The Toronto Raptors made history on Saturday night. Canada’s only NBA team won Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals over the Milwaukee Bucks. As a result, the Raptors moved past the Bucks and on to the franchise’s first NBA Finals.
There, they will meet the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors. The Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 4-0 in the Western Conference Finals. That means a fifth straight NBA Finals appearance for the Bay Area team.
That also means you can now bet on the NBA Finals in any one of eight states where sports betting is legal.
Game 1 of the best-of-seven NBA Finals is set for Thursday, May 30 at 9 p.m. ET in Toronto, Canada. ABC will have live TV coverage of the entire series here in the US.
NBA Finals Game 1 betting odds
Legal and regulated sportsbooks across the country have already posted a variety of lines allowing you to bet on Game 1 and the NBA Finals series as a whole.
Game 1 of the NBA Finals represents a rare situation in sports betting. That’s because you’ll likely have to lay money on either team to win while betting the moneyline.
Betting moneylines in the NBA is about picking an outright game winner. You get paid at the odds posted at the time you place the bet. But only if the team you bet on comes through.
The odds are normally a positive number for one team and negative for the other. Positive numbers represent the amount you’ll earn for every $100 you bet if that team wins. Negative numbers represent how much you have to lay to win $100.
Here’s a look at the opening Game 1 moneyline odds at four of the top legal sportsbooks in the country, including NJ sports betting operators DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and BetStars NJ. Plus, PA sports betting operator Parx Sportsbook:
|NBA Finals Game 1||Parx (PA)||BetStars (NJ)||FanDuel (NJ)||DraftKings (NJ)|
|Golden State Warriors||-107||-105||-102||-107|
NBA Finals odds
Golden State is starting the series with two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant sidelined with an injury. However, the Warriors are still favorites to win the team’s fourth title in five years at most legal US sportsbooks.
Here’s a look at the opening odds on both teams to win the NBA Finals at the same four legal sportsbooks:
|NBA Finals||Parx (PA)||BetStars (NJ)||FanDuel (NJ)||DraftKings (NJ)|
|Golden State Warriors||-315||-333||-330||-315|
That means you’re likely going to have to bet somewhere between $315 and $333 on the Warriors to win $100 plus your bet back. If you like the Raptors, you’ll earn somewhere between $235 and $270 plus your bet back for every $100 you bet.
You can also bet on the exact series score at these and most other legal sportsbooks at better odds. As a rule of thumb, the more specific the bet, the better the odds usually are.
Longshots in this market include BetStars NJ offering +4000 on the Raptors winning 4-0. DraftKings is offering +550 on the Warriors winning 4-3.
FanDuel Sportsbook is even offering lines on the correct series score after three games. The opening odds looked like this:
- Golden State 3-0 (+370)
- Golden State 2-1 (+116)
- Raptors 3-0 (+1320)
- Raptors 2-1 (+210)
NBA Finals MVP odds
Most legal sportsbooks across the US will also allow you to book a bet now on who you think will win the NBA Finals MVP award when the series wraps up. Warriors star Stephen Curry is the moneyline favorite in this market.
Here’s a look at the opening odds in the NBA Finals MVP futures market at FanDuel and Parx:
|NBA Finals MVP||FanDuel (NJ)||Parx (PA)|
The teams will stay in Toronto for Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, June 2 at 8 p.m. ET.
Legal US sportsbooks will post new odds for Game 2 and adjust those in the other betting markets on the days in between. These adjustments will be based partly on the outcome of Game 1, injury reports for Game 2, and which sides the majority of the money is bet.
The series continues with Game 3 and Game 4 in Oakland on Wednesday, June 5 and Friday, June 7. If necessary, the two teams will travel back to Toronto for Game 5 on June 10, Game 6 in Oakland on June 13, and Game 7 in Toronto on June 16.
It’s a good idea to keep checking the odds between games to see what has changed. Plus, shop around at different sportsbooks to make sure you get the best price on a bet once you’ve settled on a side.