time.
Check out our complete Guide To NBA Betting with live betting odds.
What Is An NBA Futures Bet?
An NBA futures bet is a wager made on the outcome of a future event—like the NBA Finals. Fans can bet on the winner of the NBA Finals throughout the offseason, regular season, and playoffs. Until the matchup is set, those odds are considered futures.
Other examples include the regular season MVP, Coach of the Year, and the other awards handed out at the end of the season. Sportsbooks take bets on these as early as the previous offseason (MVP) and throughout the regular season.
What Is An NBA Finals Prop Bet?
Prop bets are bets not related to the outcome of a game or series. They are more so related to what goes on in-game. There really is not a shortage of prop bets for the NBA Finals. The Finals MVP is considered a prop bet.
Sportsbooks will have many based on player production—how many points will LeBron James score, how many rebounds will Anthony Davis have, etc. Prop bets will often be offered on team production by quarter and half as well.
Where Can I Bet On The NBA Championship In Vegas
If you decide you want to head to Vegas to bet on the NBA Finals, your options are going to be wide open to you. Sports betting is, of course, legal in Nevada, both in-person and online. However, to bet online, you will have to register for an account in person first.
As for where to go, take your pick from one of the many casinos in Las Vegas. Just about every casino there will have a sportsbook located on the premises. If you happen to be in one that does not have one, there will probably be several that do nearby.
Because odds can vary from one book to the next, it may not be a bad idea to check out the odds in Vegas before traveling to Sin City. You can check out several websites to see what the odds are like in Vegas (i.e., VegasInsider.com, Vegas.com, etc.). You can also check some of the sportsbooks that operate in Nevada.
Strategies For NBA Finals Betting
Everyone has their own betting strategy. Some will have more detailed, intricate plans than others, and some may have no real plan at all—and that is okay. But the basis of every strategy should involve a few basic things:
- Set limits and stick to them.
- Stay calm and do not overreact to anything.
- Listen to your friends and the ‘experts’ all you want, but always do your own homework (which is also a must).
- If you are going to be drinking, place your bets first. That way, you can make decisions with a clear head/mind.
- Do not bet money you do not have or cannot afford to lose.
As for the NBA Finals, there are different avenues you can take, but they all involve one thing—you must do your homework. If you are going to bet on alternate lines, you will need to have as much knowledge as possible to decide how many points you can give or take.
Fading the public can be another strategy. When the public starts to bet heavily on one team, sportsbooks will adjust the odds to discourage further bets on that team and to encourage betting on the other team. It is how they protect themselves from heavy losses.
But it can also be how you hit a bigger payday.
Then there is the safe route—betting on the favorite. In four of the last five years, the winner of the NBA Finals was a preseason favorite. The only outlier was in 2019 when the Toronto Raptors won (preseason odds +1850).
Betting Odds For The NBA Finals FAQs
Betting on the NBA Finals is legal in the US but only in states where betting on sports is legal.
Just about any online sportsbook will have odds on the NBA Finals. But it is usually better to stick with the major players in the industry like BetMGM, William Hill, DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, and BetRivers, to name a few.
The legal age varies from state to state. But the legal age to bet on the NBA Finals in most states is 21. It is, however, 18 in a few at retail sportsbook locations.
Yes, sportsbooks do offer live betting during the NBA Finals.
Much like prop bets in other sports, NBA Finals prop bets are related to in-game outcomes like player production (i.e., who scores first, individual player production, etc.). They may also pertain to how the series will play out (i.e., series standings after three, five, seven games, etc.).
No. While prop bets related to off-field things are typical for the Super Bowl, they are not common for the NBA Finals.
The 2020 NBA Champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, began the season as the favorite to win the NBA Finals this season. While they still are at some books, the Brooklyn Nets are slight favorites at others.
Precisely when the 2021 NBA Finals start will depend on how the postseason plays out. But they will start no later than July 8 and go as late as July 22. The location depends on who makes it to the Finals because the games take place in the cities of the two participating teams.