The NBA resumed play on Thursday, July 30 with twenty-two teams taking part in a mini-regular season that features each team playing eight games. The NBA playoffs then started on Monday, Aug. 17 and will run into October. The season will go no later than Oct. 12, which is the last possible day for a Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Below are NBA Finals odds for the 2019-20 season.
NBA Finals odds: Futures 2020
NBA Finals odds: Futures report – September 2020
NBA Championship favorites
Los Angeles Lakers: After losing Game 1 of their first round series against the Blazers, the Lakers have lifted their play to become the favorites to win the title. They ultimately beat Portland, 4-1, and easily dismissed the Rockets in Round 2, 4-1.
Miami Heat: The Heat and Nuggets have been the two big surprises of the NBA bubble. Miami swept Indiana in Round 1, and then trampled the No. 1-seeded Bucks in the semi-finals, 4-1.
Boston Celtics: The Celtics breezed by the 76ers in Round 1 but understandably had trouble with the defending champion Raptors in the semi-finals. Jayson Tatum came up huge for the Celtics in both series and is emerging as a bonafide superstar.
Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets have made NBA history in Orlando by becoming the first team in league history to come back twice in one postseason from a 3-1 deficit. Books had them around +850 to win the title heading into their Western Conference Finals series with the Lakers.
How the 2020 NBA playoffs will work
The NBA regular season usually lasts 82 games, but the 2019-2020 season has been quite different due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After a hiatus of three-plus months, the NBA invited 22 teams to a contained campus at Orlando’s Disney World, where they finished out the regular season with eight more games to determine playoff seeding. Most teams had played 60-65 games when the season was halted on March 11. Players and essential personnel are being tested consistently for COVID-19 and will be quarantined for 14 days if they test positive at any point.
Despite the delay, the NBA is running best-of-seven series formats for the quarterfinal, semifinal and finals in both the Eastern and Western Conference. The final team standing from each conference will meet in the NBA Finals, which will conclude no later than Oct. 12. The NBA Draft will follow on Oct. 16, and the draft lottery will be held on Aug. 25 this year.
Since all games will be held at Disney World, there will be no tangible home court advantage for higher seeds.
NBA Finals odds: Futures betting 101
NBA futures bets function like futures bets in other sports. They’re typically based on an end-of-season outcome. Futures bets are usually made available on both the team and player level.
Prior to the start of a season, team-level futures could include a wager on the minimum number of wins a team will capture in that season or whether a team will win its division or conference.
Player-level futures include whether a player will win the MVP, Rookie of the Year or Sixth Man of the Year awards, for example. Other player-level futures are based on whether a player will reach certain benchmarks in common statistical categories such as points, 3-point shots, rebounds or assists for the season.
Due to the shortened season, best on Win Totals and division winners have been rendered null and void with the investment going back to bettors.
Where do I find futures bets in an online sportsbook?
In an online sportsbook, available futures wagers are typically found under their own tab as a subcategory of wagers available for a particular sport. Like the odds for other bet types, futures bets are typically labeled with a number that has a “plus” or “minus” sign next to it.
In the case of futures bets, a “minus” sign would be placed next to a team or player that has a higher probability of reaching the statistical goal. Teams or players with a “plus” sign are considered by oddsmakers to have a lesser chance of reaching that goal. The higher the number next to the plus sign signifies the lower the probability the team or player achieves it.
For example, the Golden State Warriors entered the 2018-19 season as the overwhelming favorites to win a third consecutive championship and when the playoffs began they were listed as “-210” in terms of their odds of winning the title outright. That signifies that a bettor would have to wager $210 to win $100 if the Warriors did indeed win it all.
It’s also important to note that futures odds for both players and teams can certainly fluctuate throughout the course of a season. Odds have fluctuated due to the long break during the first months of the pandemic, so check out our table for a full look at odds.
Not only are we dealing with the possibility of potential season-ending injuries this season, we could also see teams lose vital players if they test positive for COVID-19 at any point. Imagine if LeBron James tested positive in the first round of the playoffs. The Lakers odds to win the title would drop precipitously since he would likely have to sit out for 14 days.
In such an instance, bettors may have seen the Lakers futures odds go from +270 to +600, for example. That means that a bettor still wishing to place a wager on the Lakers to win at that point could instead win $600 for every $100 bet, rather than cashing $270 on that potential winning ticket.
Best NBA betting sites
Common questions regarding wagering on the NBA Finals
Where can I bet on the NBA Finals in the US?
Bettors can currently bet on the NBA Finals in the US at a regulated sportsbook in one of the following states:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Who is the favorite to win the NBA Championship in 2020?
The Milwaukee Bucks were installed as a slight favorite to win the 2020 NBA Championship when the restart began with +240 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. But the Bucks were unceremoniously bounced from the playoffs in Round 2 by Miami. The Lakers were the favorites to win it all as of Sept. 16, with odds of -160.
When does the 2019-20 NBA season start?
The regular season began in October 2019. The 2020-21 NBA season is expected to start around Christmas 2020 due to the delays this spring and summer.
When do the NBA Finals start?
The 2020 NBA Finals are set to start on Sept. 30. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA Finals typically began and ended in the month of June.
Where can I get NBA betting tips?
Start with our own 6-part NBA betting series right here:
PlayPicks.com is also a valuable resource for bettors of all levels. Throughout the NBA season, PlayPicks.com will feature articles with a sports betting breakdown of select games, including a suggested lean or pick on the game’s point spread, moneyline and/or the projected total. Additionally, new bettors can find rewarding offers and bonuses exclusive to PlayPicks.com readers that are also first-time depositors.