NBA Championship Odds: Miami Heat Continue as Huge Favorites

OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2013

MIAMI, FL - MAY 22: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat handles the ball against Paul George #24 of the Indiana Pacers during Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals at AmericanAirlines Arena on May 22, 2013 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

It's better to be lucky than good.

If the Miami Heat are going to be both, then good luck to the rest of the NBA.

Miami should be down a game for the second-straight NBA playoff series, but LeBron James was good and the Indiana Pacers were unlucky.

"Pacer bettors could take solace in covering the spread in that OT loss, but true fans have to feel they are in big trouble now," said Mark Presley, an analyst at

In the West, the San Antonio Spurs are up 2-0 over the Memphis Grizzlies, but they also needed a mix of good and lucky to escape Game 2, coughing up a late lead before prevailing in overtime.

What do these close calls mean for the NBA futures betting market? Very little apparently, as the Heat and Spurs remain heavy favorites to meet in the upcoming NBA Championship series.

"It seems the basketball betting strategy of backing teams that have not overworked their stars during the season will continue as neither the Heat nor the Spurs had a player with more than 3,000 minutes," added Presley.

That angle prematurely doomed the Thunder as Kevin Durant was comfortably over 3,000 minutes played in the regular season.

Defending champion Miami, the top seed in the East, had a very difficult time with Indiana Wednesday night, never leading by more than five points and allowing the Pacers to tie the game on a Paul George three-point shot near the fourth-quarter buzzer.

And the Heat trailed by a point with two seconds to go in the overtime. But Miami inbounded the ball to James, who made a hard drive to the hole. With Indiana inexplicably having benched center Roy Hibbert, the Heat escaped with a 103-102 Game 1 victory.

Miami, however, failed to cover the point spread Wednesday as eight-point home chalk.

Heading into Game 2 of that series Friday night, the Heat were lined at -1000 to win the Eastern Conference, with the Pacers getting +700 to rally and win the series.

Over in the West, San Antonio took Game 1 of their conference finals rather easily, beating the Grizzlies 105-83, covering as five-point favorites. But the Spurs made things interesting in Game 2, blowing a late 13-point lead, allowing Memphis to force overtime.

San Antonio then hung on for a 93-89 victory to take a 2-0 series lead.

Heading into Game 3 of this series Saturday night in Memphis, San Antonio was a -480 favorite to go on and win this series, while the Grizz were getting +380 to come from behind and take it.

Finally, on the updated NBA championship odds board, Miami tops the betting at odds of 1/3, followed by San Antonio at 7/2, Memphis at 13/1 and Indiana at 20/1.

And on the “exact matchup” board at Bovada, a Heat-Spurs Finals series was listed at odds of 4/11, followed by a Heat-Grizzlies series at 4/1, a Spurs-Pacers series at 7/1 and a Pacers-Grizzlies series at 28/1.