model

Why FiveThirtyEight’s model favors the Miami Heat over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Jimmy Butler and Andre Iguodala of the Miami Heat celebrate together.
A computer loves these guys.
Pool/Getty Images

When the NBA season started, the Miami Heat had 60-to-1 odds to win the championship, making them the 14th-most-likely team to win it all. Needless to say, a lot has happened since then. The Sonic the Hedgehog movie was delayed. Donald Trump was impeached. The Sonic the Hedgehog movie was released. But after nearly a full calendar year of Sonic- and non-Sonic-related tumult, the long shots from South Beach are within striking distance of winning the NBA Finals.

On Monday, the William Hill sportsbook listed the Heat as +320 underdogs while the Lakers were -400 favorites. That means you’d make $320 on a $100 bet on the Heat to win it all, while you’d have to wager $400 on the Lakers to win $100. Miami star Jimmy Butler disagrees with those odds.

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