Lakers vs. Heat Odds, Game 1 ATS Predictions

September 30, 9:00 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
LAL -4.5 / MIA +4.5

Following the most extended regular season of all-time, all the uncertainty, the relegation to the Florida bubble, and the conference playoffs, the NBA Finals are finally here, as the Heat and the Lakers tip-off with Game 1 Wednesday night. Los Angeles is a considerable favorite to win its first NBA title since 2010, while Miami is a tempting underdog to win its first title since 2013. How are we playing this series opener with our free NBA Finals pick?

Lakers -4.5/217.5 vs. Heat, 9 pm ET, ABC

Los Angeles finished nine games ahead of Miami in the final regular-season standings, 52-19 to 44-29. The Lakers also swept the season series from the Heat two games to none by scores of 95-80 and 113-110. But the last meeting between these teams was played last December, and that's a long time ago.

The Lakers opened this postseason by losing the first game of their first-round series against Portland, then winning the next four. Los Angeles then lost the first game of its conference semifinals series against Houston, then again won the next four. LA then dispatched of Denver in five games in the Western Conference finals series, finishing off the Nuggets with a 117-107 decision last Saturday.

So the Lakers are 12-3 SU, 9-5-1 ATS this postseason.

Also, the unders are 8-7 in LA games in these playoffs.

Miami, meanwhile, opened its playoff season by sweeping four games from Indiana. The Heat then ousted the top seed in the East, Milwaukee, in five games in the conference semis. Miami then beat Boston in six games in the Eastern Conference finals, finishing off the Celtics with a 125-113 victory last Sunday.

So the Heat are 12-3 both SU and ATS in these playoffs, with the overs going 8-7.

The NBA futures betting market is listing Los Angeles as a -390 favorite to win this NBA Finals series, with Miami getting +310 as the underdog.

Lakers vs. Heat Game 1 Predictions

The Lakers are led by two great players in LeBron and the Brow, but we're a little dubious of their supporting cast. The Heat, meanwhile, are stirred by Jimmy Butler, and we prefer his supporting cast; five different Miami players have led them in scoring at least once in these playoffs. Plus, the Heat are 7-3, both SU and ATS as underdogs this postseason. We like Miami and the points for our free pick on Game 1.
Free Pick: 
Take the Heat +4.5
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