Heat, Lakers start NBA Finals tonight
By Bob Garcia
The NBA Finals finally gets underway tonight (Wednesday) from the ‘bubble’ in Orlando. The Los Angeles Lakers are looking for their 17th title, which would tie Boston for the most of all-time. Miami is searching for their fourth championship, the latest coming in 2013 when LeBron James was still with the team.
Miami Heat vs Los Angeles Lakers – Game 1
Tip-off is set for 9:00pm ET and will be broadcast on ABC. Los Angeles is a 4.5-point favorite in the opener at the Americas Cardroom sportsbook with a total of 217.5 points.
The series price is solidly favored in Los Angeles’ direction at -325. Miami is +277. Note you can also wager on the Exact Series Outcome. For example, the Lakers to win in 5 games is the favored scenario at +252.
The Heat have thrived as an underdog all playoffs, starting as a No. 5 seed in the East. They’ve played great all postseason, going 12-3 SU and ATS. The Lakers are also 12-3 SU in the playoffs, and a respectable 9-5-1 ATS.
Lakers’ dynamic duo takes on Miami’s depth
History favors the Lakers in this series. Usually the team with the best player wins the championship and with Los Angeles, they have the two best in James and Anthony Davis. The two are combining for 55.5 points per game in the playoffs, with Kyle Kuzma next at just 10.5 PPG.
Miami is a lot more balanced with four players averaging at least 16.5 PPG in the playoffs and six in double-digits. Look for big man Bam Adebayo to get a lot of defensive assignments on Davis and Jimmy Butler has the size and strength to give James some pause at least. The Heat will also employ a zone defense at times that was effective against Boston.
Series Pick: Los Angeles in 6 (+302 odds)