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The 2021 NBA season has been a wild ride so far and the hardcourt action is just starting to heat up. This marks the NBA 75th campaign and while the COVID-19 pandemic forced this year’s regular season to be shortened to 72 games, the league’s schedule went off without a hitch. It’s been an interesting year to say the least; teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks all took big steps forward, while teams like the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets have struggled. It’s also worth mentioning that Steph Curry is back in fine form, Melo Ball looks like the Rookie of the Year and James Harden was traded to the Nets!

The NBA playoffs are just now getting started and the sports betting community is taking advantage of great matchups nearly every night of the week! Bovada Sports betting has the best NBA odds and offers tons of great props and futures to help you cash in on the postseason. Betting on basketball is always fun but the on-court action rises to another level during the playoffs. This year’s postseason will be different than ever before, as the league has made some interesting changes to the playoff format.

The NBA has implemented a playoff Play-In Tournament for the 2021 season that will include seeds 7-10 in each conference. The 7 and 8-seeds will have two chances to win one game and earn a playoff spot, whereas the 9 and 10-seeds will have will have to win two consecutive games to earn a playoff spot. The way it works is that the 7 and 8 seeds in each conference will play one another, with the winner securing the 7-seed, and the loser being forced to play another game to earn the 8-seed. At the same time, the 9 and 10-seeds in each conference will play, with the winner getting to play another game for the 8-seed and the loser going home. It may seem confusing at first, but once you wrap your head around the idea it makes for some exciting NBA betting!

With so many Bovada NBA odds and betting options to choose from on Bovada Sportsbook, we’ve taken the liberty of putting together a high level overview of the most popular types of bets during the NBA playoffs:

  • Betting on Bovada NBA Playoff Spreads

Point spreads the most popular type of wager in many sports, including basketball. A point spread is when odds makers set a specific amount of points that a team must either win by or stay within for your bet to cash. Since not all sports teams are created equal, point spreads help to even the playing field between any two teams. Bovada has points spreads available for every NBA playoff game, giving you some guaranteed excitement throughout the postseason.

  • Betting on Bovada NBA Playoff Moneylines

If you prefer to keep your sports Bovada bet simple and straight forward, moneyline wagers are your best bet. With moneyline bets, all you need to do is pick the game’s winning team. It doesn’t matter if your team wins by 1 or 100, you get paid as long as they get the victory. Before the game, odds makers will assign odds to both teams for winning the game and these odds will dictate the payout for any winning wagers. This is a great type of bet if you want to back a heavy favorite but don’t want to lay the points in a spread wager.

  • Betting on Bovada NBA Playoff Totals

For those of you tired of picking sides during the NBA playoffs, NBA totals betting allows you to instead wager on the total amount of points scored in the game. Odds makers set the total for the game, and you can bet on whether the final score will go over or under the game’s total. These bets, commonly referred to as “over/unders”, are a great way to enjoy sports like basketball and cheer on both teams to keep the final score over or under the key number. With NBA scoring getting higher all the time, bets on the over can be particularly exciting during the playoffs.

2021 NBA Playoff Contenders

Brooklyn Nets +240

Following Brooklyn’s mid-season acquisition of former NBA MVP James Harden, the Nets title aspirations went from hopeful to the leading contender. Combined with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn has the best big three in today’s NBA. The main question mark surrounding this year’s Nets squad is chemistry, as the superstar trio have only played a handful of games together so far this season. While their current betting odds at Bovada Sportsbook may not break the bank, Brooklyn offers solid value as the two-seed in the Eastern Conference and should have a manageable path to the finals.

Los Angeles Lakers +400

It’s been an up and down season for the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, but when you have LeBron James and Anthony Davis in your starting lineup, the championship will also be in reach. The Lakers are a great value bet this postseason, but will have their hands full in the loaded Western Conference. Following an exciting play-in victory over Steph Curry and the Warriors, Los Angeles locked in the seven-seed and will face off against Phoenix Suns in the first round. Look for new additions Dennis Schroder and Andre Drummond to be difference makers down the stretch as the Lakers look to win back to back NBA Championships.

LA Clippers +550

The “other team” in Los Angeles also has big expectations heading into the 2021 postseason, as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George look to make up for the Clipper’s poor showing in last year’s playoff bubble. Los Angeles has a new bench boss this season with Tyronn Lue taking over for longtime head coach Doc Rivers, and the Clippers are hoping this is the year they finally get over the hump. Patrick Beverley is still running the point and Serge Ibaka provides depth off the bench, but ultimately this time will only go as far as Leonard and George will take them. The Clippers can be a scary bet given their history, but they should be in the mix as the playoffs roll along.

Utah Jazz +600

Despite earning the top seed in this year’s Western Conference, the Jazz enter the postseason looking for respect form the NBA’s top teams. The franchise has long been known for coming up short in the playoffs, but have a real shot and going all the way this season following an impressive 52-20 campaign. Utah has been without Donovan Mitchell since mid-April, but the elite shooting guard is working his way back into the lineup following an ankle injury. Add two-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, along with two Sixth Man of the Year finalists in Jordan Clarkson and Joe Ingles, and you can see why Utah’s betting odds are so appealing heading into the 2021 NBA playoffs.

2021 NBA Playoffs Sleeper Bets

Miami Heat +3000

It’s tough to call the Heat a true sleeper bet considering their impressive run to the NBA Finals last season, but a slow start to the year has helped Miami come in under the radar. The Heat enter this year’s playoffs as the Eastern Conference’s six-seed and will face off against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. Miami has all the key elements of last year’s roster back for another playoff run, led by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. With young players like Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson picking up invaluable experience during last year’s playoffs, the Heat offer some great betting value for a team that knows what it takes to go the distance.

Portland Trailblazers +5500

If you like placing bets on longshot odds for the chance at a massive payout, the Portland Trailblazers are an intriguing option heading into this year’s postseason. Portland boasts one of the league’s best backcourts in the form of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, and they also added former Toronto Raptor Norman Powell as an added scoring threat. The Trailblazers enter the playoffs as the six-seed in the Western Conference, and you’re getting some great betting value on the Trailblazers due to their tough first round matchup against the Denver Nuggets. If Portland can upset Denver, don’t be surprised if you see Dame D.O.L.L.A. and the Trailblazers making a run for the NBA Championship.

Memphis Grizzlies +12000

Since we’re looking at sleeper bets, no team is a bigger sleeper heading into the postseason than the Grizzlies. By winning their play in games versus the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors, Memphis became the first ever nine-seed to make the NBA playoffs. You can understand why the Grizzlies have such gigantic betting odds; they’ll face the top-seeded Utah Jazz in the first round and have plenty of competition waiting for them should they manage to survive their initial series. But with franchise player Ja Morant leading a cast of young, talented players, have some fun by taking a chance on this year’s upstart Grizzlies squad.