The strangest NBA season in history is drawing to a close as the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers tangle Wednesday in Game 1 of the NBA Finals in the Orlando bubble. The Lakers cruised to the championship series as the top-seeded team in the West, while the Heat came out of nowhere to upend Indiana, Milwaukee and Boston en route to the Eastern Conference title.
Sportsbook Odds Analysis
The Lakers come into the NBA Finals opener as 5-point favorites, with the line holding pat from the start; it’s the lowest series-Sportsbook spread L.A. has seen in the 2020 playoffs. The total of 217.5 hasn’t moved, either.
Miami News & Notes
The Heat have been the darlings of the betting world, going from +25000 odds to win the NBA championship at the outset of the season to winning the East title while going 12-3 SU and ATS in the process. More impressively, seven of their last eight victories have come as an underdog, including a series-clinching 125-113 win over Boston in the Eastern Conference final.
Deciding on which player props to ride in Game 1 could prove challenging, as we don’t know how the Heat will match up against an imposing Lakers frontcourt. Given the size of the stage, however, you can’t go wrong with the OVER on any of Jimmy Butler’s props; he’s averaging 20.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists in the playoffs and will look to make an immediate impact.
Los Angeles News & Notes
Guess who’s in the NBA Finals yet again! LeBron has done as he promised he would, leading the purple and gold back to the promised land in his second season with the team. James has turned back time in the 2020 postseason, averaging 26.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists; he’s also fresher than in years past, having averaged just 35.0 minutes per game so far.
James is hardly the only reason why Los Angeles has returned to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010. Anthony Davis has provided LeBron with the complementary scoring he wanted so badly, averaging 28.8 points in the playoffs. But the UNDER on Davis’s Game 1 point total might be the play given his difficult matchup with Heat big man Bam Adebayo.
Betting Pick: Miami +5 (-110)
The Lakers have been notoriously slow starters in the NBA playoffs, while the Heat have played on a whole other level despite spending most of their time as the underdog. This game feels too close to call, which makes Miami and the points the preferred play.
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