How To Bet On NBA Playoff: Complete Guide | LeoVegas

NBA Playoffs Betting Guide

The regular season is coming to an end. As with each year, the league has been a rollercoaster of emotions and surprises, most especially in terms of which teams have successfully managed to qualify for the playoffs and those that, sadly, did not. American basketball is classified as one of the most popular sports globally; continue reading this article to find out why.

Table of Content:

How To Bet On The NBA Playoffs:

There’s no better time to bet on the NBA than during the playoffs! With LeoVegas, we are providing a simple guide to betting on the NBA playoffs below - using the Milwaukee Bucks v Golden State Warriors as an example.

1.Enter the LeoVegas Sportsbook via our app or desktop.

2.Games within the NBA Playoffs can be found via the 'Live' tab if a game is ongoing. If the playoff game is scheduled to start soon, you could find the game in the 'Upcoming' tab. There’s also the option to use our dynamic search function. Simply type ‘NBA’ into the search bar and you’ll find hundreds of markets waiting for you.

3.Simply select the playoff game you would like to wager on, in this instance, the Milwaukee Bucks v Golden State Warriors.

4.Once you click on the game, you can select whichever market you'd like to bet on. You can cover everything from Moneyline to Over/Under with LeoVegas.

5.Once your selection is added to the betslip, select your wager, and make your best bet!


NBA Playoff Betting Markets

LeoVegas’ expansive sportsbook provides hundreds of markets for the NBA playoffs - you can choose the market for you. Here are some of our favourites:

Championship Winner

This bet means that you will choose who will be lifting the championship at the end of the playoffs. You simply have to select the team from the playoff bracket that you think is going to be NBA Champion.

Moneyline bets

You can bet on the moneyline throughout the entire NBA playoffs. This market is when you simply bet on who will win the individual game - this is not the same as betting on who wins the series.

Player specific markets

Do you have a feeling that a player will have a big night in the playoffs? Well, bet on them to have the most rebounds, most assists, or most points with our player specific markets.

Point Spread

Another popular market within the LeoVegas sportsbook is the point spread. This market creates a deficit/advantage for one of the teams. If a team is favored, they may be set as a -3.5 against the spread, this means the specific team would have to win by 4+ points to be successful. Similarly, if a team is placed at +3.5, they'd have to lose by 3 or less.

Series Winner

As mentioned above, you can place a bet on who you will win individual games. However, you can also bet on which team you think will advance in the series and progress to the next round of the playoffs.

What Are the Best NBA Playoff Betting Strategies?

Here are a few useful tips when it comes to betting on the following markets:

Championship Winner

When looking at the championship winner market, it is important to consider both the team's performance throughout the regular season and their current form going into the playoffs. Additionally, pay attention to any key injuries or roster changes that may affect a team's chances of winning.

Moneyline Bets

Moneyline bets are one of the simplest forms of betting in basketball, where you simply choose which team will win the game. In the postseason, it is crucial to consider home-court advantage and any potential momentum swings that may occur during a series.

Player Specific Markets

Player specific markets such as points, rebounds, and assists can be highly profitable if you do your research. Take into account a player's historical performance in the playoffs, their matchups against opposing teams, and any potential injuries that may impact their performance.

Point Spread

The point spread market involves predicting whether a team will win or lose by a certain number of points. In the postseason, it is important to carefully analyze each team's defensive and offensive capabilities, as well as their head-to-head record, to make an informed decision.

Series Winner

In a best-of-seven series, the series winner market can be challenging to predict. Look for any patterns or trends in past playoff matchups between the two teams and consider factors such as team chemistry and coaching strategies that may impact the outcome of the series.

Regular Season - Western Conference

While the Eastern Conference has been something of a cakewalk for one team in particular (Boston Celtics), the Western Conference has been much more closely fought.

Three teams at the top are separated by less than .2 percentile at the time of writing, with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets, and Oklahoma City Thunder pushing each other for the cherished top seed.

Some surprise names have struggled to keep pace with the top three - namely the LA Lakers and the Golden State Warriors, both of whom seem destined for a place in the Play-In tournament.

Luka Doncic has been in imperious form for the Dallas Mavericks - he sits at the top of the Points Per Game metric for this season’s NBA so far, averaging over 30, while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for the Thunder has also been in eye-catching form.

Regular Season - Eastern Conference

All hail the Boston Celtics. Jaylen Brown and company have already clinched the best record this season and their record is unassailable going into the final week of action. They are merely living up to their billing - they have been one of the top NBA contenders for years now, but have often faltered in the playoffs.

The Celtics have been near unbeatable at home, having suffered just three defeats at TD Garden all season. Can they translate their commanding form to the postseason?

Elsewhere, heading into the final week of action, seeds two through five are all up in the air, with Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, and New York Knicks vying for home-court advantage.

While Doncic has been having his way out West, Greek giant Giannis Antetokounmpo has been in scintillating form for the Milwaukee Bucks. He is also averaging more than 30 points per game - the only player in the Eastern Conference to hit this target going into the final week of games.

2024 NBA Playoffs Key Dates

Here are some of the need-to-know dates for your diary as the NBA playoff picture unfolds:

  • The 2024 NBA Play-In Tournament will take place on April 16-19.
  • The first round of the NBA playoffs starts on April 20.
  • The conference semifinals begin on May 6-7
  • The conference finals begin on May 21-22
  • The NBA Finals start on June 6.Please note, these dates are preliminary. Some fixtures may be moved forward depending on how quickly other games finish.

NBA Playoff 2024 Favourites

It’s not exactly difficult to know where to start with this one. If the Boston Celtics replicate their regular season form, they will comfortably come out on top in the postseason.

They have set a league record by beating three teams by 50 points or more this season, they have already clinched the best record in the NBA for the first time since they won the Championship back in 2008, and at the time of writing, only the 1995-96 and 1996-97 Chicago Bulls teams (+13.4 and +12.0 respectively) rank above them in the NBA Net Rating system - the Celtics are currently at +11.9 with one week of play to go.

That being said, they still exhibit some worrying signs, especially late on in games. They come in at 18th in the league when it comes to pace, which is a metric that determines the average number of plays per 48 minutes. In the final five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime when the score is within five points – the Celtics’ pace ranks 30th.

Elsewhere, the Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers provide the chief threat.

Key Players to Watch in the NBA 2024 Playoffs

LeBron James

At 37 years old, James continues to defy age and put up MVP-caliber numbers. In the 2023-24 season, he averages 25.4 points, 8.2 assists and 7.2 rebounds per game. With his leadership and ability to take over games, he can lead the Los Angeles Lakers to another championship run.

Kevin Durant

After returning from a devastating Achilles injury, Durant shows no signs of slowing down. In the 2023-24 season, he averages 27.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. With his elite scoring ability and versatile skill set, he remains a massive asset for the Phoenix Suns.

Nikola Jokic

In the 2023-24 season, Jokic solidified himself as one of the best centers in the league. He averages 26.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 9.0 assists per game, and he recently posted his 25th triple-double of the season. His unique passing ability and scoring prowess make him a valuable asset for the Denver Nuggets.

Luka Doncic

At just 24 years old, Doncic has already established himself as one of the top players in the league. He is topping the table for points per game and with his impressive court vision and scoring ability, he can lead the Dallas Mavericks to championship contention..

Giannis Antetokounmpo

The back-to-back NBA MVP from 2018-2019 and 2019-2020, Antetokounmpo has rediscovered his dominance on both ends of the court. He averages 30.7 points, 11.6 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game, solidifying himself as one of the most dominant players in the league.

Stephen Curry

Despite injuries limiting his playing time, Curry continues to prove himself as one of the greatest shooters in NBA history. In the 2023-24 season, he averages 26.5 points per game, showing that he is still a force to be reckoned with when healthy.

How The NBA Playoffs Work

The NBA playoffs determine the winning team in the NBA championship. During the playoffs, the strongest teams in the East and West are also decided in the finals.

Play-In Tournament

The teams on the two sides are sorted by win-loss at the end of the regular season. The top 6 with the highest win-loss record qualify directly, while the teams placed between 7th and 10th place compete for the last four positions available (2 for the teams in the East and 2 in the West) in a Play-in tournament.

Whoever ends the regular season in seventh place will host the team in eighth place; at the same time, the team that finishes the regular season in ninth place will host the team in tenth place. The winners of these matches earn their positions as the seventh and eighth, respectively, in the Playoffs.

The Current Format Of The NBA Playoffs

Regarding the Playoffs format, we can say that it will be the same as in previous years. All rounds are a best-of-seven series, so whoever wins four games will move on to the next round, and so on, until the last round - the NBA Finals.

As already mentioned, the 12 teams with the highest record of wins-losses (6 in the East and 6 in the West) go directly to the postseason tournament, together with the four winners of the two Play-In tournaments.

Specifically, in the first round, which can be considered the quarter-finals, the team in the 1st seed will compete against the 8th, the 2nd against the 7th, the 3rd against the 6th, and the 4th against the 5th. The team in the highest position will be able to take advantage of the home factor as they will start the series at home.

The two winners between the 1st vs 8st and 4th vs 5th, and the 2 winners between the 2nd vs 7th and 3rd vs 6th will play the next round, i.e. the Conference Semifinals.

The last two franchises will compete in the penultimate series, the Conference Finals, which decrees the champion team in the East and the one in the West. The two winning teams will compete in the NBA Finals' last series.

Most notable NBA Playoff Moments

Because there’s nothing like a bit of reminiscing, here are some memorable moments from NBA playoff history:

Reggie Miller's 8-Point Turnaround

In one of the shortest but most memorable sporting surges in modern history, Miller bagged eight points in just nine seconds against the New York Knicks to turn game one of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on its head on May 7, 1995.

Damian Lillard's Buzzer-Beating Series Winner

It’s the fifth game in the first round of the playoffs between the Trail Blazers and the Thunder on April 23, 2019, and with the scores tied at 115-115, Lillard plays out the last ten seconds, waiting for his time to strike. Just before the buzzer, he lets go of an incredible three-pointer, breaking Thunder hearts.

Kawhi Leonard Breaks the Tie

During game seven of an amazing series between the Raptors and the 76ers, the Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard let go of a two-point effort from the corner with the score tied at 90-90. The ball agonisingly balances on the rim before dropping in, sparking scenes of chaos.

Pistons Upset Stacked Lakers

In 2004, despite boasting a roster brimming with the most recognisable names in the sport, the Lakers perished 4-1 to the Pistons in one of the most surprising upsets in NBA Finals history. The likes of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal were humbled.

Michael Jordan's "The Shot" against the Cavaliers

During the 1989 playoff game between the Bulls and the Cavaliers, Michael Jordan received an inbound pass before beating the buzzer with an outrageous shot to secure a 101–100 win and series victory. It was a classic moment in a classic match that saw no fewer than six lead changes in the final minute.

NBA Playoffs Appearances, Wins, and Defeats (All-Time)

TeamAppearancesWinsDefeatsWinning percentage
Atlanta Hawks361719.472
Boston Celtics633231.508
Brooklyn Nets221012.455
Charlotte Hornets1055.500
Chicago Bulls361521.417
Cleveland Cavaliers211011.476
Detroit Pistons311318.419
Golden State Warriors412120.512
Houston Rockets311516.484
Indiana Pacers251213.480
Los Angeles Clippers1688.500
Los Angeles Lakers633231.508
Memphis Grizzlies1358.385
Miami Heat251411.560
Milwaukee Bucks351520.371
Minnesota Timberwolves1046.400
New Orleans Pelicans734.429
New York Knicks492029.408
Oklahoma City Thunder211110.524
Orlando Magic1569.400
Philadelphia 76ers522527.481
Phoenix Suns301416.467
Portland Trail Blazers341816.529
Sacramento Kings1679.438
San Antonio Spurs532924.547
Toronto Raptors1174.636
Utah Jazz311417.452
Washington Wizards271017.370

NBA Playoff FAQ

Can you bet on the NBA playoffs?

Yes, you can bet on the NBA playoffs with LeoVegas - we offer thousands of markets and betting opportunities, pre-match and in-play.

Who is favoured in 2024 NBA playoffs?

Currently, the Boston Celtics are the team most fancied by the bookies to win the Championship.

How do you bet on the NBA game series?

To bet on an NBA game series, you can place wagers on individual games or overall series outcomes such as the series winner or total points scored.

How many NBA teams go to the playoffs?

Sixteen teams, the best eight from the East and the best eight from the West, will advance to the NBA playoffs.

What NBA teams are in the playoffs in 2024?

This list is yet to be finalized.

Who is the youngest NBA Finals MVP?

Magic Johnson was just 20 years old when he won the NBA Finals accolade in his rookie season.

How do NBA playoffs work in 2024?

The NBA playoffs in 2024 will feature 16 teams, with eight teams from each conference (Eastern and Western) competing for the championship.

Who won the NBA finals in 2022?

The 2022 NBA Champions are the Golden State Warriors.

Who won the NBA finals in 2023?

The Denver Nuggets won the NBA Finals in 2023. They defeated the Miami Heat in five games, with a final series score of 4-1. The decisive Game 5 was played on June 12, 2023, and the Nuggets scored 94-89.

How do the NBA playoffs work?

The NBA playoffs begin with the play-in tournament - this is where the 7th and 8th seed need to win ONE game to advance to the playoffs. As for the 9th and 10th seed, they have to win TWO-straight games to be in the playoffs.

After the play-in, the traditional 16-team playoff format begins. Eight teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences compete in the postseason. They face four rounds of playoff action, each round consisting of a seven-game series, and the last team remaining is world champion.

How many wins do you need for the NBA playoffs?

The amount of wins required depends on the stage you enter the bracket. For a 9th/10th seed, they’ll have to win 18 games to lift the trophy, a 7th/8th seed needs 17 wins, and a team that enters the playoffs in the first round has to win 16 games (four wins in each best-of-seven series).

What is the difference between NBA playoffs and finals?

The NBA Finals decides the winner of the NBA title. Like the playoffs, the winner is decided via a best-of-seven series, however, the winner is crowned World Champion.