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Thursday, June 13
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NBA Conferences Betting Odds and Lines

What Are the NBA Conferences?

Looking at future NBA lines can always be difficult. Picking the one winner to take home the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy can be challenging every season, especially considering there are 30 teams to choose from.

However, the best way to simplify betting on the NBA championship is to focus on the conferences. The NBA is divided into two conferences, East and West, with the winners of each meeting in the Finals. Each conference has only 15 teams, so instead of betting on one team to win it all out of 30, you only have to deal with half.

This is another type of futures bet that you can track throughout the season. Instead of betting on just the NBA champion, you can also bet on the Eastern and Western Conference winners.

Are There Any Favorites and Underdogs?

Heading into the 2024 playoffs, there is a team in the East and West that is the undeniable favorite to win their conference. The Boston Celtics are massive favorites in the East, with their NBA odds set at -185. They finished the season with the best record in the East and the NBA at 64-18.

In the West, the Denver Nuggets are the favorites, with odds set at +140. They are massive favorites over the next team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, whose odds are at +650. While the Nuggets did not win the No.1 seed in the West, the Thunder did, and both teams finished with a 57-25 record. A massive reason why the Nuggets are still the heavy favorites is that they are the reigning NBA champions.

However, some underdogs could upset things for NBA betting, especially in the Western Conference. Only five wins separated the fourth seed from the 10th, and nearly every team has an elite player on their roster.

Betting Strategy

Some essential aspects of betting on conference futures are remembering recent history and what happened during the regular season. With the 2023-24 season officially finished, it is easy to look back and make predictions for NBA betting on which team might win the conference.

It is also important to note that seeding sometimes does matter. However, the most prominent example against that has been the Miami Heat over the last few seasons. They made the Finals in 2023 as an eighth seed but faced the Nuggets, who won it all as the No.1 seed in the West.

Furthermore, the Heat are an outlier. Outside of the Heat in 2020 and 2023, the last time a team that was lower than a fourth seed in their respective conference that made the NBA Finals was the New York Knicks in 1999. Usually, it is wise to back the higher seeds when betting on what team will win a conference, given they typically have the better players, helping fuel their regular season success.

Prop Bets

Betting on conference winners is a prop bet. It is a future bet that can only be cashed out near the end of the playoffs if won. However, it does open the door for other parlay bets on props, picking player awards, or the NBA Finals matchup.

HOW TO BET ON NBA CONFERENCES

Betting Guide

Eastern Conference

For the 2023-24 season, the Eastern Conference has been cut and dry. The Celtics are the best team in the conference. The team ended the season with 64 wins and had three players, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kristaps Porziņģis, averaging over 20 points per game.

On top of that, the contenders that could challenge the Celtics have been dealing with injuries or not living up to expectations. Based on the Philadelphia 76ers having the reigning MVP, Joel Embiid, they were a team that could challenge the Celtics. However, Embiid got injured and only made his return close to the start of the playoffs, which put the 76ers in a difficult position, having to play through the Play-In Tournament.

NBA odds had faith that the Milwaukee Bucks could be a team to challenge the Celtics. However, they will start the playoffs with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo injured, while adding Damian Lillard in the offseason has yet to fully click. Furthermore, the Bucks fired head coach Adrian Griffin in the middle of the season with a 30-13 record. Doc Rivers took over and has only led the team to a 17-19 record.

Finally, the Knicks finished the regular season as the second seed, but NBA betting has little faith in them. Jalen Brunson closed out the regular season looking like an MVP candidate, but with Julius Randle injured and OG Anunoby in and out of the lineup, there is little support behind the Knicks to win the East.

Western Conference

The 2023-24 regular season in the Western Conference was exhilarating. The top two teams, the Thunder and Nuggets, finished the regular season with the same record, while the Minnesota Timberwolves were only a game back. After the All-Star break, all three teams were in a game-to-game battle for first in the West.

Still, NBA odds favor the Nuggets to win the West. They are the reigning NBA championships, with the potential MVP on the roster, Nikola Jokić. On top of that, they have the playoff experience that the Thunder and Timberwolves don’t have. The Thunder have not been to the playoffs since 2019-20 and were the second-youngest team at the start of the 2023-24 season. The Timberwolves have been eliminated in the first round of the last two playoffs, which is some experience, but they were the seventh and eighth seed in those seasons.

However, some teams could shack up NBA betting outside the West’s top three teams. The Los Angeles Clippers have an experienced team led by an elite core of Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, and Paul George. The Dallas Mavericks still have one of the best players in the league, Luka Dončić, who now has a legit sidekick for the playoffs in Kyrie Irving. Then, the Phoenix Suns have all the offensive firepower to make things interesting with Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal.

NBA lines will also not count out the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors, who slipped into the Play-In Tournament. The Lakers made the 2023 Western Conference Finals, while the Warriors were NBA champions in 2022.

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NBA CONFERENCES FAQs

The team that is favored to win the Eastern Conference is the Boston Celtics, with odds at -185.
The team that has the best odds to win the Western Conference is the Denver Nuggets, at +140.
BetUS is a great option for betting on NBA Conferences because it offers continuously updated odds for every team.
On the BetUS website, under the NBA section, there is a tab to bet on to win in each of the two NBA conferences.
While there are no lines available today. Explore all NBA lines here.

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Rolling If Bets (RIF) allow you to use the balance (amount) from existing wagers to make a new wager. As long as existing wagers have not been graded, the amount wagered can still be used to make new wagers. However, if your original wager loses, the Rolling If Bet is then cancelled. There are two options for ties (pushes); you can specify if you want the Rolling If Bet to continue in case of a tie or simply cancel the RIF.

Rolling If Bets are:
  • only allowed on straight bets, Parlays and Teasers.
  • not available with Free Plays or Futures and Props
  • only available if you have pre existing, non graded wagers
  • you can only use the funds from the amount of the pre existing wager
How to Place a Rolling If Bet:
  • Choose any straight, parlay or teaser and Place it on the Bet Slip
  • Click on the Rolling If Bet button next to the wager detail
  • In the RIF dropdown, choose a wager that you want to use for RIF
  • Click on "If Win Only" or "If Win or Push" (explained above)
  • Fill in the amount and confirm your wager (the system will not allow you a higher amount than what is available)
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