Vegas: Heat won't be favored vs. Spurs or Thunder in Finals
The Miami Heat remain the favorites to win the NBA championship but one Las Vegas oddsmaker says LeBron James and his crew would be underdogs against either the San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder.
“The pure price will have the Western Conference team as a small favorite in a series over the Heat,” Andrew Patterson, oddsmaker with Las Vegas Sports Consultants, told Covers in an email. “The Spurs-Thunder series will be a great series and the winner will definitely deserve the respect. We were thinking about a -130 favorite for the West.”
The Heat would not have home court advantage if either San Antonio or Oklahoma City advanced to the Finals, which plays a part in a series price for oddsmakers like Patterson.
So why is Miami still the odds-on favorite to win the title? Look no further than the competition in the Eastern Conference.
As bad as Miami looked in its Game 2 loss to the Pacers, few people outside the Hoosier state expect LBJ and friends to drop the series. The series price still shows the Heat as -300 and they’ll be large chalk against Boston – assuming the Celtics finish off the 76ers – in the Eastern Conference.
It’s not as much of a cakewalk for the Spurs and Thunder, who will most likely play each other in the Western Conference finals.
“The West might have the three best teams left [Lakers being the third] – especially if Chris Bosh doesn’t come back healthy,” Cal Neva oddsmaker Chris Andrews told Covers. “The Heat are extremely vulnerable.”
But most people do expect Bosh to return from his strained abdomen in time for the Finals. That’s probably why veteran handicapper and Covers Expert Ted Sevransky sees the series price being closer to a pick ‘em should Miami meet San Antonio or Oklahoma City in the NBA Finals.
“Power-rating wise, I don’t think anyone has more than a point or two of separation between the Heat, Spurs and Thunder right now,” Sevransky said.