The Miami Heat overcame long odds to reach the 2020 NBA Finals, and they'll have to do so again to win their first title in seven years.
The Los Angeles Lakers are heavy favorites across sportsbooks, with SportsBetting.com installing them at -400 and the Heat at 320 to win the series.
The Lakers entered the playoffs expected to compete with their Los Angeles rival, the Clippers, to represent the Western Conference against the Milwaukee Bucks in the finals. However, the field thinned significantly when the Clippers and Bucks bowed out in the semifinals in their respective divisions.
The Heat were in the middle of the Eastern conference pack as the No. 5 seed and not expected to be much of a threat behind the Bucks, reigning champion Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics. After sweeping the Indiana Pacers to open the postseason, the Heat lost only three combined games in taking out the Bucks (4-1) and Celtics (4-2).
Miami is the third-lowest seed to reach the NBA Finals since 1984 and this is the first ever finals matchup between teams that missed the postseason the previous year.
The lowest series odds at SportsBook.com is for the Lakers to win in five games. Series score odds:
Lakers 4-1: 275
Lakers 4-2: 333
Lakers 4-0: 350
Lakers 4-3: 500
Heat 4-3: 750
Heat 4-2: 1100
Heat 4-1: 2000
Hear 4-0: 6600
The series ending in five games either way is being offered at 225 by the book, followed by six games (225), seven games 300 and four games (325).
The NBA Finals begin on Wednesday, with the Lakers the "home" team in the bubble near Orlando. Los Angeles was installed as a five-point favorite by SportsBook.com, with the over-under for Game 1 set at 217.5 points.
The over at DK is 217.5 points, which is receiving 80 percent of the books, while the Lakers are receiving 64 percent of the bets as a 5-point favorite.
Lakers star LeBron James admitted he was "pissed" about finishing second to Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo in the regular-season MVP race, but he's favored to take home the Finals award.
Already a three-time NBA Finals MVP winner, James is being offered at -106 by DraftKings to take home the award this year, followed by teammate Anthony Davis (200). Heat star Jimmy Butler is third at 800, followed by teammates Bam Adebayo (1100) and Goran Dragic (2000).
--Field Level Media