Bet the NBA Finals: Greg Frank picks game 1 of Heat vs Lakers — Can this underdog Miami team keep it up?
Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler (22), Tyler Herro, bottom center, and Jae Crowder (99) celebrate a game tying basket by Butler late in the second half of an NBA conference final playoff basketball game against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Mark J. Terrill | Associated Press

Bet the NBA Finals: Greg Frank picks game 1 of Heat vs Lakers — Can this underdog Miami team keep it up?

Where and when to watch: NBA Finals Game 1, Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 9 pm ET on ABC

Heat (+4.5) @ Lakers (217)

Pick: Heat +4.5

The Eastern Conference Finals was the only series of the three the Heat have won in the NBA bubble which they needed a sixth game to eliminate their opponent. Against Indiana and Milwaukee, the Heat got out early and never looked back. It looked like the same thing was going to happen against Boston, until the Celtics punched back with a strong second half in Game 5, only for the Heat to respond with a 125-113 victory in Game 6.

Much like the matchups with Milwaukee and Boston, the Heat come into this series against the Lakers as a hefty underdog. This puts them back in the same position they thrived in against the Bucks and the Celtics. To start the series, all the pressure is on the other team, and the Heat can just go out and play. Their roster is full of players that will play in their first NBA Finals game and so if they can continue to play with nothing to lose, there’s no reason to think the Heat can keep this game competitive from start to finish and have a chance to win it outright. We’ll bank on Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro making enough shots to sufficiently complement veterans like Jimmy Butler, Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder for Miami to have a chance to steal another Game 1.

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