Heat’s NBA Championship Odds vs. Lakers? Somewhere Between Slim and None

Posted on: October 4, 2020, 10:00h. 

Last updated on: October 4, 2020, 11:30h.

In “Dumb and Dumber,” the character played by Jim Carrey, Lloyd Christmas, asks the object of his affection, Mary Swanson, about the odds of them ending up together.

Los Angeles Lakers Anthony Davis
Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis had his way with the Miami Heat in Game 2 and has closed the gap in the NBA Finals MVP market. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Mary: Not good.

Lloyd: Not good, like one in a hundred?

Mary: I’d say more like one in a million.

Lloyd: So you’re telling me there’s a chance?

That’s the reality for the Miami Heat, which is staring at a 2-0 hole against the heavily favored Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. Undermanned Miami has a chance, and while it’s better than one in a million, the odds of swiping the championship from the star-studded Lakers are remote.

Overwhelming Favorites

The Lakers were on the short list of NBA championship favorites all season, and were heavy favorites to open the NBA Finals. As the championship series tipped-off, the Lakers were -1,300 (with Miami at +845) at Circa. When Los Angeles routed Miami 116-98 in Game 1, the gulf became much, much wider.

We did see a move on the series price from to -2,000/+1,175, which a significant move for such a big favorite,” said Glenn Herzog, the senior sportsbook risk manager at Circa Sports, to Casino.org. “Typically, there isn’t a lot of interest in such a high minus. But I would say that move is telling for the rest of the series.”

With Heat center Bam Adebayo (neck) and guard Goran Dragic (foot) sidelined in Game 2, the Lakers won 124-114. Kelly Olynyk’s late basket cut the final margin to 10 points. For the game, it was meaningless. For bettors, it was huge, as the game closed with the Lakers as 10.5-point favorites.

With Los Angeles holding a commanding 2-0 series lead, the price at Circa became Lakers at -10,000 and the Heat at +3,000. When Adebayo announced he thought he could play, the price shortened to -4,500/+1,850. However, Adebayo and Dragic are listed as doubtful for Sunday’s Game 3.

Thus, the consensus series odds have settled at -6,000 for the Lakers and +1,600 for the Heat. At BetMGM, the Lakers are -5,000 and the Heat is +1,600. A 4-0 series sweep is the favored result at -176. A 4-1 verdict is next at +260.

For Game 3, which likely will be Miami’s last stand, considering no NBA team has won a series after trailing 3-0, the Lakers have gone from 8.5-point favorites to 9.5 at just about all sportsbooks. The Lakers are -455 on the moneyline at BetMGM and -460 at PointsBet. About two-thirds of the money for Sunday’s matchup has gone on the Lakers. The over/under ranges from 218.5 at Circa to 220 at DraftKings.

James for MVP

Lakers superstar LeBron James, who is chasing his fourth NBA championship, remains the favorite to win series MVP. James is -175 at BetMGM. Teammate Anthony Davis is +145, having closed the gap following a sensational Game 2 performance in which he made 14 of his first 15 shot attempts en route to a 32-point performance.

“He’s a big-time player,” James told ESPN. “He understands the position that he’s in. He understands how much our team needs him, and he comes through. He doesn’t say much, but we know that he’s very determined to not only do what he needs to do individually, but for the betterment of the team.”