Tom Gable, Director of Race & Sports at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, provides our readers with insider tips and strategies for making the most of their sports betting ventures. This week, Tom is taking a closer look at the two NBA teams that advanced to the Finals after a historical season.
The strangest season in NBA history has reached a conclusion with the NBA Finals currently happening in Orlando, Florida. Going back to April or May, there were certainly doubts that any NBA Champion would be crowned this season. The league was able to come up with a format to finish out their regular season, starting in August, and then go quickly into the playoffs, all while playing in a “bubble” in the Walt Disney World complex. The league has been successful in not having any positive COVID cases and one team will be able to celebrate a championship. Let’s take a closer look at the two teams that have advanced to the finals.
From the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers, who were certainly one of the preseason favorites to win the title, advanced to the NBA Finals after defeating the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. The Nuggets upset “the other” Los Angeles team, the Clippers, earlier in the playoffs, depriving basketball fans of an expected match-up between the two LA teams, who many believe are the top two teams in the entire league. The Lakers are lead by the dynamic duo of Lebron James and Anthony Davis. James signed with the Lakers two years ago and an injury-plagued season last year, lead to the Lakers missing the playoffs altogether. Davis was a huge addition in the off season and has helped create one of, if not the best, 1-2 punch in the league with James. Davis’ size and versatility as a big man, makes him extremely difficult to defend and James is one of the best all time in getting to the basket and taking over games when needed.
Standing in the way of the Lakers’ title chances, are the Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat, who defeated the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, despite being an underdog on the betting line in each game they played against Boston. The Heat played extremely well in the bubble since the season re-started and were certainly not projected to have made it this far. They lack the star power of the Lakers but have a solid core of players, lead by veteran Jimmy Butler. The Heat found themselves in the familiar position of being big underdogs going into the NBA Finals against the Lakers.
The Lakers won the first two games of the series, but the Heat came up with a big victory in game 3. Game 4 is set for Wednesday night with the Lakers currently favored by 7 1/2 points. The Heat are underdogs to win the championship at +850 (a $100 bet will win you $850 plus your $100 back) so if you think the Heat can complete a big comeback, there is nice payoff waiting for you if they come through.