The 2022 NBA Finals are here and we are down to two remaining teams vying for the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
A Finals rematch nearly 60 years in the making, the young and hungry Boston Celtics led by Jayson Tatum and 2022 Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart will take on one of the NBA’s greatest dynasties in the Golden State Warriors, who are led by two-time regular-season MVP Steph Curry and former DPOY Draymond Green.
The Warriors are entering their sixth NBA Finals in eight seasons, and with that experience comes the favor of oddsmakers. This year Sportsbook has the Dubs (-150) Sportsbook as slight favorites over the C’s, who go in with value at +130.
Over the past three seasons, the Sportsbook odds for the NBA Finals have been fairly close. In last year’s Finals matchup, the Phoenix Suns opened as slight favorites at -165 with the Milwaukee Bucks coming back at +145.
That’s in stark contrast to the Sportsbook lines for the Golden State vs Cleveland Cavaliers era from 2015 to 2018 which saw the Warriors once open as favorites of -2000 and the LeBron James-led Cavs twice open as four-figure underdogs during the four consecutive years the two teams faced off.
Bet On The 2022 NBA Finals Here
To keep up to date on the latest NBA Finals odds, visit our NBA championship futures page.
NBA Finals Historical Series Betting
Since 2010, the range in Sportsbook series odds has varied greatly. Here’s a look at the pre-NBA Finals series odds from the last 13 years:
|Year||West||West Line||East||East Line|
NBA Finals Favorite vs Underdog Record
Over the past 12 seasons, the Sportsbook favorite in the NBA Finals has won the Larry O’Brien Trophy seven times, making the Finals a near pick’em between the two remaining teams.
The NBA Finals has seen surprising upsets throughout the previous 12 seasons such as the 2019 Toronto Raptors, who opened as +175 underdogs against Golden State and thwarted a Warriors three-peat bid by winning that series in six games.
East vs West: Which Is The Dominant Conference?
Historically, the conference that produces the eventual NBA champion is split almost straight down the middle with the West producing seven of the past 12 champions.
While teams from the West dominated their Eastern Conference counterparts for the majority of the 2010s when competing head-to-head during the regular season, the advantage dwindled dramatically during the Finals.
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, but the numbers tell a different story.
Since 2010, the home teams in the NBA Finals have a record of 92-55 (62.6%). Those straight-up numbers do trend slightly in favor of the home team, but betting against the spread (ATS) has been an entirely different ball game.
In that same sample size, the home team in the NBA Finals is 72-72-3 ATS in the NBA Finals. This is a clear indicator that betting on a home team to cover the spread is a big risk for bettors.
While the numbers certainly indicate the home team has a leg up on its opponent, it is not nearly as impactful as you may have thought. Don’t rely purely on who is playing host in a Finals matchup, as the home-court swing could be a miss.
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 12 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 three NBA Finals have all ended in Game 6 and we’ve seen six-game Finals five times since 2010, making that the most common length of the championship series in that span.
Bill Russell Finals MVP Trends
During the Finals, there is no shortage of prop bets to be made and wagering on the Finals MVP can be a simple yet exciting wager to place. We’ve got the winning formula for this year’s NBA Finals.
When looking at the selection process for the Finals MVP, there is a clear outlier to determine who will take home the prestigious honor. Simply put, it’s all about buckets.
Over the past 12 seasons, the Finals MVP has been awarded to the leading scorer from the winning team nine times, with Kawhi Leonard in 2014, Andre Iguodala in 2015 and LeBron James in 2020 (.01 difference in points per game from leading scorer Anthony Davis) being the only exceptions to that trend.
If the trend continues in 2022, that would make Stephen Curry (-120) and Jayson Tatum (+180) the smart money as those players lead their respective squads in scoring going into the NBA Finals.
When making your pick for Finals MVP, you should always keep in mind what team you expect to win the series. Only once in NBA history has a player from the losing squad won the Finals MVP award – Jerry West in 1969.