The Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat are set to do battle in Game 1 of the 2020 NBA Finals in Orlando Wednesday evening.
For LeBron James and Co., this always seemed to be the likeliest scenario. The Lakers were preseason favorites (about a year ago) to come out of the Western Conference. As for the Heat, they were overwhelming underdogs back east.
This will ring true for the 2020 NBA Finals once they get going Wednesday evening.
NBA Finals odds: Lakers overwhelming betting favorites in Game 1
A total of 71% of the money placed on DraftKings for Game 1 went in the direction of the Lakers. That’s an absolutely stunning figure for the NBA Finals. It far outpaces what we saw over the course last year’s NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors.
There’s certainly a good reason for this. After the Lakers added Anthony Davis to the mix in a blockbuster trade ahead of the 2019-20 season, money was flowing in the team’s direction from bettors. Even after the 2019-20 NBA season was suspended back in March, nothing changed on this front.
As for the duration of the series, the story is the same.
2020 NBA Finals odds: Lakers favorites to take it over the Heat
Los Angeles boasted a 52-19 record during the regular season, earning the best record in the Western Conference. On the other hand, Jimmy Butler and the Heat finished as the fifth seed back east with a 44-29 record.
Back in 1994-95, the Houston Rockets swept the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals. Houston boasted a mere 47-35 regular-season record and was the sixth seed in the Western Conference. To date, the Rudy Tomjanovich-led squad is the lowest seed to ever win an NBA Finals.
While Miami might be a higher seed, a win over the Lakers in the 2020 NBA Finals would likely go down as one of the greatest upsets in modern Association history.