How to Bet the NBA Playoffs: Understanding Series Wagers


April 16

The NBA’s Play-In Tournament wrapped up on Friday so we can finally turn our full attention to the start of the postseason, with opening-round matchups set to tip-off Saturday, April 16 starting with the Dallas Mavericks hosting the Utah Jazz.

For today, I want to focus solely on the exciting world of series betting rather than bets geared towards individual games (point spread, moneyline, game total, etc.). While results are not immediate, these bets do add an extra layer of interest, particularly in those long, drawn-out, non-competitive matchups. Having said that, below, I have outlined four of my favorite ways to indulge in NBA series betting.

Of note, this article is intended more for first-time bettors or more experienced betters looking to venture beyond the more traditional options, so I hope those of you out there find this useful!

All NBA odds and betting lines are provided by FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series Spread

The series spread works similarly to if you were betting on an individual game, only in this instance, it’s based on the entirety of the series.

For example, the Chicago Bulls are listed as +2.5 (+144) underdogs on the series spread. This means Chicago has to lose the series by no more than two games to have a winning ticket (4-2 or 4-3) or, on the off chance, upset the Bucks altogether.

Correct Score

This is a fun one in that you’re trying to predict the exact outcome of the series.

Let’s go back to Chicago-Milwaukee. As heavy favorites, oddsmakers have the Bucks winning in five games as the most likely scenario at +165, followed by a four-game sweep at +230. Conversely, a 4-0 (+3300) or 4-1 (+3300) outcome in favor of the Bulls would net you a tremendous payout on a $100 bet.

Check out SportsGrid’s NBA Betting Model for our top picks on spreads, moneyline, and totals.

Series Total Games

Do you like the Toronto Raptors-Philadelphia 76ers series to go the distance? Well, you can monetize that too.

These types of bets are a little more simplistic in that whoever wins the series is irrelevant. Rather, the only thing you care about is how long the series lasts. In the case of the Raps and Sixers, a seven-game series is the expected outcome at +190.

Series Highest PPG Average, Series Highest Rebound Average, Series Highest Three-Pointers Made Average

While not player props per se, these wagers do focus on individual performance within the series itself.

For instance, Kevin Durant is the odds-on-favorite to average the most points in the Brooklyn Nets-Boston Celtics series at -105, followed by Jayson Tatum at +195. Switching back to the Toronto-Philly series, where Joel Embiid is a whopping -2400 favorite to average the most rebounds, while Fred VanVleet at -140 is expected to average the most made threes.

It is another interesting and potentially profitable endeavor.

Other Series Betting Options: Game 1/Series Parlay, Series Correct Score After 3 Games




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