The Spurs locked up the West with a 112-107 Game 6 overtime win that eliminated the Oklahoma City Thunder. Gregg Popovich's offense is clicking on all cylinders and the chance to make up for last year will be fresh on the Spurs' minds.
There's no shortage of motivation on the other end either. LeBron James and the Heat can put a stamp on their legacy with a third straight championship.
Let's look at the spread for the series and some interesting bets to make.
|2014 NBA Finals Odds (as of June 1)|
|Team||Game 1 Spread||Odds to Win|
|San Antonio Spurs||-3.5||+135|
|Odds via OddsShark.com|
Note: Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
Prop bets will be updated as they become available at OddsShark.com.
Finals Betting Preview
There were many moments throughout the postseason where it seemed to be in doubt, but the top two teams from last year made it to the final turn and will compete for the title.
As Magic Johnson said best, it was the matchup many around the league had been waiting for:
A seven-game thriller in 2013 doesn't do much to quell the excitement surrounding the series. James' Heat sparked a series comeback last year to force a Game 7 and then win it at home.
Of course, neither does Tim Duncan's bold statement after ousting the Thunder, per Sports Illustrated:
It's incredibly hard to split hairs between these two teams considering their recent record against one another. The Heat won last year's series 4-3, and the two sides split the season series with one win apiece.
If there's one noticeable trend, however, it's the Heat at home—Miami is undefeated on home-court this postseason.
The Spurs have one road win in each of their three playoff series this year, but lifeless performances in Games 3 and 4 against Oklahoma City raises the question of whether San Antonio can win a single game on the road in this series.
Of course, they might not have to. San Antonio will have home-court advantage, so the Spurs taking care of their home games will be enough to win the title.
San Antonio's offense gashed the Heat at times throughout their Finals series last year, and it's looking better than ever in 2014.
Look for the Spurs to try and get their shooters going early in the series, and if they do, Miami could get blown out if it doesn't make adjustments similar to last year.
One positive to look for in the Heat is rebounding. They're the league's worst rebounding team, but when Chris Andersen and Udonis Haslem can shoulder the load with the Big Three chipping in, the Heat can blow games open by controlling the boards—if even for a short stretch of the game.
In the end, the 2014 NBA Finals is going to come down to a combination of two factors—which bench can play the most consistently, and which team's stars are hungriest.
Both teams have benches filled with experience and with players who are capable of going off and impacting a game. Neither of these teams ever win a big game without at least one or two bench players playing huge minutes.
Both teams also have all-time greats who will receive yet another blow to their legacies by failing to win it all.
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