How to Bet on the NBA Playoffs

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The 2022-2023 NBA regular season has come to an end, and postseason play is set to begin this upcoming week. The Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, and Denver Nuggets have been dominant all season long and know they have what it takes to win the coveted Larry O'Brien NBA Championship Trophy in June.


Meanwhile, star-studded franchises such as the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, and Los Angeles Lakers all seem to have the talent and experience needed to make a deep run in the postseason. Continue reading to learn more about the 2023 NBA Playoffs and the variety of betting opportunities available to NBA fans today!

Where To Bet on the NBA Playoffs

There are many well-established, reliable sportsbooks currently available to customers who are interested in betting on the 2023 NBA Playoffs. Listed below are a few of the top options and what they have to offer their users.


  • DraftKings Sportsbook – Although it is perhaps best known for its daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests, DraftKings offers one of the best sportsbooks in the United States. DraftKings Sportsbook provides an incredible overall experience to both new and experienced bettors. It is well-known for its everyday promotional deals and user-friendly interface, and new customers can receive $150 in bonus bets if they sign up and win their first moneyline wager on the platform.

  • FanDuel Sportsbook – Another popular option is FanDuel, which offers a wide range of bet types and one of the best mobile apps in the industry. It also provides competitive odds and fast withdrawal times to customers, and new users will get a No Sweat First Bet of up to $1,000 when they sign up now and place a wager on any sporting event of their choice.

  • BetMGM Sportsbook – Sports bettors may also choose to take advantage of the amazing features BetMGM Sportsbook has to offer. Customers who sign up with BetMGM will get access to exciting weekly promotions and a top-tier live betting experience. In addition, new users can claim the BetMGM First Bet Offer get up to $1000 paid back in Bonus Bets if you don’t win

  • Caesars Sportsbook – If an unbelievable number of daily odds boosts and an unrivaled customer loyalty program sound appealing, look no further than Caesars Sportsbook. Customers can earn prizes ranging from bonus bets to luxurious vacations through the Caesars Rewards Program, and all users will get access to a wide variety of betting options on sports leagues from all around the world. In addition, new customers can “Go Full Caesar” and get first bet insurance of up to $1,250 when they sign up now.

  • BetRivers Sportsbook – BetRivers Sportsbook, a fast-growing online betting platform, is another great option to consider ahead of the 2023 NBA Playoffs. It provides some of the most competitive odds on the market, excellent customer service, and a first-rate rewards program. Furthermore, new users will get a 2nd Chance Bet of up to $500 if their first wager on the site is not a winner.

When Do the 2023 NBA Playoffs Start? 

The first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs will begin on Saturday, April 15. However, the NBA Play-In Tournament is set to take place from Tuesday, April 11 – Friday, April 14 and will determine the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds that will face off against the Milwaukee Bucks (East No. 1 seed), Boston Celtics (East No. 2 seed ), Denver Nuggets (West No. 1 seed), and Memphis Grizzlies (West No. 2 seed). The 2023 NBA Finals will begin on June 1.

Updated Odds to Make NBA Playoffs

12 NBA teams have already secured their place in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. Meanwhile, the eight teams who finished 7-10 in their conference standings will look to clinch a spot during the Play-In Tournament this week. Their projected odds to make the playoffs are provided in the table below.



Team

Odds To Make 2023 NBA Playoffs

Los Angeles Lakers

89%

Miami Heat

88%

Minnesota Timberwolves

79%

Atlanta Hawks

67%

Toronto Raptors

35%

New Orleans Pelicans

25%

Chicago Bulls

11%

Oklahoma City Thunder

7%

*Note: These projections were provided by FiveThirtyEight.

NBA Playoffs Bets

There are many different ways for fans to bet on the upcoming 2023 NBA Playoffs. Some of the most popular types of bets a user can make are listed below.


  • Moneylines – A moneyline wager is generally considered the simplest type of bet. You just need to pick the winner of any NBA playoff game of your choice. For example, if the Boston Celtics are listed at -275 for Game 1 of their first-round series, you would win $100 for every $275 wagered if the Celtics come out on top.

  • Point Spreads – You may also choose to pick which team will cover the spread in an NBA playoff game. For instance, you may place a bet on the Phoenix Suns as 7.5-point favorites at home in Game 1 of their opening series. If the Suns win by eight or more points, they will have covered the spread, and your wager would be successful.

  • Over/Under Totals – Another relatively common option is to predict whether the amount of points scored in an NBA playoff game will be over or under the projected total. If the over/under total for Game 3 of the Knicks-Cavaliers first-round series was set at 221.5 points and you took the under, your bet would be a winner if 221 or fewer combined points were scored by the two teams.

  • Prop Bets – Prop bets are very popular among sports bettors and can take many different forms. You can try to predict your favorite player’s stats, which team will score more points in a quarter, which players will record a double-double, who will score the first basket, and so much more during each NBA playoff game.

  • Parlays – You can also make a parlay bet by combining multiple bets in order to improve your potential payout. For example, you could bet on the Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Memphis Grizzlies to each win Game 1 of their first-round series. In addition, many sportsbooks allow you to build same-game parlays, which allow you to combine bets from a single game. If you want to bet on a Lakers game, you could choose to place a parlay bet on LeBron James scoring more than 26.5 points, Anthony Davis recording more than 12.5 rebounds, and D’Angelo Russell making less than 2.5 three-pointers.

  • Futures – There are also many options when it comes to betting on future outcomes, such as the winner of a playoff series, the Eastern/Western Conference, or the NBA Finals. For instance, if you think this is the year Giannis Antetokounmpo earns his second ring, then you may consider betting on the Bucks to win the 2023 NBA Championship. In addition, you can bet on how many games a series will last, which two teams will meet in the finals, and much more!

Final Western Conference Standings

The Denver Nuggets earned the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference for the first time in franchise history and have secured home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. Led by two-time defending MVP Nikola Jokić, the Nuggets lead the NBA in field goal percentage and are top 5 in three-point percentage and assist/turnover ratio.


Meanwhile, the Sacramento Kings were the NBA’s biggest surprise in the 2022-2023 regular season. De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis helped the Kings end a 16-year playoff drought and earn their first Pacific Division title since the 2002-2003 season. Sacramento leads the league in offensive rating and points per game, and they are top 3 in field goal percentage and assists per game.


The full Western Conference standings are provided below.


  1. Denver Nuggets (53-29)

  2. Memphis Grizzlies (51-31)

  3. Sacramento Kings (48-34)

  4. Phoenix Suns (45-37)

  5. Los Angeles Clippers (44-38)

  6. Golden State Warriors (44-38)

  7. Los Angeles Lakers (43-39)

  8. Minnesota Timberwolves (42-40)

  9. New Orleans Pelicans (42-40)

  10. Oklahoma City Thunder (40-42)

  11. Dallas Mavericks (38-44)

  12. Utah Jazz (37-45)

  13. Portland Trail Blazers (33-49)

  14. Houston Rockets (22-60)

  15. San Antonio Spurs (22-60)

Western Conference Brackets


The first-round matchups in the Western Conference for the 2023 NBA Playoffs are shown below.


  • No. 1 seed Denver Nuggets vs. No. 8 seed (Lakers, Timberwolves, Pelicans, or Thunder)

  • No. 2 seed Memphis Grizzlies No. 7 seed (Lakers or Timberwolves)

  • No. 3 seed Sacramento Kings vs. No. 6 seed Golden State Warriors

  • No. 4 seed Phoenix Suns vs. No. 5 seed Los Angeles Clippers


The Western Conference Semifinals will feature the winner of 1/8 vs. the winner of 4/5 and the winner of 2/7 vs. the winner of 3/6, and the Western Conference Finals will be a matchup between the two winners of the semifinals.

Final Eastern Conference Standings 

The Milwaukee Bucks earned the top seed in the East and have now finished with the best record in the NBA in three of the last five regular seasons. No team has a better winning percentage or more playoff wins than the Bucks since Mike Budenholzer took over as head coach in the 2018-2019 season.


Furthermore, the Cleveland Cavaliers are back in the playoffs for the first time since LeBron James left to join the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency after the 2017-2018 season. Donovan Mitchell and the Cavs have earned themselves an opening-round matchup against the New York Knicks, and it is worth mentioning that Cleveland has won their last nine first-round series in the NBA playoffs.


The complete Eastern Conference standings are provided below.


  1. Milwaukee Bucks (58-24)

  2. Boston Celtics (57-25)

  3. Philadelphia 76ers (54-28)

  4. Cleveland Cavaliers (51-31)

  5. New York Knicks (47-35)

  6. Brooklyn Nets (45-37)

  7. Miami Heat (44-38)

  8. Atlanta Hawks (41-41)

  9. Toronto Raptors (41-41)

  10. Chicago Bulls (40-42)

  11. Indiana Pacers (35-47)

  12. Washington Wizards (35-47)

  13. Orlando Magic (34-48)

  14. Charlotte Hornets (27-55)

  15. Detroit Pistons (17-65)

Eastern Conference Brackets


The Eastern Conference first-round matchups for the 2023 NBA Playoffs are shown below.


  • No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 8 seed (Heat, Hawks, Raptors, or Bulls)

  • No. 2 seed Memphis Grizzlies No. 7 seed (Heat or Hawks)

  • No. 3 seed Philadelphia 76ers vs. No. 6 seed Brooklyn Nets

  • No. 4 seed Cleveland Cavaliers vs. No. 5 seed New York Knicks


Just like the format in the Western Conference, the Eastern Conference Semifinals will feature the winner of 1/8 vs. the winner of 4/5 and the winner of 2/7 vs. the winner of 3/6, and the Eastern Conference Finals will be a matchup between the two winners of the semifinals.

How Does the Play-In Tournament Work?

The NBA’s third annual Play-In Tournament will take place from Tuesday, April 11 – Friday, April 14. Eight teams, ranked No. 7 through No. 10 in the Eastern and Western Conference standings, will compete to earn the four remaining spots in the 2023 NBA Playoffs.


Over a four-day span, a total of six games will be played. The seventh-place and eighth-place teams from each conference will face off to earn the No. 7 seed in the playoffs. Meanwhile, the ninth-place and tenth-place teams from each conference will meet in an elimination game, and the winner will get to face the loser of the 7-8 game in a winner-take-all matchup for the No. 8 seed.


Ultimately, the seventh and eighth-place teams from the Eastern and Western Conference have two opportunities to earn a win and secure their spot in the 2023 NBA playoffs, while the ninth and tenth-place teams need two consecutive victories to steal the No. 8 seed. 


Each of the Play-In Tournament games will be hosted by the team who finished higher in their conference standings. No. 7 will host No. 8, No. 9 will host No. 10, and the loser of 7-8 will host the winner of 9-10.

Play-In Tournament Schedule

The 2023 NBA Play-In Tournament will feature six games among eight teams over a four-day period. The four teams to clinch a playoff berth will then begin their first-round series on Sunday, April 13. A complete schedule for this year’s Play-In Tournament is provided below.


Tuesday, April 11

  • Game 1: Atlanta Hawks (No. 8) at Miami Heat (No. 7)

  • Game 2: Minnesota Timberwolves (No. 8) at Los Angeles Lakers (No. 7)

Wednesday, April 12

  • Game 3: Chicago Bulls (No. 10) at Toronto Raptors (No. 9)

  • Game 4: Oklahoma City Thunder (No. 10) at New Orleans Pelicans (No. 9)

Friday, April 12

  • Game 5: Game 3 Winner at Game 1 Loser

  • Game 6: Game 4 Winner at Game 2 Loser

NBA Futures Odds

After a dominant regular season, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are the favorites to win the 2023 NBA Finals. The Bucks are top 10 in the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency, and they will look to win their second NBA championship in three years.


The Phoenix Suns currently have the best odds among Western Conference teams to win the title. After acquiring superstar Kevin Durant in a blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets, the new-look Suns are set to make a deep run in this year’s NBA playoffs. They have a perfect 8-0 record this season with the former MVP and two-time champ in their lineup.


You can find a complete list of each team’s odds to win the 2023 NBA Finals in the table below.


Team

Odds To Win 2023 NBA Finals

Milwaukee Bucks

+240

Boston Celtics

+360

Phoenix Suns

+480

Philadelphia 76ers

+850

Golden State Warriors 

+850

Denver Nuggets

+950

Memphis Grizzlies 

+1900

Los Angeles Lakers

+3000

Cleveland Cavaliers

+3600

Los Angeles Clippers

+4000

Sacramento Kings

+10000

New York Knicks

+10000

Minnesota Timberwolves

+13000

Miami Heat

+16000

Toronto Raptors

+18000

Atlanta Hawks

+18000

New Orleans Pelicans

+24000

Brooklyn Nets

+37000

Oklahoma City Thunder

+49000

Chicago Bulls

+49000

*Note: Odds were provided by FanDuel Sportsbook and last updated on Sunday, April 9.


Despite being the reigning Eastern Conference champions and crushing the Milwaukee Bucks by 41 points less than two weeks ago, the Boston Celtics are not the favorites to win their conference in 2023. The slightly longer odds for the Celtics may be a result of their daunting path to the NBA Finals, which is expected to include series against the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, and Milwaukee Bucks.


Meanwhile, the 2022 NBA champion Golden State Warriors have the second-best odds to make it out of the West. Steph Curry and the Warriors are arguably the best three-point shooting team in the league, but they have looked suspect on defense this season, especially against good competition, and have struggled mightily away from home. Nevertheless, given Golden State’s track record over the last decade, you can never truly count Steve Kerr’s squad out in the postseason.


The table below provides a full list of each team’s odds to win their conference, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. 


Team

Odds To Win Eastern Conference

Team

Odds To Win Western Conference

Milwaukee Bucks

+115

Phoenix Suns

+185

Boston Celtics

+195

Golden State Warriors

+320

Philadelphia 76ers

+420

Denver Nuggets

+350

Cleveland Cavaliers

+1400

Memphis Grizzlies

+550

New York Knicks

+4000

Los Angeles Lakers

+1200

Miami Heat

+5000

Los Angeles Clippers

+2100

Toronto Raptors

+8000

Sacramento Kings

+3000

Atlanta Hawks

+10000

Minnesota Timberwolves

+6500

Brooklyn Nets

+13000

New Orleans Pelicans

+6500

Chicago Bulls

+24000

Oklahoma City Thunder

+16000


Teams Disqualified from the Playoffs


10 teams have already been eliminated from playoff contention. The Washington Wizards, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, and Houston Rockets all played their final game of the 2022-2023 NBA season on Sunday, April 9.


Despite no major surprises in the Eastern Conference, there was one outcome in the Western Conference playoff race that no one anticipated. The Dallas Mavericks, led by four-time NBA All-Star Luka Dončić, finished in 11th place in the Western Conference and right outside the Play-In Tournament. 


After trading for Brooklyn Nets’ point guard Kyrie Irving ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline, the Mavs seemed to have as good a chance as anyone to make it out of the West and reach the 2023 NBA Finals. Instead, they will miss the playoffs for just the fifth time since 2001.



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