Sixteen NBA teams battle it out each spring for the right to be called pro basketball’s best. Below we look at NBA Playoffs odds for which teams will make the postseason, and once the playoffs do roll around we will give out live lines for each game.
NBA playoffs odds: To make the postseason
To Make the NBA Playoffs odds have been posted by top US sportsbooks. Click on the prices you like to bet now.
NBA player props (October 23, 2021)
Check out our FREE props tool below to help you find the best NBA odds at all of the US sportsbooks.
Odds to make the postseason
Here is a look at “odds to make the NBA Playoffs” from DraftKings Sportsbook ahead of the 2021-22 season.
- Rockets +1600
- Pacers -175
- Clippers -285
- Lakers -3500
- Grizzlies +110
- Heat -1000
- Bucks -8000
- Timberwolves +600
- Pelicans +190
- Knicks -150
- Thunder +2200
- Magic +2200
- 76ers -2000
- Suns -3500
- Trail Blazers -250
- Spurs +1000
- Kings +380
- Raptors +280
- Jazz -1000
- Wizards +450
- Celtics -500
- Hawks -500
- Mavericks -650
- Nuggets -650
- Warriors -600
- Hornets +175
- Bulls -185
- Nets -20000
- Pistons +200
- Cavaliers +2000
How does the Play-In Tournament work?
The NBA’s new Play-In Tournament takes place right before the start of the traditional postseason. The tourney decides the 7 and 8 seeds in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference.
The format gives an advantage to the teams with higher regular season winning percentages as the teams with the seventh highest and eighth highest winning percentages each get two chances to win one game to earn a playoff berth. Teams with the ninth highest and 10th highest winning percentages in each conference have to nab two straight victories to earn a place in the traditional postseason under the format.
Last season the Lakers clinched the 7 seed in the West by toppling the Warriors and the Celtics secured the 7 seed in the East by beating the Wizards. Washington fared much better in their second Play-In game, thumping the Pacers to land the 8 seed in the East, while the Warriors went 0-2 in the Play-In, falling to Memphis.
What are NBA futures?
In betting terms, “Futures,” usually refer to wagers with a season-long outcome such as the NBA champion, NBA division winner, or individual award winners. Prior to the season, it’s possible to bet Over or Under on Team Win totals, i.e. the number of games a team is expected to win during the regular season.
Due to the shortened season, bets on Win Totals and division winners have been rendered null and void with the investment going back to bettors.
How to bet the NBA Playoffs
Betting on a potential outcome such as the NBA champion is known as a futures bet. There are several other ways to bet on individual games in the NBA Playoffs including taking the winner on the moneyline. This is the simplest way to bet, but the favored team will always have negative odds to encourage action on both sides. For example, if the Nets face the Jazz in the first game of the NBA Finals, the Nets might be listed with -250 odds for Game 1, indicating that a $25 bet on the Nets to win would only profit $10.
If you want a better chance at even money, you’ll have to bet the point spread for a game. The spread is set based on a number that oddsmakers feel will encourage action on both sides of the line. Taking an example from the first round of last year’s playoffs, the Lakers were expected to blow past the eighth-seeded Blazers in Game 4 of their series. They were listed as Lakers (-9.5), indicating the Lakers would have to win by double digits for their backers to cash. Conversely, the Blazers (+9.5) would pay out as long as they lost by 9 or fewer points. With no home court advantage in the 2020 NBA playoffs, most point spreads have been small, with plenty hovering around -1.5 or even a “PK” or Pick ‘Em line that functions just like a moneyline.
Since NBA games often finish in scattered fashion with late buckets and free throws, you may not feel as confident about choosing a winner or betting the spread. If so, you can get some action on the point total or over/under. The total refers to the combined score between two opponents and in today’s NBA, it usually ranges between 205 and 230 points. For example, if a line between the Knicks and Hawks is set at 222.5 and the Knicks defeat the Hawks, 112-110, the Under is successful. These lines are set depending on the typical pace and style of each opponent, while accounting for things like home court advantage and back-to-back scheduling. Those factors are almost completely irrelevant in this year’s playoffs, so betting the point total will be all about matchups.
It’s also possible to bet on the prospects of individual players in the form of proposition bets. This is an excellent way to strategize while betting on the NBA, since certain players thrive in certain matchups and it can be predictable which nights they will give their absolute best effort. If the Lakers are playing a Game 7 in the WCF, you can certainly target a proposition on LeBron James going Over 46.5 combined points, rebounds, and assists. If James posts a relatively typical line of 27 points, 11 assists, and 9 rebounds, the Over would cash. There are also novel prop bets about whether a player will record a double double, triple double, or hit a certain number of 3-pointers.
Bettors can wager on future outcomes without picking the NBA champion, since each playoff series will have a series line. For example, the No.3-seeded Bucks were listed with -310 odds to defeat the Miami Heat in the first round, but if you felt Miami matched up well against Milwaukee, you could get plus odds on the Heat winning that series (+240). These odds will change after each result with the team leading the series getting a significant bump as the favorite.