2024 NBA Playoff & Finals Picks

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2024 NBA Playoffs Picks & Finals Odds - Who Will Win the NBA Championship?

Clutch moments and buzzer-beaters are part and parcel of the regular season tapestry, but new heroes will emerge during the NBA playoff series which is a premier basketball tournament.

Punching a ticket to the NBA Finals, of course, is the overriding goal of all the top players, and many stars have attained legendary status over the years for their exploits, including LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant.

The 2023-24 NBA season is no different, and fans will be treated to fireworks on the floor. There is always plenty of drama, and you should expect the unexpected!

It always makes for engrossing viewing, but will we get a popcorn match for the NBA Finals? We have given you the full and undiluted version of how the playoff series works, detailing the format for the First round series and Conference Finals, and we have even mentioned how role players can come to the fore. Read on to find out more.

2024 NBA Playoffs Schedule

It’s best to think of the NBA Playoffs as a marathon and not a sprint. Home-court advantage counts for a lot, and there are still plenty of hurdles to overcome for those teams hoping to get their hands on the treasured title.

In this section, we will provide a breakdown of the NBA Playoffs, explaining the brackets and format for the defining post season series.

How do NBA Playoffs Work?

For the uninclined, let’s run through how the playoffs work. 16 teams will take part in the end of season series, and this will be determined by their positions during the regular NBA season.

Eight teams from the Western and Eastern conferences will qualify, and this will be based on their win-loss record throughout the campaign. The top six teams will be seeded, and the team with the best record will be the No.1 seed, and the team with the worst record seeded No.6, and so forth.

Since 2021, the final two playoff spots in each conference have been decided by a play-in tournament. This features teams that are ranked seventh to 10th in each conference in a combination of single and double elimination.

Anyway, the playoffs use a best-of-seven elimination format. Two teams will play each other up to seven times, and the first team to chalk up four wins will move into the next round.

In the first-round series, for example, the No.1 seed in each conference will face the eighth seed, while two plays seven, three plays six, and four plays five.

As mentioned, home-court advantage counts for a lot, and the significance of role players can’t be understated. Over the years, the likes of Luka Doncic, Julius Randle, Jalen Williams, and Jarrett Allen have stepped up when required.

When is the NBA Finals?

The 2024 NBA Finals are on the horizon, but before that, we have the Western and Eastern Conference Finals to contend with.

Just like the other games in the playoff series, this cherished basketball event will be contested as a best-of-seven games affair.

Below are the dates and schedule for each game of the NBA Finals, and we should have an idea soon of who will be dueling it out in the finale:

  • Game 1: Thursday, June 6 (8:30 ET)

  • Game 2: Sunday, June 9 (8 ET)

  • Game 3: Wednesday, June 12 (8:30 ET)

  • Game 4: Friday, June 14 (8:30 ET)

  • Game 5: Monday, June 17 (8:30 ET)

  • Game 6: Thursday, June 20 (8:30 ET)

  • Game 7: Sunday, June 23 (8 ET)

NBA Finals Past Winners

Let’s take a moment to reflect on some of the past winners of the NBA Finals, stretching back over 10 years, and you will see some familiar teams, including the Miami Heat, while the Oklahoma City Thunder last reached the final in 2012. Our table indicates who was involved in the final over the years and we have supplied the series score to put things into context:

Year Winner Finalist Series Score
2023 Denver Nuggets Miami Heat 4-1
2022 Golden State Warriors Boston Celtics 4-2
2021 Milwaukee Bucks Phoenix Suns 4-2
2020 Los Angeles Lakers Miami Heat 4-2
2019 Toronto Raptors Golden State Warriors 4-2
2018 Golden State Warriors Cleveland Cavaliers 4.0
2017 Golden State Warriors Cleveland Cavaliers 4-1
2016 Cleveland Cavaliers Golden State Warriors 4-3
2015 Golden State Warriors Cleveland Cavaliers 4-2
2014 San Antonio Spurs Miami Heat 4-1
2013 Miami Heat San Antonio Spurs 4-3
2012 Miami Heat Oklahoma City Thunder 4-1

NBA Finals MVPs

The NBA Finals also garners plenty of interest from an individual perspective and the NBA Finals MVP is an annual accolade that has been awarded since 1969.

LeBron James’ name has been etched on this prize several times, and that dates back to his time with the Miami Heat. The table below underlines the winners over the past 10 years or so.

Year Winner Franchise
2023 Nikola Jokic Denver Nuggets
2022 Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
2021 Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
2020 LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2019 Kawhi Leonard Toronto Raptors
2018 Kevin Durant Golden State Warriors
2017 Kevin Durant Golden State Warriors
2016 LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers
2015 Andre Iguodala Golden State Warriors
2014 Kawhi Leonard San Antonio Spurs
2013 LeBron James Miami Heat
2012 LeBron James Miami Heat

2024 NBA Playoffs Odds & Predictions

Although at the time of writing, we don’t know who will be in the NBA Finals, we have made an NBA Finals prediction and revealed some scintillating NBA Finals picks for you to pore over.

Top Contenders, Favorites & Picks to Win Finals

There are likely to be plenty of twists and turns, but at the time of writing, it is the Eastern and Western Conference Finals, and these games will decide who is the best in their respective divisions. One of the shocks of the earlier rounds came when Orlando Magic, who were the fifth seeds, were knocked out.

In the Western Conference semi-finals, the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied from a 20-point deficit in the third quarter against the defending champions Denver Nuggets before winning 98-90, and Karl-Anthony Towns played a starring role in the win.

Boston Celtics vs Indiana Pacers - Eastern Conference Finals

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Dallas Mavericks - Western Conference Finals

If things go according to plan, it could well end up being a Celtics vs Timberwolves Final, and we have picked out key players from each side who could tilt things in their side’s favor.

Boston Celtics - Jayson Tatum

An undoubted superstar, Jayson Tatum has flourished during this season’s playoffs during the semi-finals, but in 2022, he fluffed his lines in the Finals.

The Celtics are an awesome outfit, and if Tatum gets into his stride early, it will take a lot to knock him off it. Offensively very strong and direct, Tatum can strike fear into most outfits.

Minnesota Timberwolves - Rudy Gobert

NBA role players such as Donovan Mitchell, Kristaps Porzingis, and Chet Holmgren have been invaluable over the years to their franchises, but add Rudy Gobert to that list. Named 2023-2024 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert excelled for the Timberwolves, and he became the third player in NBA history to win the award for the fourth time.

With Gobert, the Timberwolves had the best defensive rating, allowed the fewest points per game, and held opponents to the lowest score.

Types of Bets & How to Bet on NBA

The NBA is packed with tons of betting types that will keep you engaged throughout the post season series. Inevitably, games will be action-packed, so you will have to be switched on to capitalize on the lines published, and this will be applicable for live betting or pre-match betting .

In this section, we have outlined the most popular betting types that will cater to novices and more experienced bettors.

  • Moneyline - The moneyline is the simplest type of bet. This requires predicting who will win the match, and in the NBA, a tie isn’t possible. If two teams are level, then Overtime will be required to determine the victor.

  • Outrights - With outright betting , this takes a longer term viewing with wagers. You might be trying to predict who will win the NBA Finals, and odds will be posted before the start of the playoffs when the seeds are locked in.

  • Props - You may well ask what are player props ? Essentially, prop betting entails making predictions about player performances such as who will shoot the most three-pointers or make the most rebounds.

  • Parlays - For the NBA, parlay betting can be quite fun. You can combine multiple picks for games onto one betting slip, but all legs must win for you to return a successful wager.

  • Handicaps - A more complex betting system than the moneyline, handicap betting revolves around leveling out the playing field by attaching a positive or negative score to reflect the perceived difference in quality. If a team is the heavy favorite, they will have a negative handicap to overcome, while the underdog will have a positive handicap to overcome, and the positive handicap will be like a head start.

NBA Betting Tips & Previews

When it comes to masterminding NBA betting, there are a few things to take into consideration.

If you want to know how to bet on basketball , we have given you the lay of the land by outlining a few crucial tips, so you can execute your strategy:

  • Look out for key team news - Those who are in the know will always be up-to-date with all the latest developments and news ahead of a big match. So, if you discover a player picks up a knee injury during practice, don’t include them in your picks, or if you have done so, take them out before it is too late!

  • Assess the stats - Things, such as home-court advantage, head-to-head records, and anything useful before you begin to fill in your betting slip.

  • Take advantage of promotions - Bonuses and promotions are bound to make things that much bit sweeter, and at Stake.com, we have a couple of deals - Double your Winnings and Close Loss Refund which are quite appealing.

  • Manage your bankroll correctly - Don’t over-exceed financial expectations. Allocate a suitable budget for betting on basketball and consult our responsible gambling guide if you are unsure.

How to Watch Free Live Streams of NBA Games

The NBA action during the post season is unrelenting, but those who want to keep abreast of it all can do so courtesy of our live basketball stream .

Click on the little play button and you will be able to bring up a stream of any matchup, and you can enjoy this privilege if you have a registered account with Stake.com . With no buffering or lagging issues, you won’t miss a single three-pointer or buzzer-beater again!

Bet on Basketball with Best Odds on Stake Sportsbook

At Stake, we are renowned for the quality of our odds, and that extends to the NBA. We have our finger on the pulse and we have some sharp prices for bettors to tuck into.

Nothing is too much trouble, and we are a hive of activity throughout the NBA playoffs, so you can make wagers as and when you please. Above all, always remember to gamble responsibly !