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2020 NBA Finals: Heat vs. Lakers Game 1 odds, pick & prediction

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September 29th, 2020

The 2020 NBA Finals are finally upon us! The Los Angeles Lakers will face off against the Miami Heat in an unlikely showdown that will crown this year's NBA champion. Oddsmakers have pegged the Lakers as heavy favorites to win it all, but does lady luck fancy the Heat?

Game 1 of the NBA Finals tips off on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 9:00 p.m. ET, and BetAmerica has the preview and picks for the big game.

Thu, October 1 2020, 1:00 AM

LA Lakers

Spread

-5

Moneyline

-200

Total

O 217.5

Miami Heat

Spread

+5

Moneyline

+165

Total

U 217.5

LeBron and AD have been virtually unstoppable

The one-two tandem of LeBron James and Anthony Davis propelled the Lakers to the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and has helped L.A. dominate in the playoffs. Frank Vogel's star-studded squad has posted an impressive 12-3 record against the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, and Denver Nuggets.

What makes this duo so dangerous is that Davis can pick up the slack if James struggles, and vice versa. The pair have combined for 51.4 points per game in the postseason, and have yet to be deterred on their path to the title.

Miami has been winning as a team

Then again, they haven’t been against a team as balanced or as defensively stout as the Heat. Miami’s improbable run was a victory by committee, and that team effort means that anyone could have a breakout series. While Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo look outgunned by James and Davis on paper, the Heat blasted through other stacked teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics up until now.

Spoelstra is Miami's X-Factor

This series is closer than it looks. Miami’s role players and bench are stronger than the Lakers, but it means nothing if James and Davis run wild. This is where the X-factor comes in play, and that is Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra. Spoelstra won two titles with an in-his-prime LeBron during James' four-year run with the Heat. He has proven to be a strong coach in his own right and not a puppet who deferred to his star players or Pat Riley.

The 35-years-old James is older now, and has had to rely on Davis on occasion when he’s had an off night or has struggled on defense. The wily Spoelstra might be the one person capable of turning this series on its head.

NBA Finals Game 1 prediction

Los Angeles struggled badly out of the gates in the first two rounds of the playoffs, making their adjustments later in each series. Expect the same pattern to remerge on Wednesday night as Miami will overwhelm Los Angeles with its defensive pressure and brashly steal the opener.

NBA pick: Miami moneyline

NBA Finals series prediction

We can expect a tight, chippy series where no games will be won definitively. Although the Heat are capable of winning a game or two through sheer grit and determination, the Lakers will bring home the title in six games.

NBA pick: Lakers in six

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