We have expert betting predictions for Game 1 of the NBA Finals between Miami Heat and LA Lakers.
The series kicks off this Thursday in Orlando, where the Heat will feel more at home. However, they have LeBron James and the Lakers to get past.
The Lakers are the favourites to win the title but a close series is expected. We do the form of both teams for Game 1 and find the best betting opportunities.
NBA Finals Game 1 Betting Tips
Miami Heat vs. LA Lakers Game 1
LeBron James will try lead the Los Angeles Lakers to another title this season, and it all starts with the opening game.
Winning Game 1 is important for obvious reasons and bookmakers have installed the Lakers as –5.5 favourites for Thursday’s contest. We are not surprised by the odds and the Lakers were impressive when beating the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals.
The Lakers scored a 4-1 win over a pesky Nuggets team, which could have easily won two or three games. However, it was the Lakers who were better in the clutch moments, where Miami has yet to be fully tested.
Miami brings in an even offensive game, which is headed by Jimmy Butler. But, more often than not, it’s one of the role players that rises to the occasion.
Whether that by Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo or Duncan Andre Igoudala, one of them has consistently stepped up to the mark when needed most.
The Lakers are going to have to cover the entire floor, which is something they didn’t need to do against the Nuggets. Denver had a two-man offensive team, but Miami brings all five players into the fray.
It could spell problems for the likes of James and Anthony Davis, who will be asked to cover multiple positions. James can be a liability on tactical defensive positioning, so look for Miami to run the pick and roll.
The big question is whether the Heat can withstand the Lakers’ run? Los Angeles always makes a big run during the game, which can be anywhere from a 10-0 run to a 20-0 run. It will happen, but Miami needs to limit the damage.
If they can snag a halftime lead and put pressure on the Lakers, Game 1 is up for grabs. We always rate eastern conference teams as better defensive outfits, and that could be the case on Thursday.
Miami is worth backing with the +5.5 points, as we are expecting a close game to kick off the seven-game series.
Tip: Miami Heat +5.5
Miami Heat vs. LA Lakers Game 1 exotic betting tips
Bookmakers have over 300 betting markets for Game 1 of the NBA finals, and we look at the best value options.
The total points is set at 217.5, which is much higher than we were expecting. We thought it would be in the region of 200 points because Miami is a stringent defensive team, and the Lakers could struggle to find an offensive rhythm.
Punters should entertain the Under 217.5 points @ $1.90. We are expecting the line to drop on game day, so lock in the value now.
The first basket option is one of our favourites and we have a special for Game 1. Bam Adebayo is coming off an incredible game against the Boston Celtics, and that form could roll over to this Thursday.
The Miami centre is paying $8.50 to score the first basket and he will look to command the ball early. Expect Jimmy Butler to have the ball in his hands before finding Bam for the easy two-point conversion.
Punters are getting value for Adebayo and it’s a fun option to be involved with at the start of the game.
The line/total double is also a good value play, which combines the Under 217.5 points and Miami +5.5 It pays $3.46 with bookmakers and it’s a quality same-game multi-bet for punters to enjoy.