From Million-Dollar Wagers to Record-breaking Risks: Unveiling the Boldest NBA Finals Bets of All Time

The NBA Finals and the World of Sports Betting

The NBA Finals is a highly anticipated event in American sports, and with the rise of legal sports betting in the United States, it has become an exciting time for sportsbooks across the nation. Hundreds of millions of dollars in bets are placed at US sportsbooks throughout the two-month NBA postseason, with Las Vegas sportsbooks alone seeing an estimated $5 million in bets per NBA Finals game.

High Stakes Bets by Professional Sports Bettors

While the majority of bets come from passionate basketball fans and casual bettors looking to enhance the thrill of the NBA Finals, there is a growing trend of high-stakes wagers placed by professional sports bettors. These high rollers attract attention with their highly publicized bets and have become a common presence in the world of NBA Finals betting.

Bucks Attract Big Bets in the 2021 NBA Championship

The 2021 NBA Finals was a historic moment for the Milwaukee Bucks, ending a 50-year championship drought. It also proved to be profitable for several anonymous sports bettors who made bold wagers on the Bucks. One bettor, four weeks before the start of the NBA Finals, placed a $300,000 bet on Milwaukee to win the championship with odds of +110 at the Borgata online sportsbook. This bet resulted in a handsome payout of $330,000.

But the action didn’t stop there. Another bettor took to BetMGM and placed a massive $820,000 bet on the Bucks as a -200 wager to clinch the title with a victory over the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of the Finals. Despite a challenging second quarter for the Bucks, they eventually emerged victorious with a 105-98 win, securing a championship and netting the daring bettor $410,000.

A Disappointing Outcome for an Atlanta Hawks Fan

For one ardent Atlanta Hawks fan, the 2021 NBA Finals did not go as planned. The Hawks had never reached the NBA Finals since their relocation to Atlanta from St. Louis, but this did not deter a courageous sports bettor who placed two five-figure bets on the team with DraftKings before the postseason began.

The first bet was a $20,000 wager at +10000 on the Hawks winning their first NBA title since 1958, with a potential payout of $2 million. The second bet was a $20,000 wager at +4000 on Atlanta winning the Eastern Conference for the first time, offering the possibility of $800,000 in winnings.

Initially, it seemed like the bettor’s loyalty might pay off as the Hawks impressed with victories over the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers. However, injuries ultimately derailed their championship dreams, and the Milwaukee Bucks emerged victorious in six games, leaving the devoted bettor empty-handed.

Floyd Mayweather’s Massive NBA Finals Bets

Floyd Mayweather Jr., renowned for his boxing prowess and undefeated record, is also known for his substantial wagers in the sports betting world. In 2016, Mayweather made headlines by placing significant bets on the Golden State Warriors, leading to a $221,000 win when the Warriors overcome a 3-1 series deficit in the Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The betting success continued for Mayweather in the 2016 NBA Finals. He placed a first-half bet on the Warriors in Game 1, earning $63,000 in winnings. In Game 4, Mayweather backed the Warriors in the second half and pocketed $90,000 when they took a 3-1 series lead.

However, Mayweather’s most memorable betting feat occurred during the 2013 NBA playoffs. Following a heartbreaking loss by the Miami Heat to the Indiana Pacers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Mayweather boldly wagered $5.9 million on the Heat to cover as 7-point favorites in Game 6. The Heat delivered an impressive 117-92 victory, securing another trip to the NBA Finals and a substantial payday for Mayweather.


The NBA Finals not only captivates basketball fans but also enthralls the world of sports betting. Professional sports bettors are making headlines with their high-stakes wagers, while anonymous bettors try their luck with bold predictions. The 2021 NBA Finals showcased both incredible wins and devastating losses, reminding us that the thrill of sports betting lies in its unpredictability and the potential for life-changing payouts.


1. Can anyone place bets on the NBA Finals?

Yes, anyone who meets the legal requirements for sports betting in their jurisdiction can place bets on the NBA Finals. However, it is essential to gamble responsibly and within your means.

2. Are there any strategies professional sports bettors use to make their wagers?

Professional sports bettors often use a combination of statistical analysis, in-depth research, and knowledge of the sport to inform their betting decisions. They look for value in the odds and make calculated bets based on their expertise.

3. How can I enhance my chances of winning NBA Finals bets?

While sports betting always carries an element of risk, there are some tips to improve your chances. Stay informed about the teams, review their performance leading up to the Finals, consider expert opinions, and manage your bankroll wisely.

4. Can I bet on individual NBA Finals games or only the overall series?

You can bet on both individual NBA Finals games and the overall series. Sportsbooks offer various betting options, including point spreads, moneylines, and prop bets for individual games, as well as series outcomes.

5. What should I do if I develop a gambling problem?

If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling problem, it is important to seek help. Contact helplines or organizations dedicated to assisting individuals with gambling addiction for guidance and support.

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Doug I. Jones

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