Over the weekend, the NBA Finals were finally set. The Los Angeles Lakers knocked out the Denver Nuggets in six games to win the Western Conference championship while the Miami Heat held off the Boston Celtics to win the Eastern Conference title. The Lakers come into the NBA Finals as -400 odds to defeat the Heat.

2020 NBA Finals Lakers LA Los Angeles LeBron Miami Heat
Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks against the Miami Heat in late 2019. (Image: Brian Babineau/Getty)

The Heat’s run to the finals wouldn’t have been possible without Jimmy Butler. It was a long, difficult, and weird road to South Beach for Butler, which began in Minnesota last season. Butler wanted out of Minnesota because he knew that they didn’t have the goods to win a title. Butler forced a trade, and ended up as a rental-with-option-to-buy All-Star guard with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Heat signed Butler in the offseason after he parted ways with Philly when he didn’t mesh well with the coaching staff or the team’s young stars. Without Butler, the Sixers were swept in the opening round by the Boston Celtics. Meanwhile, Butler arrived in South Beach to help mentor a young team that had the likes of Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson, and Tyler Herro.


NBA FUTURES CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS
  • Los Angeles Lakers -400
  • Miami Heat +300

The Heat were late bloomers and locked up the #5 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They swept the #4 Indiana Pacers in four games. The Heat needed only five games to upset the Greek Freak and the top-seeded Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Heat knocked out the #3 Boston Celtics in six games to advance to the Finals.

NBA Finals: 10 Trips for LeBron

Meanwhile, LeBron secured his 10th trip to the NBA Finals. This marks his ninth trip in the last decade, and the third team he guided to the championship series.

The LA Lakers (52-19) notched the second-best record in the NBA this season behind the 56-win Milwaukee Bucks. The Lakers earned the #1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

LeBron and the Lakers picked off the #8 Portland Trail Blazers in five games in the first round of the postseason. The Blazers beat the Lakers in Game 1, but the Lakers won four straight to advance to the west semifinals. The Lakers only needed five games to knock out James Harden and the Houston Rockets. After dropping Game 1, the Lakers won four in a row to advance.

The Nuggets were the Lakers’ toughest competition in the postseason. The never-die Nugs couldn’t work their last-minute heroics for a third time. They trailed 3-1 in the first two rounds of the playoffs, and rallied back to win both times. In the Western Conference Finals, the Lakers put them away in six games.

NBA Final Series Result Prop

The Circa Sports Book in Las Vegas posted a prop bet for the exact series result in the 2020 NBA Finals. You can bet on the Lakers sweeping the Heat, or the Heat winning in seven games, or whatever you think will be the outcome.

The Lakers locking up the NBA Finals in five games is the lowest payout at +280 odds, followed by the Lakers defeating the Heat in six games.


NBA FINALS SERIES OUTCOME
Lakers Win 4-0 +440
Lakers Win 4-1 +280
Lakers Win 4-2 +330
Lakers Win 4-3 +480
Heat Win 4-0 +4200
Heat Win 4-1 +1600
Heat Win 4-2 +1100
Heat Win 4-3 +750

If you’re feeling frisky and believe the Heat will dominate the Lakers, then you can back a Miami 4-0 sweep at +4200 odds.

Sweeps don’t happen often in the NBA Finals. Only two teams were swept in the NBA finals since 2003, and they happened to be LeBron James’ teams (Cleveland in 2007 and 2017).

In the history of the NBA Finals, only nine teams were swept in the championship series.

Since 1983, only six NBA teams were swept in the NBA Finals. Lakers were swept twice under Pat Riley in 1983 and 1989.

Instead of backing the Heat straight up to win, consider a wager on the Heat winning the title in six and/or seven games. The Heat winning the NBA title with a 4-2 series score pays out +1100 odds, while the Heat winning in seven games pays out +750.

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