The odds have been stacked against the Miami Heat since the start of the NBA Playoffs, as the team entered the postseason hoping to become the first eighth seed to ever win a title.
Prior to this season, only one squad in that position had even managed to make it to the NBA Finals (the Knicks, who lost to the Spurs in 1999), but the Heat were ultimately able to join that exclusive club after making their way past the Bucks, Knicks, and Celtics to earn the right to face off against the Nuggets for the right to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Miami once again found themselves as underdogs against a top-seeded Denver team that headed into the series as -400 favorites thanks in no small part to the stellar play of Nikola Jokić, who has retroactively proven he probably should’ve been named MVP over Joel Embiid thanks to his consistently impressive production.
It did seem a little foolish to bet against the Heat when you consider they’ve repeatedly been able to persevere over opponents who appeared to have the edge on paper. With that said, you could also make the case it would be just as dumb to think Jokić and Co. wouldn’t have what it takes to fend them off.
It does seem like plenty of people thought the Nuggets were going to make quick work of the Heat when you consider the folks at BetMGM revealed 43% of the bets concerning the exact manner in which the winning team would clinch an NBA Finals win were on the Denver to pull off the sweep ahead of Game 2.
43% of the series money at @BetMGM is on the Nuggets to sweep. Odds have moved from +450 to +350.
What is your Series prediction?
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 4, 2023
However, anyone who threw down money on that particular wager found their hopes dashed after Miami evened up the series at one game apiece with a 111-108 win on Sunday night.
Those bettors might not be happy about the result, but it’s safe to assume the sportsbooks that took their money are.