Top Props of the Week: 2014 NBA Finals Matchup Odds
by Dave Schwab - 9/18/2013
The start of another NBA season is well over a month away, but Sportsbook.ag has already released its odds for potential matchups in this year’s NBA Finals. The following is a look at the odds for a couple of the matchups that offer the most value.
If you simply want to go chalk for this bet then go with Miami Heat from the Eastern Conference and the Oklahoma City Thunder from the Western Conference at +600. If you look back at the matchup odds for this prop at the same time last year, I am pretty sure that you would find the same two teams listed as the top matchup.
The Heat came through on their end and went on to win their second consecutive NBA title by eliminating the San Antonio Spurs in seven games. The Thunder were well on their way to winning the West, but a season-ending injury to Russell Westbrook in the opening round of the playoffs effectively ended their chances.
Much of the same cast will be back for both teams, making them the odds-on favorites to win their respective conference. However, before you make that bet, keep in mind that the gap between both the Heat in the East and the Thunder in the West and some of the other top contenders in each conference is not as wide as it once used to be.
The Value Pick
If you think that the Big Three in Miami have what it takes to rally for one more title before free agency potentially breaks things up, then you might want to pair the Heat up against someone like the Spurs in a rematch at +1000 or the Rockets at +1200 now that Dwight Howard in the fold. To me, the pairing with the most value in the numbers is a Heat vs. Clippers matchup at +1300. Los Angeles is a town that is used to crowning champions, and it could be quite a while before the Lakers will be able to fill that role, so why not the Clippers with Doc Rivers at the helm as the team’s new head coach.
It is not that big of a reach to see the Clippers come out on top in the West. The talent is certainly there for a conference title run, so maybe all this team needed was someone with the ability to pull it all together. Rivers has already proven that he knows what it takes to win championships.
Risking money on a longshot in a prop like this usually does not make too much sense. The NBA is made up of two or three elite teams, a couple of legitimate contenders, and quite a few very average ball clubs. This means that the chance that a team like Miami gets taken out in a seven-game series that is not the NBA Finals is highly unlikely, but it still could happen. The West probably has three or maybe even four teams that can win the conference in the absence of one really dominant team, but you still have to look at Oklahoma City as the top team if Westbrook comes back healthy and ready to go.
If you are still looking for something longer to wager on then you might want to consider a Chicago vs. Oklahoma City matchup at +1700 or a Chicago matchup against the Clippers at +3000 now that a healthy Derrick Rose will be back in the lineup for the Bulls. If you think that the Brooklyn Nets made enough offseason moves to get past the Heat this season, then you can get +2500 odds for Nets vs. Thunder matchup. Everyone is forgetting that Indiana took Miami to seven games in last season’s Eastern Conference Finals, so why not pair the Pacers up against the Thunder at +3000 or really go out on a limb with a Pacers vs. Clippers matchup in the finals at +6000.
Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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