BASKETBALL BETTING: Live on ESPN: Fri 01.00: The NBA reaches a climax as 2 of American basketball’s giants come head to head again. LA Lakers v Boston Celtics.
This is one of NBA’s biggest and most illustrious rivalries, the 2 teams have won 32 titles between them (soon to be 33) and have contested no less than 11 finals before 2010. The last final meeting in 2008 was won by Boston and LA will want to avenge that more than they will want to put back to back wins on the board.
Lakers have contested 7 finals since 2000, including this one, and will look to win a 5th. Ladbrokes have 7/1 about one of the teams completing a 4-0 sweep, which the Lakers managed in 2002 but is pretty unlikely given the high quality of both teams. The Celtics after all did post the biggest come back in Finals history against the Lakers in 2008, coming from 20 points down at the end of the 3rd quarter in the 4th game.
The Lakers are powered by Kobe Bryant, who aided them to 2nd overall in the league standings. Bryant is 4/11 with Stan James to win the Most Valuable Player of the Finals award, which seems like a fine bet.
Ladbrokes are also offering a game line of 5.5 games, over 5.5 is 4/11 which is good value considering the close rivalry. That covers 4-2 and 4-3 either way. In the regular season, both games were only settled by 1 point, both teams taking 1 win each away from home.
A brave punter could perhaps take on a correct score bet of 4-2 to either team. 4-2 Boston is 8/1 at Betfred and 4-2 LA is 4/1 with 888sport.