2023 NBA Finals Odds: Wanna Bet Heat Continue Upsets and Win Another Title?
So, there’s no way the Miami Heat are going to beat the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals … right?
Oddsmakers and bettors don’t think there’s a snowball's chance of that happening. (Fun fact: The only year in the last 200 when snow flurries were recorded in Miami was 1977).
To say that the Heat are huge, massive underdogs is putting it politely.
Those are enormous numbers but that’s what happens when you have a No. 1 seed playing a No. 8 seed in a conference finals, only the second time in NBA history that’s occurred. (Historical fact: The 1999 Patrick Ewing-led, eighth-seeded Knicks beat Reggie Miller’s top-seeded Pacers in the East semis, reaching the Finals where they lost to the Spurs).
OK, so it can be done – once before.
The smallest odds at FD to bet on the exact series order is Boston winning four straight (+390) games.
Doubt it. Not with Jimmy Butler’s burning desire. Not after the Heat took the Celtics to seven games in last year’s East Finals only to lose in the closing seconds of Game 7.
Butler is averaging 31.1 points per game, 6.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists in Miami’s 10 playoff games thus far. The Butler-Jayson Tatum showdown should be exciting to watch.
This will be the third time in the last four years it’s been Heat-Celtics for a trip to the Finals – Boston has won the last two years and Miami won in 2020 (aka the Disney World bubble season) but then lost to the Lakers in the Finals.
Plus, here’s an interesting stat:
Boston and Miami have faced off 26 times dating back to the 2019-20 season (including the playoffs). The results?
Celtics: 13 wins
Heat: 13 wins
When Game 1 tips off in Beantown on Wednesday (May 17), the Heat will have had two more days of rest than the Celtics by virtue of knocking out the Knicks on May 12 in Game 6 of their semifinal series.
I wouldn’t be totally surprised if they stole Game 1.
Even if they do, it’s not going to matter.
The Celtics are too balanced, Jayson Tatum is too hot, and the team is too focused now after rallying from 3-2 down to stun the Sixers in their own semifinal series – a collapse that cost Philly head coach Doc Rivers his job.
For the all attention paid to Tatum and Jaylen Brown, what got the Celtics here is their defense.
In each of Boston’s last two wins against the Sixers, they allowed just 86 points (Game 6 on the road in a hostile environment) and 88 points in last Sunday’s blowout victory in Game 7.
The Celtics will dare anyone else but Butler to beat them. And once Boston figures out Miami can’t score if they clamp down on Jimmy Buckets, this will be a short series.
It’s been a decade since the Heat won their last championship (2012-2013 with LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh) and I’m afraid to say, Miami fans, that it’s going be 11 after Boston beats Miami in 5.
And over at FanDuel, you can get that at +190, which is a great value. That’s my best bet for the East Finals and I also love that Boston is at just -105 to win the whole thing. That’s happening.
2023 Eastern Conference Finals Total Games
4 Games +390
5 Games +190
6 Games +240
7 Games +270
2023 Eastern Conference Finals Winner
Boston Celtics -550
Miami Heat +390
NBA Championship 2023 Winner
Boston Celtics -105
Denver Nuggets +230
Los Angeles Lakers +360
Miami Heat +1500