Betting on NBA futures

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How do NBA futures work?

NBA futures allow you to bet on outcomes that are determined over the course of the season. For example, which team will win their division, conference, or the NBA Finals, or which player will win a certain award. Futures odds are made available to bet on before the season starts, and can also be wagered on throughout the campaign.

As a result, NBA futures odds can change for a team or player during the season depending on their performances, and you need to consider when is the best time to place your futures bet. Factors such as injuries, form, and trades can have a massive impact on the odds, either over a long period of time, or at short notice.

For instance, the Los Angeles Lakers may have short odds to win the NBA Finals if they are leading their division and conference, although these odds would likely lengthen if key players like LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook all got injured and they failed to win any of their next 10 games as a result.

Popular NBA futures include NBA Finals futures, conference futures, division futures, and awards futures. Many sportsbooks offer odds for each of these markets, and you can check the latest odds for all of them and more with BET.CA.

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Popular NBA futures

NBA Conference futures

The NBA is divided into two conferences of 15 teams each: the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. NBA conference futures allow you to bet on which teams will win each of these conferences that season.

Eight teams from both conferences qualify for the NBA playoffs – the top six teams in the regular season standings and the two teams who progress from the play-in tournament. To win their conference, a team has to progress through the opening three rounds of the NBA playoffs, comprised of the first round, Conference Semi-Finals, and Conference Finals. As with all other rounds during the playoffs, the Conference Finals are decided over a best-of-seven game series. The sheer amount of games opens up a lot of potential betting opportunities.

Winning the Conference Finals requires a team to have good performances throughout both the regular season and NBA Finals, meaning consistency is the most important thing for any team in contention. A simple way to approach conference futures betting is to determine which of the three divisions in a conference you think is the strongest, as the best teams within that should be the best-placed to do well in the playoffs.

NBA division futures

The 30 teams in the NBA are divided into two conferences, which both have three divisions of five teams each that are organized on a geographical basis. The Eastern Conference includes the Atlantic Division, the Central Division, and the Southeast Division, while the Western Conference features the Northwest Division, the Pacific Division, and the Southwest Division.

NBA division futures focus on which teams will win each of the six divisions in the 82-game regular season. Winning an NBA division requires a combination of organizational stability, good coaching, and star power, and you should therefore look for teams that can boast all of these when placing bets for such markets.

If you’re confident a team will win their NBA division, then they may also be a strong consideration to win the NBA Finals, as a divisional title will secure a good playoff seeding and a better chance of postseason success.

NBA Finals/Championship futures

The NBA Finals is the annual championship series of the NBA. Contested between the respective champions of the Eastern and Western Conferences, it’s a best-of-seven series to determine the league champion. As the signature event of the NBA season, it is widely considered to be the star attraction of NBA futures betting.

NBA Finals futures are available to bet on both before and during the season, with the odds regularly changing during the course of the season, depending on the performance of certain teams. The favorites for this market will include the teams considered to be among the best in the NBA, especially those with a good record of reaching the latter stages of the playoffs in recent years.

With this in mind, your bets for this market should focus more on which teams you think will perform well during the playoffs as opposed to during the regular season.

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NBA awards futures

There are several awards given out for every NBA season, each decided by a panel of sports writers and broadcasters throughout the US and Canada. You can bet on these awards, with many sportsbooks offering futures markets and odds. These awards include:

  • Most Valuable Player Award (MVP): The best performing player of the NBA regular season.

  • Sixth Man of the Year Award: The best performing player for his team coming off the bench as a substitute.

  • Most Improved Player Award: The player who has shown the most progress during the NBA regular season.

  • Rookie of the Year Award: The best performing player among those in their first season in the NBA.

  • Defensive Player of the Year Award: The best performing defensive player during the NBA regular season.

NBA awards futures offer fun markets to bet on if you prefer monitoring the performance of individual players as opposed to teams. The odds for each of these can change depending on certain players’ form, so the timing of your bet is crucial to get the best value from the odds.

Players are most likely to be undervalued by sportsbooks for awards contention before the season has started and during its early stages, so you should try and get as much information as you can during this time to predict how a player will perform that season.

NBA futures FAQs

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What are the odds for the Raptors to make the playoffs?
Who is favorite to win the NBA MVP award?

BET.CA's basketball betting guides are written by our seasoned betting experts, whose in-depth knowledge of the NBA and NCAA basketball will help you to bet smarter when searching for your next basketball wager.

BET.CA staff
BET.CA staff