Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat
Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat looks on ahead of Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics during the first quarter in Game Five of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals at FTX Arena on May 25, 2022 in Miami, Florida. Andy Lyons/Getty Images


  • Oddsmakers are slightly favoring the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat
  • Lakers are seen as minus-2.5 favorites while the Heat are viewed as favorites by 5.5 points
  • Both teams remain unbeaten on their home floor this deep into the 2023 NBA playoffs

The Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers enter Game 6 on Friday, May 12 with 3-2 advantages on their sides.

According to all oddsmakers on Covers.com, the Heat and Lakers are minus-5.5 and minus-2.5 favorites respectively to close out their series with the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors.

While those numbers are not entirely a death sentence for their opponents, there is a reason why oddsmakers would favor them at home in an elimination game.

The Heat have remained unbeaten at home in four games thus far this postseason, dominating the Milwaukee Bucks and Knicks in both Game 3 matchups while eking out narrow victories in Game 4.

The same can be said for LeBron James and the Lakers after posting a sparkling 5-0 record, which featured dominant victories over the Memphis Grizzlies in their Game 6 closeout matchup and in the statement win they had in Game 3 against the Warriors.

Jimmy Butler has been the undisputed best player on a Heat team that was initially ruled out of even making it past the Bucks after losing Tyler Herro to a hand injury.

Despite the loss and Butler practically hard carrying the Heat a la Devin Booker against the Nuggets earlier in their series, one thing going for Miami is that their entire roster works hard on every single possession.

Whether it is undrafted gems Max Strus, Duncan Robinson and Gabe Vincent stepping up to make big-time shots when asked to or their core of Butler, Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo finding the rare easy shots, head coach Erik Spoelstra has whipped this team into shape at just the right time.

As for the Purple and Gold, Darvin Ham's wards benefitted from smart moves from general manager Rob Pelinka during the trade deadline.

Getting back D'Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley and Rui Hachimura while shipping out misfits Russell Westbrook and Kendrick Nunn plus picks are all solid upgrades across the board.

They have helped the Lakers become surprising contenders out of the West and with James and Anthony Davis finding their stride at the right time, it would not be all that surprising for them to boot out last year's champions in the semis unceremoniously.

All eyes will be anxiously anticipating the outcome of the pair of Game 6 matchups that begin with the Heat vs. Knicks at 7:30 AM ET and the Lakers-Warriors tip-off at 10:00 PM ET–both games on ESPN.

Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers scores a basket against Nic Claxton #33 of the Brooklyn Nets during the first half of the game at Crypto.com Arena on November 13, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images