NBA Finals Betting Guide: Wednesday 9/30/20
Using our models as a guide, let’s take a look at the best bets for tonight.
Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you’re seeing the most updated information.
Heat +5.0: 2-Star Rating out of 5
Under 217.5: 2-Star Rating out of 5
After a couple of months in the bubble, just two teams remain in the quest for an NBA championship. The Miami Heat will be seeking their first title since LeBron James led them to one back in 2013, and the Los Angeles Lakers, where the King now reigns, are looking for their first since Kobe Bryant guided them to one in 2010.
The Heat had a slow start in the bubble, going just 3-5 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) in their first eight games. Since then, however, they’ve gone 12-3 SU and ATS and haven’t lost consecutive games. They come into tonight’s Game 1 as 5.0-point underdogs.
Miami is just 7-9 ATS this season as five-or-more-point underdogs. When Jimmy Butler is playing, however, that jumps to 6-5 ATS. They’re 6-3 ATS in their past nine such games, winning their only two-such games with Butler in the bubble. They’re 7-1 ATS in their past eight “away” games in Orlando.
The Lakers are playing on three days of rest, one more than the Heat. They’re 1-3 ATS in the bubble on more rest than their opponents. They’re just 2-5 ATS this season when playing on at least three days of rest, failing to cover by an average of 7.9 points.
LA is 17-21 ATS this season as at least five-point favorites after wins in their two previous games. The under is 23-15 in those contests. They’re 10-14 ATS this season as at least five-point favorites after winning by double digits in their previous contest. The under is 13-11 in those games and 5-2 in their past seven.
numberFire’s models see the Lakers getting out to a 1-0 series lead after tonight, projecting them to win by 2.1 points. We give the Heat a 59.4% chance of covering the 5.0-point spread and give the under a 57.9% chance of hitting. We mark both bets as two-star plays.