The Los Angeles Lakers are clear favorites to beat the Miami Heat to this year’s NBA Championship, with the 2020 Finals set to tip off in Florida on Wednesday evening.
2020 NBA Finals Prediction: Lakers to win series 4-0
This will be the Lakers’ first trip to the best-of-seven decider since winning back-to-back crowns in 2009-10, with LeBron James leading their charge in his second season with the franchise.
His impact at the head of the team sheet has helped the Lakers look indomitable since the NBA restarted in the Florida bubble, and has Frank Vogel’s side marked down as -358 favorites for New Jersey customers.
Those odds will be considered unplayable for many, but the -143 price on James to be named Finals MVP may offer more appeal. Even more tempting, however, is the +280 odds team-mate Anthony Davis will win the award, as Fox analyst Chris Broussard underlined the center’s effect in boosting the team’s prospects this season:
Davis, 27, joined the Lakers from the New Orleans Pelicans in July 2019 and has gone from strength to strength on the west coast. The former No. 1 pick is enjoying just the third play-off run of his career to date and is set to make his Finals debut while LeBron will feature on the ultimate stage for the 10th time in his NBA career.
That gulf in experience shouldn’t disguise the important role Davis plays propping up his team, however, particularly when it comes to his job clearing up around the rim, per Joey Ramirez:
Heat talisman Jimmy Butler is the lowest-priced Miami player in the MVP odds at +550, while Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic are at significantly higher odds of +1800 and +2500, respectively.
Those who think the “home” team can pull off an upset may be interested in ‘s +1100 odds that Miami will win the series despite losing the first game. LeBron was on the winning side the last time this happened in NBA Finals history in 2016 when the Golden State Warriors lost a 3-1 series lead to James’ then Cleveland Cavaliers.
also pays double-your-money odds (+100) that there will be Under 5.5 games, meaning the champions must end the series by either a 4-0 or 4-1 scoreline. That’s been the case in two of the past three Finals, though this will be the first occasion since 1999 that a play-off seed from outside the top four has reached the last hurdle, with the Heat receiving the No. 5 slot in the East.
2020 NBA Finals Outright Odds
LA Lakers: -358
Miami Heat: +300