Legally Betting On The NBA Playoffs And Finals For 2019

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The NBA Playoffs are when things get serious for players, fans, and bettors. At the start, 16 teams will enter and after the NBA Finals are played, only 1 team will walk away with the Larry O’Brien trophy and be crowned NBA champion for that season.

The playoffs and finals are the biggest basketball betting seasons, where fans can bet on point spreads, the money line, over/under, prop bets, futures, and wager money via live and mobile betting. Here you’ll find our list of the best online sportsbooks to use during the NBA postseason and info on the legality of betting on the playoffs along with a breakdown of the matchups and schedule for the 2019 NBA Playoffs and 2019 NBA Finals.

The Legalities - Is Betting On The NBA Playoffs Legal In The US?

There is no law at the state or federal level that prohibits NBA fans and handicappers from betting on the playoffs at online sportsbooks, and this includes betting on the NBA regular season. The laws that do exist make the act or business of accepting bets illegal, not placing the bets. So if your local bookie created a website and allowed players to place bets, that would be illegal. But the act of you placing the bets wouldn't. And because all of the sites we recommend are licensed offshore sites, US gambling law doesn't apply to them.

There is also some confusion about the UIGEA bill. Many websites report that this bill makes online gambling illegal. That's not true at all. The law is actually aimed at banks and financial institutions and makes it illegal for them to process any transactions related to gambling. But it has no text at all that actually makes the act of placing a bet illegal from your side. In addition, there is not a single case of anyone being arrested for placing a bet on the NBA online at the sites we recommend.


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Bovada sportsbook is a household name in the online sports betting industry. They are actually part of the Bodog group, one of oldest and most reputable names in the industry. So if you consider trust and reputation to be a major factor in where you decide to play, Bovada is an excellent choice. They actually cater exclusively to USA players and offer everything you could imagine in the way of basketball betting lines and props.

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  1. Golden State Warriors -230
  2. Milwaukee Bucks +500
  3. Houston Rockets +1050
  4. Toronto Raptors +1200
  5. Boston Celtics +1500
  6. Denver Nuggets +2400
  7. Philadelphia 76ers +2600
  8. Oklahoma City Thunder +3500
  9. San Antonio Spurs +4500
  10. Portland Trail Blazers +5000
  11. Orlando Magic +6000
  12. Utah Jazz +6000
  13. Indiana Pacers +7500
  14. Brooklyn Nets +8000
  15. Detroit Pistons +20000
  16. Los Angeles Clippers +25000


Here you can find the playoff seeding and matchups in both the eastern and western conference for the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs, which are set to begin Saturday, April 13.


  1. Milwaukee Bucks
  2. Toronto Raptors
  3. Philadelphia 76ers
  4. Boston Celtics
  5. Indiana Pacers
  6. Brooklyn Nets
  7. Orlando Magic
  8. Detroit Pistons


  1. Golden State Warriors
  2. Denver Nuggets
  3. Houston Rockets
  4. Portland Trail Blazers
  5. Utah Jazz
  6. Oklahoma City Thunder
  7. San Antonio Spurs
  8. Los Angeles Clippers


  • #1 Bucks vs. #8 Pistons
  • #2 Raptors vs. #7 Magic
  • #3 76ers vs. #6 Nets
  • #4 Celtics vs. #5 Pacers


  • #1 Warriors vs. #8 Clippers
  • #2 Nuggets vs. #7 Spurs
  • #3 Rockets vs. #6 Thunder
  • #4 Trail Blazers vs. #5 Jazz


The 2018-2019 NBA regular season comes to an end on Wednesday, April 10, and the 2019 NBA playoffs officially begin on Saturday, April 13. While the conference semifinals and conference finals have set dates, it is possible to have these series moved up, which will be indicated in the parenthesis.

  • April 10: End of 2018-2019 NBA regular season
  • April 13: Start of the 2019 NBA playoffs
  • April 29-30 (27-28): Start of the conference semifinals
  • May 14-15 (12-13): Start of the conference finals
  • May 30: Start of the 2019 NBA Finals
  • June 16: Game 7 of the 2019 NBA if necessary


When betting on the NBA Playoffs, you're going to find quite a few bets at most sportsbooks. This is because many experienced handicappers go far beyond simply betting on the outcome of a game or series and instead bet per half, per quarter, make prop bets, bet on futures, etc. In this regard, there is certainly no shortage of betting types or structures you can find with most sportsbooks. Here are a few of the betting types you will likely see:

  • NBA Game Lines: Where you bet on single-game point spreads, money line, over/under totals, etc.
  • NBA 1st/2nd/3rd/4th Period Lines: Betting lines for any individual period of a single game
  • 1st/2nd Half Lines: Betting lines for each half of a single game
  • NBA Props: Any betting line that doesn’t directly impact the game’s outcome
  • NBA Series Price: Odds to win a single best-of-seven series
  • Series Betting: Betting on the series winner, correct series outcome, and total games played over/under
  • Futures: Odds made ahead of time of a game or series that indicates how likely a bet will payout, i.e. odds to win the NBA championship


Below you’ll find top 5 teams with the best odds to win the finals and take home this year’s NBA championship. The best return on investment you can make is betting on a team in the East and hedging your bet when the Warriors make it to the finals (again).

Since the Celtics had a down year and you shouldn’t trust the 76ers, hedging with either the Bucks or the Raptors (or both) will likely give you a guaranteed ROI when the postseason is over.

1. Golden State Warriors (-225)

  • 2017-2018 Result: NBA Champion
  • Odds Analysis: The Warriors come into the playoffs as the heavy favorite to win their fourth title in five years, and it’s hard to disagree with the oddsmakers on this one. While you won’t get a great return on investment by betting on the Warriors, they are nevertheless one of the safest bets in any sport right now.

2. Milwaukee Bucks (+650)

  • 2017-2018 Result: lost in the first round
  • Odds Analysis: The Bucks had a breakout year thanks to the MVP-caliber play from Giannis Antetokounmpo that helped the team win 60 games and finish with the best overall record in the East. The Bucks need to show they can make a deep playoff run, but getting past the first round in the East is not the same as beating the Warriors.

3. Toronto Raptors (+950)

  • 2017-2018 Result: lost in the conference semifinals
  • Odds Analysis: The Raptors were the No.1 seed in the East last season and proceeded to get swept by LeBron James and the Cavs in the second round. LeBron is gone and the team upgraded by adding Kawhi Leonard, who will try to get the Raptors into the finals in his first season.

4. Houston Rockets (+1100)

  • 2017-2018 Result: lost in the conference finals
  • Odds Analysis: While the Rockets took a step back this season, James Harden played out of his mind, averaging a whopping 36.1 ppg during the regular season. Expect Harden to drop 40 points just about every night of the playoffs, but don’t count on the Rockets taking down the Warriors.

5. (Tie) Boston Celtics & Philadelphia 76ers (+1600)

  • Celtics 2017-2018 Result: lost in the conference finals
  • 76ers 2017-2018 Result: lost in the conference semifinals
  • Odds Analysis: These two teams share the fifth spot and met last year in the NBA playoffs, which saw the Celtics crush the 76ers and win the series 4-1. They likely won’t meet each other this season and an exit in the conference semifinals is the most likely outcome.

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