Basketball Playoffs Betting Guide for 2020

Basketball lovers everywhere look forward to the NBA playoffs. After the regular season, the finest teams in the sport meet to decide top spot.

Fans of basketball can be found everywhere in the world, not just in the United States and Canada. This has added to the appeal of online basketball betting on a range of odds that add excitement for bettors.

In this guide we’ll tell you:

  • How bets on NBA playoffs work
  • What fans of the sport most like to bet on
  • How to begin live betting on the NBA playoffs
TOP BASKETBALL BETTING SITES FOR CANADIAN PLAYERS
Maple Leaf Icon CANADA'S FAVOURITE
1
CANADA'S FAVOURITE
Betway Sports
2006
Bonus C$250
Paytime 24 hrs
Payment Methods
visa
paypal
skrill
neteller
NHL - Money Back if your team loses in overtime
visa
paypal
skrill
neteller
Payout 100%
NHL - Money Back if your team loses in overtime
2
888Sport
2008
Bonus C$200
Paytime 24 hrs
visa
mastercard
paypal
skrill
visa
mastercard
paypal
skrill
Payout 100%
3
Spin Palace Sportsbook
2001
Bonus C$1000
Paytime 24 hrs
visa
mastercard
skrill
neteller
visa
mastercard
skrill
neteller
Payout 100%
4
BetOnline
2004
Bonus C$2,000
Paytime 48 hrs
visa
mastercard
skrill
neteller
visa
mastercard
skrill
neteller
Payout 50%
5
Sportsbetting
2003
Bonus C$1000
Paytime 24 hrs
visa
mastercard
skrill
bitcoin
visa
mastercard
skrill
bitcoin
Payout 100%, but fees for some withdrawals

An Introduction to the NBA Playoffs

The NBA post-season process captivates fans across the US, Canada and beyond each year. Here’s how it works.

  • NBA Playoffs - Fact 1

    The NBA is divided into two conferences, Eastern and Western, with 15 teams in each

  • NBA Playoffs - Fact 2

    Each conference is split into three divisions

  • NBA Playoffs - Fact 3

    The top eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs

  • NBA Playoffs - Fact 4

    Each team plays an opponent in a best-of-seven series

  • NBA Playoffs - Fact 5

    The teams are seeded, so the 1st seed faces the 8th seed

  • NBA Playoffs - Fact 6

    The champion of each conference qualifies for the NBA Finals

  • NBA Playoffs - Fact 7

    The NBA Finals is a best-of-seven series held each June

How NBA Playoffs Odds Work

Betting on the NBA Playoffs is no different to wagering on games in the regular season. This is a simple guide to how they work.

Let’s look at a match between Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards. The odds, expressed as decimals, may read:

Toronto
Toronto
1.5
Washington
Washington
2.25

For every C$10 you stake on the Patriots, the favourites, you win C$5. If you put C$4 on Washington, the underdogs, you win C$5.

Odds may be presented in other formats, such as fractional and moneyline (also known as American) odds.

Most sportsbooks switch between systems to let you choose how you see prices. Check out our Odds Calculator below to see how they compare.

NBA Playoffs Betting Options

Match Bets
  • The point spread

    The point spread

    Also known as handicap betting. The sportsbook sets a figure showing by how many points one side will win, then gives you a 50-50 choice. You decide whether you think one side will win – or lose – by more than that margin.

    Eg:
    Boston
    Celtics
    -7.5
    1.90
    Boston Celtics -7.5
    Philadelphia
    +7.5

    1.90
    Philadelphia +7.5
  • The moneyline

    The moneyline

    There is no handicap, simply a straight choice. Which team is going to win the match?

    Eg:
    Houston
    Rockets
    1.90
    Houston Rockets
    Utah
    Jazz
    2.2
    Utah Jazz
  • Total points – over or under

    Total points – over or under

    How many will the teams score in total? If you think it’ll be a higher-scoring match than the sportsbook does, the overs are for you.

    Eg:
    Over
    220.5
    1.90
    Under
    220.5
    1.90
  • Quarter bets

    Quarter bets

    Which side will score more points in the first quarter?

    Eg:
    Boston
    Celtics
    1.75
    Boston Celtics
    Milwaukee
    Bucks
    2.15
    Milwaukee Bucks
  • Prop bets

    Prop bets

    Proposition bets are not on the overall outcome, but events within a game.

    Eg:
    LeBron James to score
    the first points
    2.5
    LeBron James
Season Bets
  • Division win

    Division win

    If you reckon your team will win its division, this bet is for you. The earlier you do this, the bigger your return should be.

    Eg:
    To win the Atlantic Division:
    Brooklyn Nets
    4.5
    Brooklyn Nets
  • Conference win

    Conference win

    This is for you if you believe one team is a certainty for its conference. You may wager on this well in advance too.

    Eg:
    To win the Eastern Conference:
    Detroit Pistons
    17.0
    Detroit Pistons
  • NBA Finals win

    NBA Finals win

    Let’s say you really believe your favorite team is going all the way to win the NBA Finals. It’s time to put your money where your dream is.

    Eg:
    To win the NBA Finals:
    Atlanta Hawks
    51.0
    Atlanta Hawks

What is NBA Playoffs Live Betting?

  • It’s now possible to stake on the action after the game has started
  • Sportsbooks will present odds that fluctuate according to the changing fortunes of the sides
  • You can bet on markets such as the winner of the next quarter
  • You will still be able to bet on the overall outcome of the game
  • Live betting is a great way to keep close to the action as it progresses
Live betting

Brief NBA Playoffs Timeline

The Basketball Association of America (BAA) is founded. From 1949 the league is known as the NBA

1946

Four teams from each of three divisions qualify for the playoffs

1950

The NBA reverts to two divisions, with only eight teams in the playoffs

1951

With only nine league members, the number of playoff teams is cut to six

1954

Boston Celtics win the NBA Finals for the ninth year in a row

1966

The number of teams in the playoffs rises to eight again

1967

Bill Russell of Boston Celtics wins his 11th NBA Finals, a record that still stands

1969

10 teams go into the playoffs, with the fourth and fifth seeds in each conference meeting to decide who makes the last eight

1975

Now there are 12 teams in the playoffs, with only division winners getting byes to the final eight

1977

The first round is expanded as 16 teams go to the playoffs

1984

Michael Jordan wins his sixth NBA Finals with Chicago Bulls

1998

New York Knicks are the only 8th-seeded team to reach the NBA Finals

1999

Kobe Bryant inspires LA Lakers to their fifth NBA Finals triumph in a decade

2010

Steph Curry sets a record for three-pointers in an NBA Finals game with nine, as Golden State Warriors are champions for the second year in a row

2018

Recent NBA Finals winners

  • 2018
    Golden State Warriors
    Golden State
    Warriors
  • 2017
    Golden State Warriors
    Golden State
    Warriors
  • 2016
    Cleveland Cavaliers
    Cleveland
    Cavaliers
  • 2015
    Golden State Warriors
    Golden State
    Warriors
  • 2014
    San Antonio Spurs
    San Antonio
    Spurs
  • 2013
    Miami Heat
    Miami Heat
  • 2012
    Miami Heat
    Miami Heat
  • 2011
    Dallas Mavericks
    Dallas
    Mavericks
  • 2010
    Los Angeles Lakers
    Los Angeles
    Lakers
  • 2009
    Los Angeles Lakers
    Los Angeles
    Lakers

Conclusion

Betting on the NBA playoffs in Canada is tremendously popular and, in the digital age, ever more easy to do. Virtually all sportsbooks now offer the ability to add to your enjoyment of sporting action by betting on it.

To find out everything you might ever need to know about basketball betting in Canada, check out our home page.

Basketball conclusion

FAQs

Basketball Icon What are the NBA playoffs?

A post-season tournament involving the best 16 teams from the NBA regular season. They face off in a series of match-ups that culminates with the NBA Finals.

Star Icon What are the most popular NBA playoffs bets?

The point spread, which gives fans the chance to challenge a handicap set by a sportsbook, is a perennial favourite with basketball bettors.

Faq Site Icon What are the best NBA playoffs betting sites?

Our online betting guide tells you all the questions you need answered when choosing one of our recommended sites. These include matters such as security, licensing, range of bets and bonuses.

Mobile Icon Can I bet on the NBA playoffs on mobile?

Most definitely. The vast majority of sportsbooks now have user-friendly apps that allow you to wager on your device.

Live Icon What is NBA playoffs live betting?

After the game gets under way, sportsbooks will offer you the ability to bet on the live action – as well as the overall result.

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