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Public favor Heat over Lakers in NBA Finals

The Heat are underdogs ahead of Wednesday’s opening game of the 2020 NBA Finals, but bettors think they have a real shot at knocking off the Lakers.

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler celebrates with forward Bam Adebayo after defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in game one of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at The Field House.  Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers are set to face off in Game 1 of the 2020 NBA Finals on Wednesday. While the Lakers are heavily favored at -375, the public appears to think Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and company can knock off a team led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Everyone loves an underdog, and Miami has defied the odds all year long. Let’s go over the betting splits ahead of Game 1.

Bettors have placed a surprising 65 percent of the handle and 68 percent on the total bets on the Heat winning the series. Miami went 0-2 against the Lakers during the regular season, but it appears like the return of Goran Dragic to the starting lineup and the emergence of rookie Tyler Herro has made the public think an upset is within reach. The Heat aren’t favored when it comes to the series score though.

The public has placed 30 percent of the handle on correct series score bets on the Lakers winning the series 4-1. The next most popular option was the Lakers winning 4-2, which made up 20 percent of the handle. All in all, 69 percent of the money on series score bets were placed on Los Angeles. Guessing the correct series score is much more difficult than guessing who will win the series, so it appears like bettors are looking for the easy way to get a big payout. Lines will shift after Game 1, and more Heat believers could swarm sportsbooks everywhere if Miami can secure a win in the series opener.

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Teams Odds % Handle % Bets
Teams Odds % Handle % Bets
MIA Heat 280 65% 68%
LA Lakers -375 35% 32%

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