The NBA Playoffs is the post-season tournament held after the NBA season concludes each year. The best-of-seven elimination tournament crowns the Eastern and Western Conference Champions, who then go on to the NBA Finals in June.
Each year, the NBA Playoffs provide sports bettors huge opportunities to bet on elite-level games - and provide added challenges to sports bettor’s strategies due to the high level and close competition. Each game provides opportunities for upsets, so bettors need to really drill down and research their NBA Playoffs betting strategy.
This year, however, the NBA season was cut short - ending gameplay on March 11th due to the coronavirus pandemic. The league decided to postpone the remainder of the season instead of canceling, and play the remaining eight games, NBA playoffs, and NBA Finals at a later date.
Games are to resume July 31, 2020, and under this plan, the 22 top teams will finish the NBA regular season to determine playoff seeding. Of the 22 teams invited to finish the regular season, 13 are from the Western Conference, and 9 are from the Eastern Conference. The top 16 teams will move on to play in the 2020 NBA Playoffs in a traditional seeded tournament-style.
Teams clinched playoff spots before the pandemic even started, like the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics in the East, and the Los Angeles Lakers in the West.
On June 4th, several teams automatically clinched a playoff spot based on the 22-team plan to return to play. Those teams are The Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder.
All games of the remainder of the season and the NBA Playoffs will take place in Orlando, FL at the Walt Disney World Resort to keep things contained during a pandemic. Twenty-two teams will arrive but only two will come out as Eastern and Western Conference Champions, moving on to the NBA Finals.
2020 NBA Playoffs Betting
When it comes to betting on the NBA, we need to go through the different betting types and create a strategy around betting on the 2020 Playoff season. While this year proves to be a bit different, we first need to determine the 16 teams to make the playoffs.
The current 2019-2020 NBA Standings in each conference will likely reflect the outcome of the regular season - but this isn’t guaranteed. Teams have had months off, if they haven’t maintained training, or if injured players had the recoup time and are returning, that would totally affect how the playoffs look.
Eastern Conference Standings
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Toronto Raptors
- Boston Celtics
- Indiana Pacers
- Miami Heat
*The Hornets, Bulls, Knicks Pistons Hawks and Cavaliers were excluded from the 22-team regular season
Western Conference Standings
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Denver Nuggets
- Houston Rockets
- Oklahoma City Thunder
*The Timberwolves and Warriors were excluded from the 22-team regular season.
Only eight teams from each conference will advance to the 2020 NBA Playoffs. There are currently NBA Playoff odds on the winner of each conference, the winner of the NBA Finals. These are called NBA Playoff futures and are made available months in advance.
Odds to Win the Eastern Conference
The odds to win the Eastern Conference are available. The odds are subject to change and will likely adjust as the NBA restart marches closer. The odds were last updated on September 18, 2020:
Odds to Win the Western Conference
The odds to win the Western Conference have been posted. The odds will adjust as soon as the season gets underway, so be sure to check back with this page as often as possible. The odds were last updated on September 18, 2020:
|Los Angeles Lakers||-625||-625||-625|
It should be noted that not all of these teams will make the playoffs, but the oddsmakers seem fairly certain which teams will be claiming those top 16 spots. Also, there is no home-court advantage for any game, not even the NBA Finals series, meaning things could get interesting for the teams who struggle as visitors.
Betting Options During the NBA Playoffs
NBA Playoffs odds are very similar to NBA odds. Anyway, let's have a look at the most popular betting types.
NBA Playoffs Moneyline Betting
By far the most popular betting type in any sport, betting the moneyline during the NBA Playoffs can prove to be a bit riskier, but all the more exciting. When betting the moneyline, all you have to do is to choose which team you think will win the game. It doesn’t get much more simple than that. There will be moneyline odds on all games in the playoffs, so you can place a moneyline wager on all NBA Playoff games.
NBA Playoffs Point Spreads
While point spreads are a little more complicated, betting the point spreads during the NBA Playoffs is more popular. When seeding a first-place team against an 8th place team, you will see obvious underdogs, and sometimes you can get some great value on them. This also leaves huge opportunities for upsets, which as you know, will pay out the big bucks.
If the spread is +12.5/-12.5, that means that the underdog will have to win the game or lose by less than 12. If you pick the favorite, they will have to win by more than 13 points.
NBA Playoffs Totals Betting
Totals aren’t as popular when it comes to betting on the NBA Playoffs because most bettors want to predict the winner of the matchup. For the totals, or over/under as it’s commonly called, you will need to decide if the total combined points for both teams in a single game will be over or under the oddsmaker’s line. If the total is 198, you will need to decide if you think both teams will score more or less than that amount collectively.
NBA Playoff Prop Betting
NBA prop betting is a fun and exciting way to make some extra cash on random and unique happenings during the NBA Playoffs. There are countless NBA Playoff props to bet on during the tournament, and many are active right now. Prop bets allow you to bet on things that don’t affect the outcome of the games. You can bet on player props, which is most common. Or, things like ‘Will there be a Play-In series in the playoffs?”.
Depending on your sportsbook, they will have a great assortment of NBA Playoff props for you to bet on leading up to and during the tournament.
Top Online Sportsbooks for Betting on the NBA Playoffs
Now that you’re aware of the NBA Playoffs odds and popular betting options you can take advantage of during the tournament, it’s time to choose a sportsbook to place your wagers at. It can be overwhelming to see so many online sportsbooks and daunting to try to choose the best one.
Luckily we have plenty of online sportsbook reviews to ensure you select one that’s safe, secure, and has plenty of NBA Playoff odds to choose from. Reviews help by showing you criteria you may overlook, like deposit and withdrawal options, deposit minimums and maximums, and whether or not they have NBA Playoff bonuses.
Remember to have fun betting on the 2020 NBA Playoffs, and as always, gamble responsibly.