NBA Finals Historical Odds

NBA Finals Historical Series Odds List: Past Says Bet Nuggets

The 2023 NBA Finals are underway.

If you're still trying to handicap which side will win, you're probably pouring over finals previews, advanced metrics, and matchup reports. But, let's allow history to do our handicapping for us.

Below, I'll look at the every NBA Finals series since 2010, finding a few key trends we can learn from these historical NBA odds and results:

NBA Finals Historical Series Betting

Since 2010, the range in Finals series prices has varied greatly. The Nuggests opened the 2023 NBA Finals as the biggest favorites since the 2017 Warriors. Here’s a look at the pre-NBA Finals series odds from the last 13 years, plus this year's opening series prices:

Sportsbook Series Prices of the NBA Finals Since 2010
YearWestWest LineEastEast Line
2022Golden State-190Boston+280
2020LA Lakers-330Miami+265
2019Golden State-280Toronto+175
2018Golden State-167Cleveland+1100
2017Golden State-2000Cleveland+1000
2016Golden State-200Cleveland+162
2015Golden State-190Cleveland+170
2014San Antonio-125Miami+105
2013San Antonio+200Miami-240
2012Oklahoma City-160Miami+140
2010LA Lakers-180Boston+160

NBA Finals Takeaways: Favorites Cash

Over the past 13 seasons, the title favorite in the NBA Finals has won the Larry O’Brien Trophy eight times, meaning the underdog has come through at a 38% clip.

The biggest NBA Finals upsets in recent seasons include the 2019 Toronto Raptors, who opened as +175 underdogs against Golden State, and LeBron's Cavs beating the 73-win warriors in 2016.

East vs West: Which Is The Dominant Conference?

All-time, the conference that produces the eventual NBA champion is split almost straight down the middle. But lately, the West has had the slight edge with eight of the last 13 champions.

Finals Home vs Away Records

Everyone and their mother drools over the concept of “home-court advantage” in the playoffs. With the roar of the crowd ringing throughout the arena in favor of their team, it is understandable why someone may place more value on the home team during the NBA Finals, and the numbers back it up. Since 2010, the home teams in the NBA Finals have a record of 95-58 (62.%).

Length Of Finals Series

While the NBA Finals is one of the most highly anticipated sporting events of the year, the quality of Finals matchups has varied over the past 13 seasons. While we expect the top two teams to have closely contested battles, that is not always the case.

Since 2010, the NBA Finals has reached a Game 7 only three times, while only once has a series ended in a sweep during that timeframe, that coming with the 2018 Warriors’ dominant victory over the Cavaliers.

The past four NBA Finals have all ended in Game 6 and we’ve seen six-game Finals six times since 2010, making that the most common length of the championship series in that span. 

What This Means For 2023 NBA Finals

I mean, it's pretty simple right?

  • Favorites win more often
  • The West has been the stronger conference
  • Home-court advantage is real
  • Six games is the most common series length

All this NBA Finals betting history certainly suggests that the Nuggets are going to beat the Heat in six games this year. We'll let the games play out, but don't say I didn't warn you when this exact outcome happens.

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