- The Los Angeles Lakers are big favorites over the Miami Heat
- LeBron James is favored to win the Finals MVP
- Anthony Davis is next, followed by Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler
The NBA has been wildly successful with their “bubble” experiment to provide their fans with action in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have also been front and center (along with their WNBA counterparts) in the battle for social justice change. After an entertaining restart and a postseason filled with star-making performances from players and lots of comebacks, the NBA Finals are set, which means it’s time to look at the 2020 NBA Finals odds.
LeBron James makes his 10th appearance in the NBA Finals, this time with the Los Angeles Lakers, who are one season removed from missing the playoffs altogether. On the other side are the Miami Heat, who James went to the Finals with from 2011 to 2014, winning the Larry O’Brien twice in 2012 and 2013.
Why The Los Angeles Lakers Can Win
The Lakers’ 2020 NBA Finals odds are -330 to win their 17th title, which would tie them with Boston for the most all-time wins. Of course, James runs the show for the Lakers, and he is also the sports betting favorite to win his fourth Finals MVP at -145. “The King” is averaging 26.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists during the playoffs. More importantly, the 35-year-old James is only averaging 35 minutes a night, by far the lowest of his career. However, the Lakers can lean on Anthony Davis, who is putting up 28.8 points and 9.3 boards (his Finals MVP odds sit at +275). The Lakers brought James and Davis to Los Angeles to win a title, and they’ve almost completed their mission.
However, the Lakers’ depth leaves a lot to be desired. Kyle Kuzma is their third leading scorer, but the Lakers have had to depend on different players to step up. Rajon Rondo has shown his championship experience throughout the playoffs, but Danny Green struggled with his shot in the five-game win over Denver. They’ll need him against Miami, who have employed a zone defense against both Milwaukee and Boston to get to the NBA Finals. The Lakers are shooting 35.5% from three-point land. They’ll get plenty of looks against the Heat and they’ll have to knock them down.
Why The Miami Heat Can Win
The Heat are battle-tested. Their four-game sweep of Indiana was highly competitive, then they took down Milwaukee and regular-season MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo in five games and finally, the Heat got rid of Boston in six games. Jimmy Butler (NBA Finals odds of +800) is the heart of this team, giving them a certain toughness and attitude. Meanwhile, Bam Adebayo (NBA Finals odds of +750) and Tyler Herro were fantastic against the Celtics. Their leading scorer throughout the playoffs? 34-year-old Goran Dragic with 20.9 points. Former Finals MVP Andre Igoudala is making his sixth straight Finals appearance after five in a row with Golden State, and has plenty of experience going up against James in the Finals. Also, the Heat might have the edge in coaching with Eric Spoelstra, who coached James and knows him as well as anyone.
But like the Lakers, the Heat have a supporting cast that can go missing at times. Jae Crowder hit just 23.3% of his three-point attempts against the Celtics. Duncan Robinson has been up and down the entire postseason, while Kelly Olynyk could barely get on the court against Boston. Miami needs all hands on deck if they’re going to stage a huge 2020 NBA Finals odds upset.
Whose 2020 NBA Finals Odds Should You Bet On?
Of course, the underdog bet offers the most value, and Miami has proven to be a dangerous team to bet against. They have the tools and the toughness to go up against the Lakers and not be afraid of them. They would also love to win this series for president Pat Riley, who had some choice words for James when he decided to leave Florida to return back to Cleveland, Ohio. There is a lot riding on this series for the Heat.
However, there is also a lot at stake for James. A fourth title would bring him closer to Michael Jordan in terms of legacy. Bringing another title to the Lakers would also be massive, especially this year in the shadow of the tragic death of Lakers’ legend Kobe Bryant in February. He would also probably like to stick it to Riley (who was the head coach of the famous Showtime Lakers of the 1980s).
Ultimately, I have to go with the star power of James and Davis to lead the Lakers to a title. Davis was great as the Lakers went 2-0 against Miami in the regular season, putting up 29.5 points and 9.0 rebounds, shooting 59.5% from the field and a remarkable 44.4% from beyond the arc. James was also awesome, going for 26.5 points, 9.0 assists and 6.5 rebounds on 51.2% from the field, and 53.3% from three-point land. The Lakers also held the Heat to a 95-point average in those two games and don’t get enough credit for their defense. As long as their stars show up (and they will), the Los Angeles Lakers should win the NBA Championship.
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