The Miami Heat are just one victory away from reaching their fourth consecutive NBA Finals. Not only does the team have the best betting odds to win the title, but they are the odds-on favorite to take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Bovada.lv puts Miami’s championship odds at -110. The Heat have a 3-1 series lead over the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Indiana finished the regular season with the best record in the East, but that hasn’t done them much good in the playoffs. They’re considered to have virtually no chance of winning their first ever NBA title. The Pacers' odds sit at -5000.
The NBA doesn’t have many examples of teams coming back from 3-1 series deficits. Only eight teams in the league’s history have ever done it. Most recently, the Phoenix Suns beat the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games in their 2006 first-round series.
LeBron James and Co. won’t be easy to beat for either one of the Western Conference teams. The four-time MVP is averaging 28.8 points per game in the postseason, shooting below 50 percent from the field in just one playoff game. Dwyane Wade has proven to be healthy, scoring 22 points a game against Indiana.
Miami has faced both the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder in the last two NBA Finals. San Antonio was much tougher to eliminate, losing to Miami in a deciding seventh game last year. In 2012, the Heat defeated the Thunder in five games, including four straight victories to end the series.
The oddsmakers agree that the Spurs would give the Heat a bigger challenge in 2014, as well. Even though San Antonio and Oklahoma City are tied at 2-2 in their series, the Spurs’ title odds are set at +180, compared to the Thunder’s +400 odds.
San Antonio is still a slight favorite to reach the NBA Finals, because they have home-court advantage. However, the Thunder have been dominant in the last two games, winning by 22 total points. Two years ago, Oklahoma City beat San Antonio in the conference finals, after losing the first two games of the series. Both teams would have home-court advantage in the NBA Finals.
The odds of a Miami-San Antonio rematch have been set at -200. A Miami-Oklahoma City Finals matchup has been given +175 odds. An Indiana-Oklahoma City Finals is considered the biggest longshot at +4000.