NBA Betting Tips | LeoVegas

NBA Betting

The 2021/22 season sees the NBA return to its full 82-game majesty, kicking off in October and coming to a head with the NBA Finals in June 2022. There’s plenty to keep us entertained this year, and here at LeoVegas we can’t help but make a few predictions about which teams will improve upon last season and make the playoffs, which players will stand out from the crowd, and who will be lifting silverware at the end of it all. So feel free to take a look at what we believe to be some of the best betting odds and NBA betting tips.

NBA Bets of the Day

As the 2022 NBA season rolls on, we will provide you with some of the bets that catch our eye every weekday. We’ll also provide a snippet of information that highlights why we think each particular bet has some value, but just remember that anything can happen during a game of basketball, and the final decision on what to bet on is entirely yours to make.

Ahead of the opening day, we have a couple of betting tips that we like the look of.

Milwaukee Bucks vs Brooklyn Nets - 00:30am 20th October

Milwaukee Bucks are the reigning champions, while Brooklyn Nets will feel they could have clinched the crown were it not for some unfortunate injuries. Both will want to start with a bang, meaning the backcourt is unlikely to get much focus, so we could see a high-scorer early doors.

Over 239.5 Total Points: 4/5

LA Lakers vs Golden State Warriors - 03:00am 20th October

Both sides limped towards the end of the 2021 season, with the Warriors missing out on a playoff spot (losing to the Lakers as part of the play-in tournament), and the Lakers struggling without LeBron James. Both will be looking to have more of an impact this time around, and we think the Lakers will make the clearer statement of intent with a home win.

LA Lakers -3.5: 4/6

How Do the 2021/22 NBA Playoffs Work?

Unlike the traditional format of the top eight teams playing one another in an elimination series, the 2021/22 NBA playoffs will be a little bit different.

Firstly, the top six teams in each conference will automatically qualify for the playoffs. That’s the simple part. What follows is an unconventional play-in tournament, where the seventh and eighth seeds will be up for grabs. To establish the first of those spots, the two teams that finish 7th and 8th in the conference will play a one-off game, with the winner taking the seventh seed. The teams that finish 9th and 10th in the conference will also play a one-off game.

The loser of the 7th v 8th contest and the winner of the 9th v 10th contest will then play each other to determine who qualifies for the playoffs as the eighth seed. The season is then over for any team that hasn’t qualified.

The playoffs then work exactly how they previous have, with 1st playing 8th, 2nd playing 7th, 3rd playing 6th, and 4th playing 5th in a best-of-seven series. The winners will then advance to the next round, until a winner of each conference is ultimately determined. These two winners then compete in the NBA Finals to establish an overall winner for the season.

When Do the 2021/22 NBA Playoffs Begin?

The play-in tournament takes place from April 12th to the 15th, with the full playoffs beginning on April 16th. The NBA Finals are scheduled to start on June 2nd, with game 7 (if needed) pencilled in for June 19th.

NBA Team Bets

If you think the sum of the parts is more important than the individuals, then we have some extensive NBA team betting markets for you to sink your teeth into. With the NBA split into smaller sections, you might want to back a team to win their division, even if you’re less confident that they can go all the way. On the flip side, if you fancy a side’s chances of being in the mix at the end of the season, you can bet on the conference winner, or even the NBA Finals champion. Let’s take a look at some of the teams we think are most likely to see some success across 2022.

NBA Division Winner

Almost all of the divisions are sewn up if some of the NBA betting odds are to be believed. In our sports betting markets, the Utah Jazz are 7/20 to win the Northwest Division, the LA Lakers are 19/20 to top the Pacific Division, and the Dallas Mavericks are 11/25 in the Southwest Division. The Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies, and Denver Nuggets offer high odds if you don’t want to back the favourites.

The three eastern divisions also have clear favourites, with Miami Heat 41/50 to fend off the competition in the Southeast Division, while the Milwaukee Bucks are 1/14 in the Central Division. The Atlantic Division saw three teams with betting odds higher than evens to win at the start of last season, but this time around the Brooklyn Nets are priced at 2/5 to emerge at the summit of the Atlantic Division.

Pacific Winner - Lakers: 19/20

NBA Conference Winner

Both conferences are likely to be highly contested again this year, and nothing cements that more than the fact that reigning champions, the Milwaukee Bucks, aren’t the favourites to win the Eastern Conference. Instead, that honour goes to the Brooklyn Nets, and their roster of superstars can certainly deliver, as long as fitness isn’t an issue. James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin, and Kevin Durant are all formidable on tier own, so seeing them all on the same team must be intimidating. Odds of 21/20 to win in the east have some serious value in our opinion.

The Western Conference is a different kettle of fish entirely, as there are plenty of teams that can cause an upset during a head-to-head series and make a claim to win their conference playoffs. The LA Lakers are the favourites, at 17/10, given they boast both Anthony Davis and LeBron James, and the acquisition of Russell Westbrook in the backcourt has done their chances no harm at all. The Golden State Warriors also catch the eye, with James Wiseman looking ready to deliver, and Klay Thompson back from the off. Odds of 9/2 are available on them to win the conference.

However, we can’t help but look at the Utah Jazz. They’ve strengthened their weaker areas this summer, with former-Spurs player Rudy Gay providing cover on the flanks, and with the likes of Rudy Gobert, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Donovan Mitchell already in the side, we think they have a chance.

West Champions - The Jazz: 7/1

NBA Finals Winner

Now we come to the main event, the cup that every player, fan, and coach hopes to lift come the end of the season, the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. Of the 30 teams currently in the NBA, six of them have failed to even reach a final, and a further five have never won the distinguished prize. The former includes the LA Clippers, while the latter group contains the Utah Jazz - both of whom are likely to be in with a chance of victory this time around.

The Clippers were joint-second favourites to win the NBA last season, alongside the Milwaukee Bucks, a team who ultimately tasted success, but missing Kawhi Leonard from the offset will put them on the back foot. Meanwhile, the Jazz are 14/1, and could be a dark horse. Big names such as the Golden State Warriors (10/1), the Philadelphia 76ers (16/1), and the Phoenix Suns (16/1) are at the slightly longer end of the list, but will still fancy themselves in the long run.

If you’re a fan of the more outlandish side of the NBA Finals betting market, then you may be interested to learn that four former champions make up the sides that are least likely to find themselves celebrating at the end of the campaign. Cleveland Cavaliers (2016 champions), Detroit Pistons (1989, 1990, & 2004), Houston Rockets (1994 & 1995), and Oklahoma City Thunder (1979) are all priced at 160/1.

For us at LeoVegas, we can’t overlook the strength of the Brooklyn Nets team, and so that’s where we’ll plant our flag.

NBA Champions - Nets: 23/10

NBA Player Bets

If you’re a fan of individuals rather than entire teams, you’ll be pleased to learn that we offer a wide range of NBA player betting markets. You can take a look at a specific player and predict whether or not they’ll perform above or below their average points-per-game targets across the season. You can also speculate who will walk away with the NBA prizes at the end of the year, with the likes of the best defensive player, top rookie, and MVP all featuring in our basketball betting markets.

NBA Defensive Player of the Year

Across the past 20 years, this award has generally rotated between being one back-to-back by the same player, and being won by someone who has a one-off outstanding season. Giannis Antetokounmpo broke Rudy Gobert’s streak in 2020, but the Jazz center took his crown back, with recent trends suggesting he could do it again. That may explain why he tops the pile at 3/1.

The Lakers’ Anthony Davis, whose performances across 2020’s title-winning campaign were nothing short of magnificent, is 5/1, alongside current 76ers point guard Ben Simmons, who is still looking to firmly deliver on his potential, although his future may lie away from Philadelphia. Both will be keen to improve their backcourt stats to ensure there’s no way they can be overlooked.

It’s worth highlighting that this award hasn’t been won by a player on the champion’s team since Draymond Green at the Golden State Warriors in 2017. Given that we think the Jazz may come up just short of the title, we’ll back Gobert to be the stand out once again.

Defensive - Rudy Gobert: 3/1

NBA Rookie of the Year

The 2021 NBA Draft was one of the most hotly-anticipated, with a few key youngsters on the radar for many teams. Cade Cunningham was arguably the most coveted of these, and his three-point shooting will be an asset for the Detroit Pistons. If he can work on his ball-handling, he’s going to have a great season, and odds of 23/10 make him the favourite to be named Rookie of the Year.

Jalen Green was the second pink of the draft, finding himself at the Houston Rockets, and odds of 5/2 make him the second-favourite. Like Cunningham, he also boasts some fairly decent stats when it comes to distance shooting, and if he can deliver on his promise and work hard, he could claim this honour.

Jalen Suggs of the Orlando Magic and Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers are two other contenders, with Suggs boasting an all-around game that sees him proficient at creating and executing shots, while also being a menace on the defensive end. Mobley, on the other hand, is a coveted ‘big man’ player, who offers deceptive mobility in the paint at both ends to put down two-pointers and also protect the rim at his own end. Suggs is 5/1, while Mobley is 8/1.

It sounds like taking the easy option, but favourites are usually favourites for a reason in the NBA, so at LeoVegas, we’d have to back Cade Cunningham.

Rookie - Cade Cunnigham: 23/10


The most prestigious honour an individual can win is the Most Valuable Player award, but the top player actually rarely comes from the top team. Nikola Jokic won last year, and with the Denver Nuggets not expected to challenge for the title, he could be worth backing again. However, odds of 16/1 for the center suggest it could be someone else who takes the crown.

Luka Doncic is the focal point of the Dallas Mavericks, he plays some exceptional stuff, and is one of the most entertaining players in the NBA today. There’s no doubt that the 22-year-old is going to be a superstar in the league for the next decade, and he fits the above criteria, but is he quite at the point to be the MVP? If you think he is, he’s the favourite at 4/1.

Kevin Durant and Joel Embiid both sit at 7/1, but with our earlier statement that Brooklyn could well win the NBA Finals, we don’t think the former is worth a punt. Embiid seems at odds with some of his 76ers teammates, which also casts doubt over his chances to become Philadelphia’s first MVP since Allen Iverson back in 2001.

We like the look of Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, as he consistently puts in strong performances, and the team have strength in depth. 14/1 is the price you can find for him. Elsewhere, Giannis Antetokounmpo is always going to be in the conversation, and is listed at 8/1.

However, there’s another 8/1 player who is integral to his team, and plays the kind of basketball that sets him out as a unique entity. Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry looks fairly certain to one day be a Hall of Famer, and a third MVP award to add to his 2015 and 2016 triumphs would raise his profile even higher.

MVP - Steph Curry: 8/1

*all odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change

More at LeoVegas

The LeoVegas online casino provides much more than just NBA betting tips, with markets for a variety of sports including cricket, boxing, horse racing, rugby, and tennis.

However, if it’s online slot machines you’re after, you might be interested in our sports-themed slots. You can clear the boundary in the Cricket Star slot, hit the target in Double Top Darts, and back the winner in Scudamore’s Super Stakes.