For the first time in franchise history, the Denver Nuggets are heading to the NBA Finals, where they’ll take on either the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat. Those latter two teams are improbably headed to tonight’s Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals, despite the Heat taking an early 3-0 series lead.
So after one climactic Conference Finals series (and one much less climactic Conference Finals series, with the Nuggets’ sweep of the Lakers), where does fan interest stand ahead of the big series? According to the latest CivicScience data, over one-quarter of U.S. adults express some level of intent to watch the Finals. These numbers exceed the intent numbers CivicScience collected for the NBA All-Star Game – and if past history is any indication, the Finals ought to drastically exceed the ASG ratings, even if they decline year-over-year.
Gen Z adults are the most likely to express any level of intent (43%), and the most likely to say they ‘definitely’ will watch the Finals (16%) – with adults aged 25-34 not far behind (13%). Men are more likely to watch than women, but 23% of women express at least some level of intent to watch (compared to 33% of men).
An even higher but similar percentage to those who say they will ‘definitely’ watch the Finals plan to bet on the series (among U.S. adults of legal gambling age). This is a drop from Super Bowl gambling intent earlier this year – as is to be expected with the reduced audience size – but it’s still quite a sizable figure of legal bettors.
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