LeBron James and the Lakers take on the Miami Heat

The Lakers dominated every minute of Game 1, changing the makeup of the 2020 NBA Finals and shifting the Lakers-Heat Game 2 odds heavily in the Lakers direction. Miami enters Game 2 with injuries already mounting. Are the Heat done for? Is Game 2 a foregone conclusion? BetRivers.com is here to provide a preview of Lakers-Heat Game 1 odds for the 2020 NBA Finals on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 9:10 p.m. ET on ABC.

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Rob Dauster breaks down the sides he likes in Game 2, and why injuries might just be too much for the Heat to overcome.

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Friday BetRivers.com Specials

  • Over 9.5 players score Over 9.5 points each (-152)
  • Tyler Herro & Danny Green record Over 4.5 made 3-point FGs (+140)
  • Anthony Davis & LeBron James each record Over 1.5 dunks (+400)
  • Dwight Howard to score first FG of the game (+1000)

Click here for the full list of Lakers-Heat Game 2 odds


  • GAME 2: Friday, October 2 at 9:10 p.m. on ABC
  • MONEYLINE: Lakers -500, Heat +390
  • SPREAD: Lakers -9.5
  • OVER/UNDER: 217
  • IMPLIED SCORE: Lakers 112, Heat 104

Game 1 did not go as expected. It started that way. We told you this week to bet on the Heat to win the first quarter if Dwight Howard started at center. He did, and the Heat jumped out to a 23-10 lead before the Lakers closed the quarter on a 19-3 run, which was capped by an Alex Caruso three with six seconds left that lost us that bet.

It was all downhill from there. 

The Lakers run extend all the way into the third quarter, as they would eventually take an 87-55 lead before holding on to beat the Heat, 116-98.

Miami didn’t just lose the game, though. They lost Goran Dragic in the first half to a torn planter fascia in his left foot. They lost Bam Adebayo in the third quarter to a shoulder strain. And while they didn’t lose him, they did watch Jimmy Butler roll his ankle and come up gimpy in the first half. 

Let’s ignore the injuries for a second.

Based strictly on what was happening on the floor in Game 1, I don’t think this series is over. This is an extreme oversimplification of what was happening, but it paints the picture well enough: The Lakers succeeded in running Miami — specifically Duncan Robinson — off of the three-point line, which forced the Heat to drive to the rim, creating transition opportunities for the Lakers; no one likes to run more than the Lakers do.

At the same time, the Heat couldn’t stop LeBron when he was able to get a switch onto a smaller guard, and all this was happening as the Lakers made 11 of their first 17 threes. 

Some of that is fixable. Miami can go full small-ball by using Kendrick Nunn and Kelly Olynyk for more minutes. They can get Robinson more involved. They can send late doubles at LeBron when he gets the switch he wants. They can count on the fact that the Lakers aren’t going to make 11 of their first 17 threes too often. 

If you were able to guarantee to me that Miami was healthy in Game 2, I would be all over the Heat (+8). 

But they’re not going to be healthy. I’m less worried about Bam’s shoulder and Jimmy’s ankle than I am about Dragic’s foot.

In Game 1 of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs, Joe Johnson suffered the same injury Dragic suffered Wednesday night. He needed daily injections to numb the pain, he was nothing but a decoy by Game 5 and shot just 2-14 in Game 7. For the series, he shot 42 percent from the floor and 26 percent from three. For a point guard that relies on quickness and change of the direction, that’s going to be a nightmare to deal with. 

So I will be on the Lakers.