NBA Finals Matchup

Consider this your NBA Finals matchup at a glance. It is like an entire schedule. View it to confirm start dates and times, and to remind yourself of the series score. [+]

You can also use this to try detecting any patterns that arise. The NBA Finals presents an irreversibly small sample size overall, but if you notice that the first two games of the series were close, or that they were low scoring, you can adjust your spread and over/under bets accordingly.

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How To Win At NBA Eastern Conference Betting

Set yourself off on the right foot during the NBA Finals by recounting what has already taken place. In other words, use what you learned from the previous series to further your betting in this one.

Yes, playing the individual matchup is important. You want to figure out how Team X stacks up against Team Y, and you most definitely want to see how those two squads fared against one another during the regular season.

But past playoff rounds can help you as well. Neither of the NBA Finals participants will likely be struggling too much; they would not be in the championship round if they were plodding through hard times. But maybe you notice that one team isn't shooting well from three-point range, which in turn compromises their entire offense and makes them easier to defend. That matters. It matters to the over/under, the spread and the overall series odds.

Teams sometimes also change their identities during the postseason. A strong, high octane offensive team could become more of a methodically paced defensive unit for the playoffs. Place more stock in the more recent identity, as it's probably a harbinger of how they plan on playing in the NBA Finals–after all, it's their playoff style, whatever it may be, that's helped get them here, within four victories of the Larry O'Brien trophy.

Finally, since this is the time of year during which the NBA is shortest on betting options, feel free to dabble and experiment with prop bets—but in serious fashion. If, for example, the number of three-pointers Stephen Curry is expected to make in Game 1 is set at four, look back at how he's been shooting during the entire playoffs. 

How many times has he drilled more than four triples? How many times has he hit less than four treys? And how good is the team he's going up against at defending three-point shooters? 

This same approach will help you with player and team point, rebound, assist, steal, block and turnover totals, among many other potential prop bet possibilities. These wagers are intrinsically risky, because they're supposed to be about luck more so than anything else. But with the right mindset—i.e. the willingness study past performances through the postseason—you can take some, or most, of the guesswork out of NBA Finals prop betting.