NBA Conference Finals are Set and Celtics the Favorite to Win it All

The NBA Conference finals are now set with the Celtics and the Heat hooking up in the Eastern Conference Finals and the Nuggets and the Lakers facing off in the Western Conference Finals. The Celtics are coming off a hard-fought seven-game series with the Philadelphia 76ers. They are not only favored to win the Eastern Conference but also have the best odds to win the NBA title.

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The Odds

Heading into the conference finals, the Celtics are posted at 1.20 to win the east with the Heat the major underdogs at 4.75. Out west, the Nuggets are at 1.69 to win the series over the Lakers, who are at 2.20. The current odds to win the NBA title are: 

  • Celtics – 2.20 
  • Nuggets – 3.40 
  • Lakers – 4.00 
  • Heat – 13.00 

In terms of Game 1 of their respective series, the Nuggets are a 5.5-point favorite over the Lakers with a total of 222.5 and the Celtics are a 7.5-point favorite over the Heat with a total of 209.5. 

Heat and Lakers Look to Make History  

The Heat have been more than impressive in the playoffs and they’re looking to become the first #8 seed ever to win the title. The Lakers are also looking to make history, as they are the #7 seed out west and no seven seed has ever even reached the finals. It’s interesting that the Lakers are only the second seventh seed since the NBA expanded the playoffs to 16 teams in 1984 to reach the conference finals. 

Head-to-Head

The Heat and Celtics split the four games they played this season and the same goes for the Lakers and Nuggets. The Lakers have not faced the Nuggets since losing to them on the road on January 10th. At that time, L.A. was three games under .500 and in the game, Russell Westbrook was the leading scorer. He’s gone now and Denver has to face an L.A. squad that has won 19 of their last 25 games. The Lakers’ defense has been playing great, Anthony Davis has been a monster in the paint, and LeBron James continues to be dominant in his 20th season in the league. 

Playoff Jimmy vs. Record Holder

If the Heat are going to continue their magical playoff run, they’ll need Jimmy Butler, aka Playoff Jimmy, to stay hot. In the regular season, he averaged 22.9 ppg and in the playoffs, he averaged 31.1 ppg. In the last two games, he has not shot the pill well but his scoring and defense will be key facing Boston. 

A lot of people wrote off the Celtics after going down 3-2 to the 76ers in the conference semis but they killed it on defense in winning the last two games holding Philly to 86 points and 88 points respectively. In the closeout game, star Jason Tatum set an NBA record for scoring in a Game 7 going for 51 points. He looks to be getting his team back to the finals where last season Tatum only shot 36.2% with the Celtics falling to the Golden State Warriors in six games. 

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