Posted June 03, 2014

Oddsmaker sets Spurs as slight favorites over Heat in 2014 NBA Finals

2014 NBA Finals, Ben Golliver, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan, LeBron James

Tim Duncan (left) and the Spurs are favored to win the Finals over LeBron James (right) and the Heat. (Mike Ehrmann/NBAE/Getty Images)

The Heat will look to complete their three-peat quest as underdogs.

Oddsmaking service Bovada.LV lists the Spurs as a slight favorite in the 2014 Finals, which begin Thursday night at San Antonio’s AT&T Center. San Antonio is given 4/5 odds while Miami is set at 21/20.

Those lines amount to a reversal of preseason expectations and a drastic change from last year, when the Heat beat the Spurs in seven games to win the 2013 Finals.

Miami opened the 2013-14 season as 2-1 favorites to win the title, with San Antonio set at 12-1, the eighth-best odds in the league.

ROUNDTABLE: X-Factor in the 2014 NBA Finals?

Here’s a look at the odds for 2014 Finals MVP as well as the various series results.

Odds to win 2014 NBA Finals MVP

Lebron James (Heat): 6/5
Tim Duncan (Spurs): 5/2
Tony Parker (Spurs): 13/5
Dwyane Wade (Heat): 8/1
Manu Ginobili (Spurs): 11/1
Chris Bosh (Heat): 16/1
Kawhi Leonard (Spurs): 18/1
Danny Green (Spurs): 30/1
Ray Allen (Heat): 50/1
Boris Diaw (Spurs): 75/1
Mario Chalmers (Heat): 75/1

Exact Series Result

Miami Heat win 4-0: 11/1
Miami Heat win 4-1: 7/1
Miami Heat win 4-2: 7/2
Miami Heat win 4-3: 5/1
San Antonio Spurs win 4-0: 14/1
San Antonio Spurs win 4-1: 5/1
San Antonio Spurs win 4-2: 11/2
San Antonio Spurs win 4-3: 7/2

The Heat also entered the 2013 Finals as a heavy favorite with 5/12 odds, while San Antonio was set at 2/1. The Spurs and Heat are the first pair of teams to face each other in consecutive Finals since Michael Jordan’s Bulls beat the Jazz, led by Karl Malone and John Stockton, in both 1997 and 1998.

So why are LeBron James and company, who waltzed through the East playoffs with a 12-3  (.800) record, now viewed as underdogs? Mostly because San Antonio has enjoyed an exceptional season and strong postseason run, in which they have handily beaten three of the league’s top-10 teams in the Mavericks, Blazers and Thunder.

The Spurs finished with a league-best 62 wins (compared to Miami’s 54), a league-best +7.7 point differential (compared to Miami’s +4.80 , and have posted a league-best +10.1 net rating during the playoffs compared to Miami’s +8.3). San Antonio also holds home-court advantage this year, a reversal from 2013, and the Spurs went a perfect 7-0 at home in May, winning each game by at least 17 points. San Antonio is 12-6 (.666) overall in the postseason, posting 9-1 (.900) at home.

The 2014 Finals will follow a 2-2-1-1-1 format rather than the 2-3-2 format that was used for the last 29 years.

More SI.com NBA playoff coverage

2014 NBA Finals schedule, results | Relive 2013 Finals between Heat-Spurs
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SI ROUNDTABLE: How can LeBron still improve? | Knicks or Lakers job?
THUNDER: OKC’s future title dreams still strong despite latest setback
2014 NBA DRAFT: Mannix’s post-lottery Mock Draft | Lottery winners, losers
STERLING COVERAGE: NBA scores legal victory with Sterling agreement
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42 comments
itknr1
itknr1

San Antonio what kind of Town is that?? Most of them hillbillies can't even spell South Beach.. Come on down for a weekend and we can teach you all how it"s done.... it"s three (3) ya'll

tradog2351
tradog2351

Lol...... get A bench first because you gonna need more than James and Wade smfh spurs all day 6the game spurs take it do your homework next time before you post

scir91onYouTube
scir91onYouTube

here's hopin' tony parker injures his ankle and is out of the finals after game 1. i HATE these STUPlD BORING spurs. i am sick and TIRED of watching lame ring around the rosy hot potato basketball type of passing game. i want to see FLASH and action like bron bron or wade or even birdman's antics. go HEAT!! yes i am a bandwagon fan. so what? i am enjoying the 3-peat run 

howdythurr
howdythurr

looking forward to a great series...and title #5! Go Spurs Go!!!

dob.crocker
dob.crocker

hey derange, i mean dearridge ain't gonna happen.

gunter
gunter

But the reality is that the Heat ARE favored, which simply proves the obvious:  Vegas is a corrupt place full of liars.


Wisconsin Death Trip
Wisconsin Death Trip

Spurs have a VERY DEEP bench compared to the Heat. That gives them the nod in a 7 game series. Vegas is betting on it. 

acash626
acash626

This series has the potential to top last years. The teams are pretty evenly matched. Both have good shooters. Both are at their best when moving the ball. Their point guards get to the paint (edge to Tony Parker.) Both benches are strong. Slight edge in rebounding to Spurs. Both teams have used various starting lineups during the season. Either team capable of winning on the other's court.How the benches play may decide the winner. Heat in 7. 

scir91onYouTube
scir91onYouTube

the spurs went down to the wire against the 8 seed mavs. they lost more games than the heat in the post season. they were NOT dominant.

nubiantimes
nubiantimes

Miami Heat in 6,  three words: Nkosi...... Lebron....James. 


James is such an exceptional talent: best overall athlete in the world, awkward but consistent 3 point shot, rebounder, offensive and defensive muscle. Moreover, Lebron James has the ability to positively motivate his teammates on the court.  


Again, Heat in 6.                                                          Three-peat!!!! 



yoranejit
yoranejit

Wow finally, despite lots of dumb heat fans commenting on every article, this shows many people now see what the spurs is all about. what they have achieved at this point is remarkable already.i want them to win so bad because it's an incredible story

AllThingsConsidered
AllThingsConsidered

I would take the Spurs without blinking, but Tony Parker has to be able to play

CubanMustGo
CubanMustGo

A DRASTIC change?   when Mia had an incredible set of fluky things go in their favor to pull game 6 out last year?   Of course it should be close, but this year SA has the HCA and the better record against dramatically better competition so they should be a very slight favorite.

petek3514
petek3514

Who the heck is Bovada? They're not even in Nevada. Those odds were copied as Las Vegas Oddsmakers had similar odds out awhile ago. BTW, some of the previous comments are correct. Listing a favorite doesn't make them a favorite, it's strictly about the money. And at this point of the game, that Finals price is forged from a sportsbooks total futures holdings up to this point. Has nothing to do with who they really think is going to win.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Great, so LeBron gets to play 'the underdog' card.

Whatever
Whatever

I disagree with the oddsmakers. I think they're trying to generate money being placed on the Heat. This will be a great series, going to 7 games, but I think the Heat are too much for the Spurs, particularly with Parker's ankle (there's no way that holds up for 6-7 games).

dmorrisssey
dmorrisssey

Probably due to home court advantage. Heat would be favorites if they had home court advantage.

BlowPop852
BlowPop852

Sounds like your on your knees begging for "bron bron" to fill you up. Your disgusting. If you want to learn about basketball, maybe you can watch the spurs put the ball through the hoop more times than the heat does. You might want to check out the look on the face of you man crush after he gets SERVED. The Heat really do blow, and after reading your comment it's pretty clear you do too.

Wando
Wando

@scir91onYouTube The heat played the lackluster east. Spurs will dominate them in the paint, and they're bench will outplay miamis. 

JosephApohen
JosephApohen

@nubiantimes Lebron is great but he will not beat the Spurs team play.  Diaw is playing exceptionallly well.  Hopefully Parker can play, even without him it will be difficult to beat Duncan, Gino, Diaw, Green.  They will also control the boards.

dob.crocker
dob.crocker

@yoranejit Don't hate, S/A is going down,pain,pain,pain for stoic coach Pop.Duncan is done just like Donkey looking Ginobli.

Nate the Pate
Nate the Pate

@AllThingsConsidered 

Yep.  Game 6 cost us dearly last year, but something was wrong with Tony in game 6 and 7.  He was deadly in the previous games and all of a sudden stopped attacking.  Turns out he had an injury.  Such a shame.  A healthy Tony last year through 7 games would have made all the difference.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@Whatever Of course the oddsmakers are trying to generate money on the Heat.  They are also trying to generate money on the Spurs.  Getting a 50/50 split on each is the goal as it guarantees that the house makes money.  By making the Spurs the favorite they are not picking them to win the series.

Nate the Pate
Nate the Pate

@Wando @scir91onYouTube 

True that.  Heat beat the mighty Bobcats, Nets, and a mentally-challenged Pacer team.  Their 12-3 record means so much more than the trial by fire of going through Dallas, Portland, and OKC.

dash2k8
dash2k8

@JosephApohen @nubiantimes Of course SA will control the boards. Miami is notoriously bad at rebounding. That, however, hasn't ever been a crippling issue.

Nate the Pate
Nate the Pate

@biasedsportsfan @CubanMustGo 

Not really.  Play that scenario back 100 times and the Spurs win 98 of those times.  A 5 pt lead with 28 seconds to go.  Here's the sequence of events.

Kawhi missed free throw

Kawhi missed rebound off fingertips

Lebum 3

Ginobili missed free throw

Bosh rebound

Allen 3

Every one of those events had to happen for the Heat to win.  Any single thing go the Spurs way and they wrap it up.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@Someonelse The house does not always make money & they can lose money on this series.

Wando
Wando

@dob.crocker @Nate the Pate @Wando @scir91onYouTube Parker will destroy Cole. Wade doesn't need anyone to stop him. His knees are doing it for him. James is tough to stop, but if you keep him out of the paint the Spurs will be more than able to survive. Age doesn't mean sh-t. I'm not a Spurs fan, but they're the better team, and I told you why.

 
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