What are the NBA Finals?
The NBA Championship series, also known as the NBA Finals, is the official series of the National Basketball Association (NBA) to determine the league champion each season. The series is played in a best-of-seven game structure played between the respective winners of the NBA’s Eastern and Western conferences. The higher-seeded team hosts the first two games, while the lower-seeded team hosts the following two, with the remaining three rotated at each team’s arena. Following the series, the NBA Finals winner is presented the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.
How many championships does each conference have?
The first NBA championship was held following a merger between the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and the National Basketball League (NBL), in 1949. Following the merger, the first official NBA championship winner was the now defunct Western-champion Minneapolis Lakers in 1950. Since then, ten different Eastern Conference teams have won a combined 38 championships, while nine different Western Conference teams have won a combined 32 championships. The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers lead the rest of the league in titles by far, winning 17 and 16 titles, respectively. The Golden State Warriors are in third place in total titles, with six.
What teams have established NBA dynasties?
Beginning in the 1957 season, the league saw the rise of so-called “dynasties” in which one or two teams came to dominate the league in both regular season and postseason play, before eventually being crowned the NBA Finals winner. The first to do so were the Boston Celtics who won their first title in 1957, eight straight from 1959-1966, and finally another two in 1968 and 1969.
The phenomenon would repeat itself from 1980-1990, in which the eventual NBA Finals winner would be either the Celtics, Lakers, Pistons, or 76ers (who only won once in 1983 against the Lakers). The Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls would then assume the proverbial NBA throne establishing a dynasty that would see them crowned the NBA Finals winner six times from 1991-1998.
With the retirement of Michael Jordan however, the Bulls vacated the top spot in the NBA, which was immediately contested by the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, who would combine to win nine NBA titles from 1999-2010. Only the Detroit Pistons and the Miami Heat would interrupt their streak, with the latter advancing to four straight finals from 2011-2014 (winning twice). The Golden State Warriors would then establish their own dynasty, being crowned the NBA Finals winner three times in five straight appearances from 2015 to the present.
NBA Finals betting
Given the popularity of professional basketball in the United States, coupled with an increasing global presence including viewership, betting on the NBA has steadily grown. One of the most popular forms of NBA betting among both avid and amateur bettors is undoubtedly futures, particularly those related to the NBA Finals winner, which typically brings in the majority of wagers and money. However, those looking to get in on the action of NBA futures betting can also wager on NBA conference winners, division winners, and player awards such as MVP or Rookie of the Year.
However, before placing your bets, be sure to check out Sidelines for NBA betting information and odds comparisons on all your bets. Bet smart and stay updated on league news, stats, injuries, and more.