The Heat entered the regular season as title favorites, they entered the playoffs as title favorites, and they will enter the 2013 Finals as title favorites.
Oddsmaking service Bovada.LV lists the defending champions as a heavy favorite over the Spurs in the Finals, which begin Thursday night in Miami's American Airlines Arena. Miami is given 5/12 odds while San Antonio is set at 2/1.
By comparison, Miami opened the preseason as 11/5 favorites and entered the playoffs as 2/3 favorites after winning an NBA-best 66 games. San Antonio opened the preseason with 18/1 odds and entered the playoffs with the third-best odds, 10/1, trailing only Miami and Oklahoma City after winning 58 games and earning the Western Conference's No. 2 seed.
The Heat, who are 12-4 in the playoffs, are also picked to prevail over the Spurs, who are 12-2 in the postseason, by a majority of this SI.com experts panel.
Heat forward LeBron James, the 2012 and 2013 MVP, is Bovada's favorite to repeat as Finals MVP with 4/9 odds. Tony Parker (9/2), Tim Duncan (7/1) and Dwyane Wade (8/1) follow James on the list of favorites, with both Chris Bosh and Manu Ginobili listed at 20/1.
Bovada provides the following odds on the various series results.
- Heat in 4 7/1
- Heat in 5 19/4
- Heat in 6 11/4
- Heat in 7 10/3
- Spurs in 4 18/1
- Spurs in 5 17/2
- Spurs in 6 7/1
- Spurs in 7 7/1