Heat Favorites to Win Title

With Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich


The Miami Heat were favorites to win the NBA Championship heading into the Eastern and Western Conference title tilts. Their split in Chicago made them an even stronger favorite, as they grabbed home court advantage away from the Bulls with a dramatic Game Two victory.

Oddly, Dallas is still the betting choice over Oklahoma City in the Western Conference even though they dropped home court advantage with a Game Two loss. The Mavericks gained so much respect from bettors against Portland and the LA Lakers that many still expect to survive this round and move on to face Miami.

Here are the current series prices heading into this weekend's Game Three's...

Miami -210
Chicago +180

The Heat were -170 or so before the series started. Well, the opened up around -200 or  -210, and it got bet down immediately by Bulls money. Miami's road victory took the series back to where oddsmakers had it initially. If you liked Chicago initially but didn't bet, you can now take them at this higher return if you believe they can win three of the next five games. If you liked Miami, you are probably in already...or you took the Heat +2 in the second game of the series for a decent sized bet and cashed your ticket.

Dallas -150
Oklahoma City +130

Dallas is still the series favorite though they have to win on the road to advance. They were such pricey favorites at the beginning because of their prior dominance that an upset at home doesn't bring Oklahoma City all the way to the favorites role. If you liked Dallas before the series and didn't bet, this is now a VERY low price to ask them to take care of business. That is...if you still think they're the superior team. If you think Oklahoma City has proven they belong, it could be that the wrong team is favored.

Miami -110
Dallas +275
Chicago +300
Oklahoma City +500

Miami is now pick-em against the field to lift the trophy after the final round. If you liked one of the others because you think the Heat lack the depth to go the distance, now is a great time to step in with your favored side. Oklahoma City is getting a big return for a team that has home court advantage in its current round...and who beat Miami on the road late in the regular season.

Of course, the return of Udonis Haslem might mean the Heat are actually bigger favorites than the market is currently acknowledging. Should they reach the league finals, they're not going to be pick-em against Dallas or OKC barring a surprise or two. That means, if you're a Heat fan who thinks finishing of Chicago is now a foregone conclusion, you should take the Heat to win the title at this price. It's the best you're going to see.

Here's a review of my market rating estimates for the four remaining teams.

Miami 81
Chicago 79
Dallas 79
Oklahoma City 78

I haven't changed them since before the series began. Both series look to be counting home court advantage at 3.5 to 4 points. Miami is -5 at home this week after being +2 in Chicago. A 7-point differential suggests 3.5 points on each court. Oklahoma City is -3 at home after being +5 on the road. That 8-point differential suggests 4 points on each home court.

You'll note that my market estimates line up fairly closely with the series prices. I believe series prices are undervaluing Oklahoma City based on the game spreads, my ratings, and the fact that the Thunder now own home court. We'll see. That may change as early as Saturday Night if Dallas is able to break back and get a road win.

You can purchase all of my red hot NBA BEST BETS here at the website with your credit card. It's a great weekend to try out my service because of Interleague baseball. If you have any questions, or you want to make a longer term commitment to your "friend behind the line," you can call my handicapping office at 1-877-8222-2276.

I will have one of my biggest releases in weeks going either Saturday or Sunday. I strongly encourage all of you who enjoy reading these web articles to link up with me for a very exciting weekend. I'll be able to show you first hand why the best information always comes to you DIRECT FROM NEVADA!

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