National Basketball Association

Expert Picks: Lakers vs. Heat

September 30

After more than 80 days in the NBA's Orlando bubble, it all comes down to this ⁠— the NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat.

Contrary to popular belief – both squads are 12-3 in the postseason – it's been a bumpy road for both the Lakers and Heat to get to this point.

Prior to Game 1, Lakers superstar LeBron James said that making the Finals this season was especially difficult, given the circumstances the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It’s probably been the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, as far as a professional. ... Whatever, how many days it is, it feels like five years."

But now, a title is now firmly within grasp for both the Lakers and Heat. How do the experts see the series shaking out?

Here's a collection of opinions from analysts and experts, plus insights from FOX Bet.

Chris Broussard: Lakers in 5

"I've grappled with this pick, Lakers vs. Heat – not grappled with who's gonna win. Lakers are gonna win, it's just a matter of how long it takes. Sorry, Heat."

Skip Bayless: Lakers in 5

"I will give the Heat one game. ... They play so hard, they play so smart, they play so fearlessly, and they play so together.

"Now, why's it going to be Lakers in 5? Because on paper, this is a mismatch. On paper, I'm looking at [LeBron James] and Anthony Davis. They are by far the two best players on the floor."

Shannon Sharpe: Lakers in 6

"Sometimes you get situations in the sports where it's one [game]. We've seen in tennis, we've seen an underdog beat a [Roger Federer] or [Rafael Nadal], but you're not going to get that in a series. You're not going to get lucky four times."

Colin Cowherd: Lakers in 5

"History matters ... and the NBA's history is really clear: if you got a couple great players and a good enough coach, they beat the team of depth. That's just the way it works ... Generally, the stars win ... I do think Miami will shoot their way from three-point land to a win in the series, potentially two, but I like the Lakers."

Jalen Rose: Lakers in 6

"LeBron will ultimately win it, but it's not going to be a cakewalk. It's going to be physical, it's going to be great skill. It's going to be Anthony Davis celebrating getting his first opportunity at the championship."

Zach Lowe: Lakers in 6

"A Heat championship should not blow fans away. How can anyone doubt them now? But the Lakers have the two best players, and both of their core lineup types ⁠— big and 'small' ⁠— have some pressure points against Miami."

FOX Bet insights: Lakers in 5

The oddsmakers at FOX Bet have the Lakers winning 4-1 as the favored series outcome, available at +275, and a 4-2 series for the Lakers at +320. An outright win for the Lakers, no matter the series score, is set at -400, with a Heat series win coming in at +300.

While the experts and analysts might not be on Miami's side, Jimmy Butler wouldn't have it any other way:

Game 1 tips off Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET.

Enter the NFL Challenge contest on the FOX Super 6 app for free and you can win the $100,000 jackpot! Download now at foxsuper6.com!


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