The seasonal NBA Playoffs kick off around April each year and are contested by the top eight teams in each conference with the most wins fighting it out for the NBA Championship title.
The NBA Playoffs teams are made up of the three division winners plus the next best NBA team from each conference based on their seasonal record. NBA Playoff seedings are based on each club’s record over the regular NBA season.
NBA Playoffs are contested in a tournament format with each team playing another in a best-of-seven series. NBA Playoff winners are the first club to post four wins against their allocated opponents, who are subsequently eliminated from the race to the Championship.
The last round of the NBA Playoffs is the NBA Finals. The NBA Finals are a separate best-of-seven series showdown between the two NBA Conference Champions decided throughout the basketball playoffs tournament.
2017/18 NBA Playoffs
- Reigning NBA Champions: Golden State Warriors (2017)
- Date: Start April 14, 2018 (US time)
- Format: Best-of-seven series tournament
- Final Round: NBA Finals
- Title: NBA Champions
- Trophy: Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy
- MVP: Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award
The 2017/18 NBA Playoffs are underway having kicked off on Saturday April 14, 2018 (US time) with the 2018 Eastern Conference and 2018 Western Conference Finals leading into the 2018 NBA Finals starting on May 31, 2018 (US time).
The top eight teams from each conference face off in a number of best-of-seven NBA Playoffs series during the First Round.
2018 NBA Playoffs: The Finals
2018 NBA Playoffs: Conference Finals Results
- Cleveland defeated Boston: 4 – 3
For the second consecutive year, the Eastern Conference NBA Finals Series came down to the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Since 2017’s series failed to live up to the hype, it was only fitting that the Celtics took LeBron James and the Cavs to the sword, with The King prevailing in Game 7. The Cavaliers walked away with a 87-79 victory over the Celtics, while LeBron came through with 35-points and 15 rebounds. LeBron and the Cavs’ clutch victory booked another date with the Golden State Warriors in the Finals for the fourth consecutive year.
- Golden State defeated Houston: 4 – 3
The Rockets played hard during the entire regular season to lock up home-court advantage come playoff time. The Western Conference Finals came down to an exciting Game 7 in Houston, but for all of the Rockets’ hard work, they were unable to book their first trip to the Finals since 1995. The Rockets failed come crunch time, making just seven of the 44 three-point shots they attempted. The Warriors, meanwhile, were once again clutch – Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry combined for 61-points, putting them firmly in line for their third title in the last four years.
2018 NBA Playoffs: Conference Semifinals Results
- Cleveland defeated Toronto: 4 – 0
Highlight: LeBron James posted 38 points in the third game with a mid-range fadeaway bank shot at the buzzer giving Cleveland a 3 – 0 series lead that they extended to a 4 – 0 clean sweep in the fourth.
- Philadelphia lost to Boston: 1 – 4
Philadelphia played Boston for the 21st time in the playoffs here, but the Boston Celtics proved too good again taking their record over the 76ers in the playoffs meetings to 13 wins from 21.
- Houston defeated Utah: 4 – 1
Utah had won five of the first seven NBA Playoffs meetings against Houston but failed to add to that when losing four games to one.
- New Orleans lost to Golden State: 1 – 4
The Golden State Warriors made it two-from-two in the NBA Playoffs series meetings against New Orleans.
2018 NBA Playoffs: First Round Series Results
- Toronto defeated Washington: 4 – 2
This was the second NBA Playoffs series between Toronto and Washington, the Wizards having won the first before being knocked out in the 2018 rematch.
- Cleveland defeated Indiana: 4 – 3
Heading into the third playoff meeting between the Cavaliers and Pacers, the score was one all until Cleveland came away victorious. In Game 5 LeBron James put the Cavs up 3 – 2 in the series with his fourth game-winning buzzer beater in the playoffs.
- Boston defeated Milwaukee: 4 – 3
Boston continued their outstanding NBA Playoffs record over the Bucks. The Celtics made it five wins from six playoff meetings between the two sides.
- Philadelphia defeated Miami: 4 – 1
Philadelphia enjoyed their first NBA Playoff Series win since 2012 beating the Miami Heat four games to one. The Heat had won the other previous playoffs meeting against the 76ers.
- Houston defeated Minnesota: 4 – 1
The Rockets made it a perfect two-from-two playoffs meeting record over the Timberwolves with their four games to one victory.
- Oklahoma City lost to Utah: 2 – 4
Utah Jazz took on the Supersonics/Thunder Oklahoma NBA franchise for the fifth time in a NBA Playoffs series and secured a 4 games to 2 success.
- Portland lost to New Orleans: 0 – 4
The New Orleans Pelicans were the only First Round NBA Playoffs Series winners to enjoy a clean sweep with their 4 – 0 games victory over the Trail Blazers, the Pelicans winning their first playoffs series since 2008 when known as the New Orleans Hornets.
- Golden State defeated San Antonio: 4 – 1
The Warriors made it three from four playoffs meeting victories over the Spurs.
The NBA Playoffs First Round results decide the eight teams to progress onto the NBA Conference Semifinals.
NBA Playoffs Betting
All the regular basketball betting markets are open across the NBA Playoffs. Outright NBA odds are open months in advance of the Playoffs series and are determined by the NBA results across the season. Other popular NBA Playoffs betting markets include the Eastern Conference and Western Conference winners.
Popular NBA Playoffs Bet Types include:
- NBA Championship Winner
- NBA Eastern Conference Winner
- NBA Western Conference Winner
NBA Playoffs System
- 1st plays 8th
- 2nd plays 7th
- 3rd plays 6th
- 4th plays 5th
In the opening round of the NBA playoffs the highest seeded teams get the advantage. The home court advantage goes to the club with the best record out of the two, which isn’t always the top seeded team in the match.
There are eight NBA Playoff series – made up of between four and seven games – played in the opening round, four in each Conference.
Conference Semi Finals
Winners of the opening round’s series in each conference play the winners of the second best-of-seven series in the first semi-final NBA tournament. Game 2 winners from the first round play the game four victors in each Conference in the second set of semi-finals.
Winners of the two first semi-final series in each Conference play the winners of the second two semi-final tournaments to make up two Conference Finals series in the NBA Playoffs each season.
One best-of-seven NBA Championship series played between the Eastern Conference and Western Conference winners.