The Eastern Conference finals begin tonight and not many would have predicted a month ago that it would be contested by Miami Heat and Boston Celtics.
However, here we are and on the eve of game one, the betting markets have made the Celtics favorite to progress – but not by much.
Boston’s odds of making the NFL finals are -125 at time of writing, meaning that sportsbooks believe they have a 55.56% chance of winning. Miami, by comparison, are slight underdogs; their price of +120 carries an implied chance of 45.45%.
However, the betting breakdown swings in the other direction. Despite being deemed less likely to win, Miami Heat are the most popular choice with bettors. 61% of all bets placed on the market since it opened have been in favor of the Heat, compared to 39% for Celtics.
Oddschecker spokesperson Pete Watt: “Miami have had an incredible journey and will harbor every ambition of making it to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2014.”
“Whether bettors are backing them because of what they see in the team of because of raw momentum is unknown, but they’re clearly seeing value in the underdogs.”
“However, the Celtics aren’t favorites for no reason and the sentimentality around the Heat’s run will be of no interest to them – in fact, they’d be delighted to be the team that ends the dream.”
Boston Celtics -125
Miami Heat +120