NBA Playoffs betting Maryland

As the highest competition in American basketball, the NBA playoffs betting offer numerous opportunities for Maryland bettors to make a profit. In this guide, we’ll explore the history of the NBA playoffs, types of bets, how odds work, and more.

NBA Playoffs guide MD

Every year, 16 teams compete in the NBA playoffs for a shot at the title of national champion. With each pair of teams facing off in a best-of-seven series, there are dozens of games to watch. As a result, Maryland bettors of all stripes can find exciting and profitable wagers.

Following this guide, you’ll be betting on the NBA playoffs with confidence in no time.

Best Maryland NBA Playoffs betting


When betting on the NBA playoffs, you want to make sure you use a reliable and secure sportsbook.

How do you know if a sportsbook is reliable? Read reviews, and look for red flags. Reliable sportsbooks pay out on time and have transparent business practices. Find out what their customer service is like and how to contact them if problems arise.

What about sportsbook security? You should be able to find information about a sportsbook’s security protocols in its online FAQ. The safest sportsbooks use 3D Secure to ensure your card information is safe during financial transactions.

To give you a head start on your search for safe and reliable sportsbooks, we’ve put together our five favorites. These Maryland sportsbooks offer a wide range of bets, including futures, moneylines, point spreads, and prop bets, with competitive odds.

BetMGM MD NBA Playoffs betting

On top of the diverse betting offering typical of high-quality sportsbooks, BetMGM allows Maryland bettors to build custom prop bets.

PointsBet MD NBA Playoff bets

PointsBet distinguishes itself by offering its PointsBetting feature. When bettors place bets with PointsBetting, they receive better winnings when their team wins by more points.

DraftKings MD NBA Playoff odds

On DraftKings, you can join or create a free-to-enter pool contest. In a pool contest, you and your friends bet on the outcomes of multiple events. For example, you can easily use this feature to make wagers on various elements of the NBA playoffs, like individual series.

FanDuel MD NBA Playoffs lines

FanDuel Sportsbook is one of the most popular sportsbooks available to Maryland bettors today. FanDuel’s website and app have an attractive and user-friendly UI, making NBA betting quick and easy.

Barstool Sportsbook MD NBA Playoffs wagers

Like BetMGM, Barstool Sportsbook offers custom prop bet creation. In addition, barstool encourages social activity on its sportsbook with features like the ability to join in on user-created bets.

History of NBA Playoffs betting MD


The NBA playoffs began in 1946 as the BAA playoffs. Each summer, 16 professional basketball teams participate in the NBA playoffs to compete for the national champion title.

At the end of the basketball betting season, teams in the Eastern and Western conferences rank according to win-loss ratios. Before the 2020-21 season, the top eight teams in each conference qualified for the playoffs.

NBA Play-In tournament

For the 2021 NBA playoffs, the NBA introduced the play-in tournament. In this format, only the top six teams from each conference guarantee their place in the playoffs. The remaining two slots for each conference are determined as follows:

  • The teams ranked 7th and 8th in the conference play each other. The winner secures the No. 7 seed for the playoffs.
  • The teams ranked 9th and 10th in the conference face off against each other. The loser misses their opportunity to play in the NBA playoffs.
  • The winner of the No. 9-vs.-No. 10 game plays the loser of the No. 7-vs.-No. 8 game. The winner earns the final spot in the NBA playoffs.

Although many anticipated the play-in tournament would be a temporary addition to the NBA playoffs, it’s likely here to stay.

The play-in tournament offers bettors more opportunities to bet on the playoffs and observe teams before the NBA Finals.

Previous NBA Championship Winners

Since 1947, 19 different franchises have won the NBA Finals. The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics have achieved the most NBA Championship victories with 17 wins each.

More winners have come from the Eastern Conference than the Western Conference. Ten franchises from the Eastern Conference achieved 38 wins, while nine franchises from the Western Conference won 34 times.

Here’s a brief snapshot of recent NBA championship winners:

  • 2020: Los Angeles Lakers
  • 2019: Toronto Raptors
  • 2018: Golden State Warriors
  • 2017: Golden State Warriors
  • 2018: Cleveland Cavaliers

Types of NBA Playoffs bets MD


For NBA playoffs betting, you may make many of the same bets you would make on other basketball games. In this section, we’ll break down the different wagers you can make on the NBA playoffs.

NBA Championship Futures MD

Did you know you can bet on the NBA Championship year-round? Many sportsbooks release odds for the upcoming year’s NBA Championship shortly after the current year’s competition has finished.

If you feel like you know the upcoming year’s national champion, you can make a bet on it at any time.

In most cases, you’ll be able to get better betting odds on your futures bets the further out you make them. But, of course, this comes at the cost of having additional knowledge about the teams and their performance.

NBA Playoffs Series Bets MD

For each round of the NBA playoffs, teams face off in a series of up to seven games. So rather than betting on the outcome of the NBA Championship, you can bet on a series’ final result.

While the series is ongoing, sportsbooks will update their NBA playoff series odds to reflect the teams’ standings. So by betting on series, you may see more profits than you would from placing Moneyline bets on individual games.

NBA Playoffs Moneyline Bets MD

A moneyline bet is the simplest type of bet for the NBA playoffs and most other online betting events. For a moneyline bet, you simply bet on which team you think will win a game. With moneylines, you’ll usually stand to profit more from wagering on the underdog if they win.

NBA Playoffs Point Spreads MD

With point spread bets, you wager who will win and how many points they will win by. You can bet on spreads for any playoff game, but betting on the championship is most popular. Here’s what a point spread for an NBA playoff game might look like:

  • Suns -5.5
  • Bucks +5.5

In this case, the Suns are the favorite, while the Bucks are the underdog. For a bet on the Suns to win, the Suns would have to win by at least 6 points. If you bet on the Bucks, your wager succeeds if they lose by only 5 points or less or win.

Point spreads are always represented as half-points to ensure one of the two options wins while the other loses. If sportsbooks used whole numbers, both bets could win. For example:

  • Suns -6
  • Bucks +6

If the Suns win by exactly 6 points, both bets succeed. Sportsbooks would lose immensely paying out in situations like this, so they avoid them by using half-points.

Note that sportsbooks consider both wagers equally likely to occur, and so odds will be the same for both choices. For example, point spread NBA playoffs odds typically fall around -110.

NBA Playoffs Over/Under Bets MD

For over/under bets, you predict whether the total points scored in a game will reach a certain number. For example, contemporary NBA games usually have a combined total score of between 205 and 240 points.

Like point spreads and moneyline bets, you can bet on any NBA playoff game, including the NBA Finals. Oddsmakers set the over/under line based on several factors, including both teams’ pace and style.

As with point spreads, sportsbooks write over/under values with half-points. For example, the over/under for an NBA playoff game may be 220.5. If the final score is 112-108, the under bet succeeds because the total score is 220.

Unlike with point spreads, oddsmakers tend to have a favored outcome. Therefore, you’ll see a little more variance in odds, but don’t expect to see much.

NBA Playoffs Prop Bets MD

Proposition (prop) bets involve the occurrence or frequency of events that don’t directly affect a game’s outcome. With sportsbooks that allow you to construct custom prop bets, you can build just about any wager you can imagine.

Here’s a few NBA playoff prop bet ideas to get you started:

  • How many points does a player score
  • Which player or team scores first
  • How many dunks will happen in a game
  • How many blocks a player accomplishes
  • How many fouls will occur during a given period
  • How many games a series will last

NBA Playoffs Live Betting MD

Many sportsbooks, including our five favorites, offer apps that allow you to make live bets during the NBA playoffs. Live betting opens up new possibilities for prop bets, like who will score next.

You can also make live bets on moneylines, spreads, and over/under bets. Sportsbooks adjust the odds for these bets to account for game developments, so you’ll want to time your wagers carefully.

NBA Finals MVP Bets MD

Each year, the top player in the NBA playoffs receives the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. Like other bets, odds for NBA Finals MVP bets tend to fluctuate throughout the NBA playoffs.

Understanding Maryland NBA Playoffs betting odds


You’ll most likely see NBA playoffs betting odds represented in one of three ways:

  • American odds format
  • Fractional odds format
  • Decimal odds format

In this section, we’ll explain these methods of expressing NBA playoff odds.

MD NBA Playoffs Betting American Odds

In Maryland, most NBA playoff betting odds appear in the American odds format.

Here’s an example of what NBA Finals odds look like written in the American format:

  • Suns -350
  • Bucks +270

In this case, oddsmakers favor the Suns to win. You would have to bet $350 on the Suns to see $100 in profit from a successful wager. Meanwhile, a $100 bet on the Bucks would net you $270 if successful.

MD NBA Playoffs Betting Fractional Odds

Fractional odds represent the ratio of winnings to stake. Here’s what those NBA Finals odds look like in fractional odds format:

  • Suns: 0.29/1
  • Bucks 2.7/1

You can convert positive American odds into fractional odds format by dividing them by 100. Likewise, for converting negative odds, divide -100 by the American odds.

Maryland NBA Playoffs Betting Decimal Odds

Decimal odds allow you to quickly and easily calculate how much money you’ll receive from winning an NBA playoffs bet. Just multiply your stake by the decimal odds, and you’ll know how much your combined profits and winnings will be.

If we convert those same NBA Finals odds to decimal format, they’ll look like this:

  • Suns: 1.29
  • Bucks: 3.7

FAQ’s About NBA Playoffs betting Maryland

How do the NBA playoffs work?

The top eight teams in each conference face off in several rounds. For each round, teams play a series of up to seven games in a 2-2-1-1-1 format. Once each conference determines a champion, those two teams play in the NBA Finals.

What is the 2-2-1-1-1 format in the NBA playoffs?

In the 2-2-1-1-1 series format, the team with the higher seed receives the at-home advantage for the first two games. Then, the other team hosts the next two games. For the remaining three games, the host alternates.

Is NBA playoffs betting legal in Maryland?

Yes, Maryland legalized sports betting on May 18th, 2021. You may bet on any sports in Maryland, including the NBA playoffs.

Do sportsbooks offer bonuses for NBA playoffs betting?

Many sportsbooks provide risk-free bets or boosted odds on NBA playoffs betting as welcome bonuses for new players.

How do I sign up for a sportsbook to bet on the NBA playoffs in Maryland?

Go to your chosen sportsbook’s website online or download their app. To verify your identity during or after sign-up, you need some form of ID, like a passport or driver’s license.