Thunder would be hefty home faves in Game 1 of Finals vs. Celtics
The matchup for the NBA Finals is still up in the air, with the Boston Celtics holding a 3-2 series lead over the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. But bettors have one side of the equation with the Oklahoma City Thunder punching their ticket to the championship by eliminating the San Antonio Spurs in six games in the Western Conference finals Wednesday night.
According to Peter Korner, a Las Vegas lines consultant for the Sports Club, Oklahoma City would be a four or 4.5-point home favorite against Miami in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Versus Boston, Korner says the spread would jump about two points, making the Thunder six or 6.5-point home favorites for the series opener.
“For Boston to get past Miami, they will have really proved something,” Korner told Covers. “But just the way the numbers are, the six or 6.5 looks right.”
Korner says a Miami-Oklahoma City final may be the more desirable matchup in the eyes of fans and TV networks, but says that the Celtics bring as much – or even more – star power to the table.
“I think the OKC-Miami matchup would have that sense of ‘Good Guys vs. Bad Guys’,” says Korner. “But Boston has just as much star appeal, what with the way (Rajon) Rondo is playing, and with (Paul) Pierce and (Kevin) Garnett.”
Series prices for the NBA Finals could be very tight, especially if the Heat come back to win the East. Korner estimates the series prices for an Oklahoma City-Miami final to be around a pick’em, while the Thunder would be slight series faves against the Celtics.
“You can do the (series) prices according to the numbers, but then you have to factor in where you have those two teams in the futures market and how that would impact the numbers.”
Early NBA Championship futures have Oklahoma City priced as a -200 to win the title, with Miami at +333 and Boston set at +500, despite leading the Eastern Conference finals heading into Thursday’s Game 6.