Even if they win tonight, the Miami Heat will not be favored in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
That is the word from DraftKings Sportsbook, which is listing the Lakers as a 5-point favorite tonight for Game 6 at the NBA bubble outside of Orlando.
“The point spreads are determined by power ratings, and the Lakers are rated higher,” said DraftKings’ Johnny Avello, who cautioned that an injury to one of the key members of the Lakers would be the only factor that would possibly lead to Miami being favored. “Los Angeles has been favored as high as 9.5 and as low as 6 at our book, and now we have them down to 5 for Sunday night. If [the Heat force a Game 7], the line probably goes up around Lakers minus 4.5.”
DK was seeing early Game 6 bettors favor the Lakers on the moneyline at -210, but wagers were also coming in on Jimmy Butler for Finals MVP at +600. LeBron James remained the prohibitive MVP favorite at -835, while teammate Anthony Davis had gone to +4000. DraftKings still had 10 players as Finals MVP candidates on Sunday morning, including Bam Adebayo at +10000 and Duncan Robinson – who had seven 3-pointers in Game 5 – at +50000.
“We have 10 guys up there because if somebody other than LeBron or Butler wins, somebody would complain that they didn’t have a chance to bet them,” Avello explained.
Lakers still in control
Butler ruined plans for an LA celebration Friday night with his 35-point, 12-rebound, 11-assist masterpiece, and fans everywhere – except in Los Angeles – are now rejoicing in the fact that there will be more basketball played.
As it is, there has been a national standard on who everyone thought was going to win the Finals, and that team was – and mostly still is – the Lakers.
The Heat are currently +600 at DK to win the series.
“It’s going to take everything we have, but this is everything that our guys in our locker room wanted. It’s this kind of competition between four lines, two baskets. You can’t write or print out the winner on this one. This one has to be earned between those four lines and that’s where our guys thrive,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said.
FanDuel is offering +610 on the Heat winning in seven games and +300 on the Lakers in 7. They have LeBron at -900 and Butler at +600 to be Finals MVP.
The Over-Under for Game 6 is 215 or 214.5, depending on where you look. The Under has hit in three of five games, and the no-quit nature of the Heat has made for a few nights of very compelling viewing.
PointsBet has a line up asking whether there will be a fourth quarter comeback (if a team is trailing at the end of the third quarter but goes on to win the game). “Yes” is an enticing +360.
PB is also a place to find one bet where LeBron is not the favorite: “Who will score the first basket of the game?” LeBron is +500 and Davis is +400. Players who have made the first basket in the series are Jae Crowder (Game 1), Davis (Game 2), Dwight Howard (Game 3) and Bam Adebayo (Games 4 and 5). Crowder and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope both have the longest odds for making the first shot at +1400.
The outcome of Friday night’s Game 5 was not decided until Danny Green missed a 3-pointer with seven seconds left. That begs the question – what are the odds that Green takes and misses a last second shot in Game 6 of the NBA Finals the same way he did Friday night at the end of Game 5?
“We’ve seen Danny Green make big shots in big playoff games throughout his career, from San Antonio to Toronto. But the chances of his taking, let alone missing, the final shot of Game 6 are slim to say the least,” said Scott Cooley, odds consultant for SportsBetting.com. “If we were to set a line for a prop like that, you’re looking at ‘YES’ at about +10000, and ‘NO’ at -25000. No one is betting the favorite in that situation, so we’d have some serious exposure on the unlikely chance of it happening.’’