Game 1 of the best-of-seven series is on Tuesday night and it’s the Miami Heat who are the outsiders to claim the championship after stumbling through the play-offs. Beaten finalists in 2011, they’re 2.40 to go one better in 2012 with the Oklahoma City Thunder priced at 1.58.
And it’s no wonder OKC are the favourites to land the franchise’s first title since its relocation from Seattle. They knocked out Dallas, the defending champions, in the first round, then the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semi-finals, and then produced a brilliant rally from 2-0 down to see off the seemingly unstoppable San Antonio Spurs with four consecutive victories.
Now they just need four more for the biggest prize of them all. And with homecourt advantage, they’re 1.42 to take the first Finals clash with Miami underdogs by 5 points on the handicap at 1.91.
There’s plenty of value on offer, even if you like the Thunder’s chances. Their free scoring offense is 1.91 to go over 100 points. And it’s also a good shout to look at heading over the forecast points tally of 195.0 at 1.91.
The most intriguing individual match-up is Kevin Durant against LeBron James. The Heat star has answered his critics by taking his team past Boston with a series of clutch performances. He’ll need to produce more of the same here, even with Chris Bosh ready for an enhanced role.
Both Durant and James are at 1.85 to score most points in a head to head battle. But there’s better value in opting for Dwyane Wade to out-point Durant at 3.20.
In a Finals duel that was forecast before the season began, Oklahoma City are more than capable of prevailing. Only a lack of experience may count against them but their resolve against the Spurs dispelled the doubts. There are generous odds of 11.00 on the Thunder to win this series 4-1. But if you believe LeBron can cement his legend, the Heat are available at 7.50 to steal the title over seven games.
Bet of the Day: Go long range and back Oklahoma City to win the NBA Finals 4-2 at 4.40