The NBA Playoffs are set to begin on Saturday, April 16, 2016, with first-round matchups throughout the weekend. The season has been nothing short of historic and wildly-entertaining as both the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs produced two of the best campaigns in modern NBA history. The Warriors, of course, spent the season chasing the 72-10 Chicago Bulls, while the Spurs nearly kept pace and produced the most wins in the organization's history.
Now that the real season is right around the corner, let's take a closer look at how to bet on the 2016 NBA playoffs, go over the types of wagers on the board and figure out which might provide the most profit over the next few months of NBA betting.
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Spreads and Totals: The easiest and simplest way to wager on the NBA playoffs is through regular spreads and totals lines. The first round of the postseason is a busy one with eight series matchups taking place over a two-week span, which will offer bettors the opportunity to wager on basketball every day. The key to remember when playoff betting is that teams make adjustments, and one blowout early in a series will not necessarily be an indicator of how the rest of the games might play out. Many bettors follow, or at least consider, the zig-zag theory for betting an NBA series, which states that the losing team of the previous game will come back and cover the very next spread.
Series Prices: Wagering on a series price is a great middle ground for those bettors who do not want to wait the entire length of the postseason for a futures wager to cash in but do not like the everyday grind of betting individual games. Series prices can get out of hand, however, with lines typically hitting the -1000 to -5000 range for heavy favorites. Upsets rarely happened in the NBA, particularly for the top seeds, so expect large series price lines for teams like Golden State, San Antonio and Cleveland. Some sites do allow bettors to parlay series prices, which would be an excellent spot to combine a few large favorites and lower the price a bit.
Series length and other Props: Most sportsbooks can get very specific with their prop bets, and sites like Bovada will offer series length odds for every postseason matchup on the board. For example, Bovoda will lay a price for every series results in a matchup, and if a bettor wanted to wager on a Warriors first-round sweep or a seven-game first round series they can. The sports books will also have individual game props dealing with the number of points Steph Curry or Klay Thompson might score in a particular game or other similar wagers. These bets can be a fun way to get action on the game without having to pick a side.
Futures lines: futures are one of the most popular ways to wager on the playoffs while not having to get caught up in day-to-day betting. Golden State is currently a -140 favorite to win the 2016 NBA championship (which feels like a great number for such an historic team), while San Antonio and Cleveland are getting +300 and +350, respectively.
There are quite a few ways to wager on the NBA during the postseason, and each option will provide excellent value depending on the type of bettor you are. Many bettors will use a combination of wagers to "diversify their portfolio"over the next few months. No matter how you prefer to bet, be sure to come back to Doc's Sports for daily NBA updates and analysis.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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