The Miami Heat were opened by 5Dimes as prohibitive -137 favorites to win the Eastern Conference and +250 favorites to win a second straight NBA title right before the start of the 2012-13 NBA regular season. After posting a league-best record of 66-16 over the course of an 82-game schedule, the numbers became even more lopsided in their favor as -445 favorites to win the conference and -145 to win the NBA Championship right before the start of the playoffs.
Heading into Game 2 of their opening-round matchup against Milwaukee, the numbers continue to move in the Heats’ favor after beating the Bucks 110-87 this past Sunday in Game 1 as 13-point home favorites. Odds have them listed at -500 to win the East and holding steady at -143 to win it all. If there is another team out there that can derail this downhill freight train, then the only logical bet in my mind is a wager on the field as opposed to trying to make a play on an individual team.
If you want to go way out on a limb and make a play that a team in the East can take them out, you can get +405 odds that the Heat do not win the conference as opposed to the -510 odds they do. This is a sucker bet as the second-best team in the conference, the New York Knicks, are listed at +800 to win the East against the field’s odds of -1250 they will not. It only gets worse from there and is not really worth the effort to explore any further possibilities.
Bottom line: The numbers are only going to go higher in Miami’s favor as the playoffs drag on, so either make your $100 wager now that the Heat come out the East or skip this bet completely.
Moving on to the odds against the field that Miami wins it all, you can take the Heat at -145 to win or the field at +125 to pull off the upset. When it comes to this bet you are picking up some quality teams such as Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Denver. The Thunder are -110 favorites to win the Western Conference followed by the Spurs at +280 and the Nuggets at +710. All three won Game 1 of their best-of-seven opening-round series, adding a bit more value to all of these odds.
Realistically, you have to believe that only team that has a legitimate shot at getting in the Heats’ way is Oklahoma City, but it still has some solid obstacles in its way to the NBA Finals via the West.
I personally do not see the Thunder losing to anyone in the conference, but there a couple of teams that might be able to drag out the series against them for six or seven games, adding even more wear and tear to their run towards a title. The current money line has Oklahoma City listed at -110 to win the West verses the rest of the field, which is listed as mild underdogs at +110.
If you are sold on the fact that we are in for a repeat of the 2012 NBA Finals, the odds on that matchup are still a favorable +131 for a $100 wager. This is a gift that should be jumped on right away as the numbers are only going to go in the opposite direction as the playoffs wear on.
Sticking firmly with the Heat from the East, you can get +358 odds that they play the Spurs and +915 odds they play the Nuggets in the championship series. The dark horse in this futures bet is a play on Miami vs. the Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA Finals at +990. If you are going to go that route then you should also consider a Heat vs. Grizzlies championship series at +2675.