It’s playoff time again! The most exciting time of the season for NBA fans, and more, so this year as the draw is wide open with plenty of teams vying for the top spot. As well as that, there is a little twist in a play-in tournament that gives the teams with the 9th and 10th best record in each conference a final chance to make the playoffs.
As always, there are a ton of questions to be answered for fans and bettors alike before the action gets started. And the first one is: can the West Conference produce a winner in the absence of the Lakers? The run-up to the playoffs has been absolutely unpredictable – will the playoffs themselves keep us guessing?
Plenty more questions abound, so let’s take a look at factors to pay attention to as the sharp end of the season approaches.
When will the Finals start?
The Conference finals are wrapping up as we approach the end of June, with some dramatic action still to come.
Some loose ends are left to tie up before the Playoff Finals begin – Phoenix Suns make their first appearance in the Western Conference Finals in over a decade, and lead Los Angeles Clippers 2-1, while over in the Eastern Conference Finals Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks sit at 1-2, with the final weekend in June fast approaching.
Who makes it through to the Playoff Finals is still very much up in the air. As for dates for the Playoff Finals, it looks like the matches will begin around July 8th, and according to the NBA website, the 7th final game will take place no later than July 22nd.
Two series still ongoing
No. 5 Hawks vs. No. 3 Bucks series: MIL leads 2-1
Game 1: Hawks 116, Bucks 113
Game 2: Bucks 125, Hawks 91
Game 3: Bucks 113, Hawks 102
Game 4: Bucks vs. Hawks, Tuesday, June 29th, 8:30 p.m.
Game 5 (if needed): Hawks vs. Bucks, Thursday, July 1st, 8:30 p.m.
Game 6 (if needed): Bucks vs. Hawks, Saturday, July 3rd, 8:30 p.m.
Game 7 (if needed): Hawks vs. Bucks, Monday, July 5th, 8:30 p.m.
No. 2 Suns vs. No. 4 Clippers series: PHX leads 3-1
Game 1: Suns 120, Clippers 114
Game 2: Suns 104, Clippers 103
Game 3: Clippers 106, Suns 92
Game 4: Suns 84, Clippers 80
Game 5: Clippers 116, Suns 102
Game 6 (if needed): Suns @ Clippers, Wed June 30, 9 p.m.
Game 7 (if needed): Clippers @ Suns, Fri July 2, 9 p.m.
How to wager?
America loves sports betting, reflected in the successful judgment at the Supreme Court related to New Jersey in 2018, and many States following suit in regulating sports betting.
There are plenty of places to play online, usually with dedicated apps, excellent security and customer service, and quick payouts. Pretty much every sports betting service offers bonuses for new sign-ups and special promotions for existing customers. Be sure to compare bonuses and promotions across different apps on sites such as WSN.com to see which ones are right for you (or choose multiple options).
How to watch NBA 2021 Playoff?
This year’s NBA playoff games are spread across TNT, ESPN, ABC, ESPN 3, and NBA TV. Games are available to watch live on cable/satellite or any streaming services that include access to those channels.
You can stream playoff games via the ESPN app, NBA.com, TNT.com, ABC.com, or the ABC app if you already pay for those channels through your TV provider. Games broadcast on ABC are also available to stream via ESPN 3, which is free through most popular internet providers.
Who are the favorites to win the championship?
Despite not appearing in the Playoff Finals for more than ten years, the Phoenix Suns have emerged as an unlikely favorite for the overall crown. Their form has been excellent, and they dominated the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in 2021, hitting 2nd spot in the Western Conference overall. With NBA All-Star Chris Paul at point guard, they have the big game player to inspire them to glory.
But stiff opposition is expected from the Brooklyn Nets – for many the 2021 favorites. A hugely talented trio of players – Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden – may just power them to victory and take the Championship back to the east coast. Brooklyn won each of their last five games to close out the regular season and have the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
While there are betting favorites, the 2021 NBA Championship looks like it’s going to be as surprising and unpredictable as the rest of the season to date. Let’s see what lies ahead.