2024 NBA Playoffs Picks, Predictions, Odds

Our NBA Playoffs Picks are offering up the latest Picks, Predictions, Betting Market Analysis, Futures Prices, Series Odds updates and much more to keep you informed throughout the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

NBA Playoffs Picks

Along with Predictions on each of the NBA Series, our staff will be offering up NBA Playoffs Picks on each matchup throughout the postseason as well.

Tuesday, May 21

Matchup: Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics
TV-Time: ESPN, 8:00 p.m. ET
Pick: TBD

Wednesday, May 22

Matchup: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Denver Nuggets
TV-Time: TNT, 8:30 p.m. ET
Pick: TBD

NBA Playoffs Series Predictions

For the entire NBA Playoffs, Michael Crosson will be offering up his predictions on each of the series. You can check out his picks below along with his series outcome and betting analysis.

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NBA Second Round Picks

Western Conference
No. 5 Mavericks over No. 3 Timberwolves

Eastern Conference
No. 1 Celtics over No. 6 Pacers

Western Conference Picks

nba-playoffs-picks-thunder-vs-mavericks
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Timberwolves vs. Mavericks
Series Pick: Mavericks (+140)
Series Prediction: Mavericks Win 4-3 (+750)

The stage is officially set for this year’s Western Conference Finals between the Timberwolves and Mavericks. However, for all intents and purposes, it seems like Minnesota has already been crowned king of the conference after taking down the defending champs in Game 7 of the previous round, but I’ll be someone to pump the brakes a little bit…

There’s no denying the fact that Minnesota appears to be the top dog after defeating Denver in the Western Conference Semis. With that in mind, however, the Wolves posed a particularly difficult matchup for a Nuggets team that tends to run its offense through the center position. Nikola Jokic is the focal point of the Nuggets offense, and against Minnesota, playing through Jokic oftentimes puts the ball in arm’s length Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert, and while Karl-Anthony Towns isn’t particularly known for lockdown defense, the tag-team of the two down low (plus Naz Reid) is arguably the toughest matchup in the NBA for an opposing big, and it worked against Jokic all year, as the Wolves posted a perfect 4-0 record against Denver during the regular season, before eventually defeating the defending champs in the playoffs.

Dallas is a totally different beast though, and one that Minnesota isn’t quite as perfectly suited to hunt. The Mavericks are led by a pair of superstar guards in Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. So now, instead of Gobert and Towns drawing the heliocentric matchup (Minnesota’s strength), the pressure to defend shifts to the Wolves’ backcourt as they attempt to contain the Mavs’ superstar duo in this series. Jaden McDaniels and Mike Conley should be able to shoulder the bulk of the load on the perimeter defensively for Minnesota, but I still think Doncic and Irving will be able to get to their spots and switch into enough exploitable matchups – or, at least enough to score more than 97.6 points per game and shoot better than 35% from 3-point range like Denver did in the previous round.

The NBA had a bit of a big-man renaissance in recent years -- with guys such as Jokic, Antetokounmpo, and Embiid winning MVPs and/or championships, plus some exciting young talent on the rise in Victor Wembanyama. So, the Wolves were quick to realize that if they wanted to hold onto KAT and win in this era, they needed to get some help down low defensively. But, it led to a huge overcorrection, as the Wolves acquired an annual DPOY candidate that plays the same position as KAT, and while Gobert may be enough to patch the leak in many instances, now they lack in other departments, especially out on the perimeter, which leaves them a bit more vulnerable heading into a seven-game set against a dynamic duo of scoring guards like Luka and Kyrie.

At this very moment, there's no superstar 7-footer left for Minnesota to vanquish, which is going to be a huge test for the overall sustainability of the Towns-Gobert combo as the Wolves stand toe-to-toe with an elite Mavs offense that is comfortable receiving very few points from their big men down low. Personally, I think the better value lies with the underdogs at this particular point and time, but this a great matchup, and both sides have different strengths that could ultimately swing the outcome of the series. I'll take the Mavs in seven.

Eastern Conference Picks

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Celtics vs. Pacers
Series Pick: Pacers +2.5 Games (+120)
Series Prediction: Celtics Win 4-2 (+410)

The top two scoring teams in the NBA will meet in this year’s Eastern Conference Finals, with the Pacers ranked 1st at 123.3 points per game and the Celtics ranked 2nd at 120.6. However, the oddsmakers still don’t seem to think Indiana has much of a shot in this series, with the Pacers listed as huge +680 underdogs to knock out Boston (-1200), which implies a 92.3% chance of Boston winning the series. However, I certainly won’t be surprised if Indiana steals a few games – and quite frankly, I expect them to do so, given the volatile nature of this Celtics team.

The Celtics lead the entire NBA in 3-point attempts per game (42.5), and they knock them down at the second-best clip (38.8%), which equates to the best offensive rating (123.2) in the league by a considerable margin and the second-highest scoring average at 120.6 points per game. It’s one big math equation for Boston. The Celtics know that, in any given matchup, they are almost unbeatable if they hoist up more 3-point attempts than their opponent and hit them at their season-average percentage, especially in a seven-game series scenario, and that strategy usually works… “We just gotta’ hit our shots.”

However, on the other side of that same coin, basketball isn’t played on a spreadsheet. The Celtics’ high volume in 3-point attempts also breeds a natural level of variance in their results on a regular basis, regardless of opponent strength or game location, which leads to Boston losing some real head-scratchers, such as home losses to the Heat and Cavaliers in their previous two series; a pair of teams with far less offensive weaponry than Indiana, and they both still managed to capitalize on one of Boston’s off-nights to steal a win apiece.

Now, the Celtics finally face a much stronger foe in a Pacers team that ranks 1st in scoring and 2nd in defensive rating; a team much better suited to steal a game or two from Boston when and if the stars align, despite Indiana not standing much of a chance in the series as a whole due to their defense ranking 27th in points allowed and 24th in defensive rating, in comparison to a Boston squad that ranks top-5 in both of those departments.

The Pacers winning this series would be a stunning turn of events, and I don’t recommend betting on it to happen. However, the Celtics have already dropped home games against far worse teams this postseason, so I don’t see why Indiana can’t take it up a notch in this series and win a pair to cover the series spread of 2.5 at plus-money.

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NBA Playoffs Series Betting Trends

NBA First Round Picks Results

Eastern Conference
No. 7 76ers over No. 2 Knicks (Loss)
No. 6 Pacers over No. 3 Bucks (Win)
No. 5 Magic over No. 4 Cavaliers (Loss)
No. 1 Celtics over No. 8 Heat (Win)

Western Conference
No. 2 Nuggets over No. 7 Lakers (Win)
No. 5 Mavericks over No. 4 Clippers (Win)
No. 3 Timberwolves over No. 6 Suns (Win)
No. 1 Thunder over No. 8 Pelicans (Win)

Western Conference
No. 1 Thunder over No. 5 Mavericks (Loss)
No. 2 Nuggets over No. 3 Timberwolves (Loss)

Eastern Conference
No. 1 Celtics over 4. Cavaliers (Win)
No. 2 Knicks over No. 6 Pacers (Loss)

NBA Playoffs Betting Trends

The NBA Finals Odds are coming more into focus with the conclusion of the regular season and VegasInsider Senior Reporter Patrick Everson is on the hardwood with all the market moves from Las Vegas.

Here's everything you need to know about 2023-24 NBA Finals odds: action, movement and betting trends. Check back regularly for updates, and use our BetMGM bonus code to get more when you wager.

2024 NBA Finals Odds, Betting Trends

NBA Playoffs Series Odds & Results

Our NBA Playoffs Series Odds will be updated throughout the playoffs after every result from our NBA Scoreboard, but not before showing the Opening Series Odds for each matchup.

Second Round Matchups

Listed below are the opening series odds for the conference semifinals matchups of the NBA Playoffs for both the Eastern and Western Conference.

Eastern Conference
No. 1 Boston vs. TBD
No. 2 New York (-300) vs. No. 6 Indiana (+235)

Western Conference
No. 1 Oklahoma City vs. TBD
No. 2 Denver (-215) vs. No. 3 Minnesota (+172)

First Round Matchups

Listed below are the opening series odds for the first round matchups of the NBA Playoffs for both the Eastern and Western Conference.

Winners Listed in Bold

Eastern Conference
No. 1 Boston (-8000) vs. No. 8 Miami (+1800)
No. 2 New York (-108) vs. No.7 Philadelphia (-120)
No. 3 Milwaukee (-225) vs. No. 6 Indiana (+180)
No. 4 Cleveland (-194) vs. No. 5 Orlando (+156)

Western Conference
No. 1 Oklahoma City (-650) vs. No. 8 New Orleans (+440)
No. 2 Denver (-400) vs. No. 7 L.A. Lakers (+315)
No. 3 Minnesota (-102) vs. No. 6 Phoenix (-120)
No. 4 L.A. Clippers (-102) vs. No. 5 Dallas

Play-In Game Results
No. 8 Miami 112 No. 9 Chicago 91
No. 7 New Orleans 105 No. 9 Sacramento 98

No. 8 L.A. Lakers 110 No. 7 New Orleans 106
No. 9 Sacramento 118 No. 10 Golden State 94

No. 7 Philadelphia 105 No. 8 Miami 104
No. 9 Chicago 131 No. 10 Atlanta 116

Opening Odds to win 2024 NBA Finals

Listed below are the opening odds to win the 2024 NBA Finals prior to the star of the NBA Playoffs, which began on Saturday April 20, 2024.

  • Boston Celtics +160
  • Denver Nuggets +300
  • Dallas Mavericks +1100
  • Los Angeles Clippers +1200
  • Oklahoma City Thunder +1200
  • Milwaukee Bucks +1400
  • Philadelphia 76ers +1400
  • Minnesota Timberwolves +1800
  • Phoenix Suns +1800
  • Los Angeles Lakers +2500
  • New York Knicks +3000
  • Cleveland Cavaliers +5000
  • New Orleans Pelicans +6000
  • Indiana Pacers +6000
  • Miami Heat +10000
  • Orlando Magic +15000

NBA Futures Odds Comparison

Odds to win 2024 NBA Eastern Conference

Listed below are the opening odds to win the 2024 NBA Eastern Conference prior to the star of the NBA Playoffs, which began on Saturday April 20, 2024.

(Seed)

  • (1) Boston Celtics -250
  • (3) Milwaukee Bucks +900
  • (7) Philadelphia 76ers +700
  • (2) New York Knicks +1100
  • (4) Cleveland Cavaliers +1800
  • (6) Indiana Pacers +2500
  • (8) Miami Heat +5000
  • (5) Orlando Magic +5000

Eastern Conference Odds Comparison

Odds to win 2024 NBA Western Conference

Listed below are the opening odds to win the 2024 NBA Western Conference prior to the star of the NBA Playoffs, which began on Saturday April 20, 2024.

(Seed)

  • (3) Denver Nuggets +130
  • (5) Dallas Mavericks +600
  • (4) Los Angeles Clippers +650
  • (1) Oklahoma City Thunder +650
  • (2) Minnesota Timberwolves +900
  • (6) Phoenix Suns +900
  • (7) Los Angeles Lakers +1200
  • (8) New Orleans Pelicans +3000

Western Conference Odds Comparison

NBA Betting History

NBA Finals Betting History

The NBA Finals is the pro basketball championship of the National Basketball Association. The game pits the winner of the two conferences, Eastern and Western. The NBA Finals starts in June as two teams square off in a best-of-seven series.

NBA Champions

Last 5 Years

2023: Denver Nuggets
2022: Golden State Warriors
2021: Milwaukee Bucks
2020: L.A. Lakers
2019: Toronto Raptors

NBA Finals History

NBA Eastern Conference Betting History

The Eastern Conference Finals is one of two pro basketball conference series of the National Basketball Association. The winner of this best-of-seven series matchup will advance to The NBA Finals.

NBA Eastern Conference Champions

Last 5 Years

2023: Miami Heat
2022: Boston Celtics
2021: Milwaukee Bucks
2020: Miami Heat
2019: Toronto Raptors

NBA Eastern Conference Finals History

NBA Western Conference Betting History

The Western Conference Finals is one of two pro basketball conference series of the National Basketball Association. The winner of this best-of-seven series matchup will advance to The NBA Finals.

NBA Western Conference Champions

Last 5 Years

2023: Denver Nuggets
2022: Golden State Warriors
2021: Phoenix Suns
2020: L.A. Lakers
2019: Golden State Warriors

NBA Western Conference Finals History

NBA PLAYOFFS Matchups

The NBA Matchups are an essential betting tool for the novice or professional, and it has so many features to follow. The NBA regular season spans six months, and it’s rare to see the league take a day off, so analyzing the matchups and betting trends is vital.

The NBA Matchups lists all the NBA in order of Rotation, which is controlled the sportsbooks. Every matchup has a designated Home and Away team, and both are given a rotation number. The games are show the Time as well, which is Eastern Standard Time Zone (ET) on this matchup page.

NBA BETTING TRENDS

As you can see in the chart above, all the NBA Betting Trends from sportsbooks and what users are playing are available.

The Betting Trend Section receives percentages on three categories.

The three NBA betting trends are fairly simple to follow, and they’re more volatile as tip-off approaches.

The Spread percentage is for the point-spread, while the ML is for money-line wagers, and that field usually skews heavily to favorites since not many bettors expect huge upsets, especially when the point-spread is high. The Total is the Over/Under, and the Over is always listed on top of the Under. Most bettors lean to favorites and overs.

Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon to see 100% to 0% listed for a particular matchup, especially after the betting line is just made available. These trends fluctuate based on the action and until the volume rises, that’s a common occurrence.

NBA PLAYOFFS SCOREBOARD

The NBA Scoreboard not only provides the scores for the NBA Playoffs, but so much more.

The key feature is the Betting Odds and the NBA Scores provides a consensus line that is created by multiple sportsbooks in the United States. The Betting Odds display which team is the favorite in the matchup and that can be determined with a minus (-) sign followed by a number.

Also, the NBA Scores section features Betting Trends for each matchup and this shows you how much money is being wagered on each team. It’s a great tool if you want to ride or against the betting public. Another great resource is the Line Movements because knowing how a sportsbook adjusts to the action.

If you are in a state where sports betting is legal, please check out our online sportsbook directory to find the best and most secure places to make bets on today's NBA games.

Check out our NBA Odds before wagering!

NBA PLAYOFF FORMAT

"THE FIRST TO WIN 16"

After the field of 16 is determined, the first team to win four best-of-seven series will be deemed the NBA Champion.

In each of the best-of-seven series, the team with the higher seed will have home-court advantage and they will host the first two games.

The lower seed will then host the next two games and the remaining three games, if necessary, will be alternated with the higher seed hosting Game 5 and 7 while the lower seed hosts Game 6.

In simple terms, the NBA Playoffs Format for a best-of-seven can be viewed as 2-2-1-1-1.

NBA PLAYOFF BETTING TYPES

  • Money-line: This is an easy one. Simply pick which team will win outright. Say the Lakers are up against Clippers in a series matchup – pick one team over the other to bring home the win. New bettors especially bet on the money-line as it's the simplest way to bet on a game.
  • Point-Spread: Like money-line, here you choose a team to win or lose outright. However, the difference lies in guessing how much they win/lose by. This number is a specific points total set by the sportsbooks. Our advice? Check out the team’s average points per game over the season.
  • Totals: Also called over/under, this bet determines whether the final score will – combined – will be over or under what the sportsbook thinks.
  • Props: This betting market continues to rise in popularity and betting on both specific player and team statistics will increase your viewing pleaure.
  • Live Betting: Forgot to put your bet in? No problem, just pull up the latest Live Betting markets or what many also call In-Game Wagering. These wagers can allow you to press, chase or even get out of wagers that you don't want any part of. The options are limitless and the action is Live!
  • Futures: Feeling the itch to bet already? Futures can be placed weeks or sometimes months ahead of the game. For example, maybe you think the Boston Celtics will bring it home this year in your NBA Playoffs Picks. Place a bet now ahead of the postseason to get in on the ground floor. Just pay attention as the odds can change, and your choice can even be knocked out!
  • Parlays: Called accumulator bets in the UK, parlays are a series of bets. The NBA Playoffs is the perfect time for parlays, where you can lay down a small bet of say $10 across five games. Win all five and you could be looking at a hefty return with your NBA Playoff Picks.

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