Ever since the Los Angeles Lakers were able to trade multiple assets for Anthony Davis, they became one of the biggest favorites to go the distance and win the NBA Championship this season. Even so, the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks were even more favored by oddsmakers.
Now, however, the purple-and-gold have 14/5 odds to win their 17th Larry O'Brien trophy, as opposed to the Miami Heat's 2/7, according to USA Today. Shockingly, this is the first time that a team led by LeBron James is favored to win the NBA Finals since 2013.
LeBron and the Miami Heat made it to the NBA Finals in 2014 on a rematch series vs. the San Antonio Spurs, who honored their status as favorites and got the best of them in 5 games, putting an end to his tenure at South Beach.
Then, the King made it back to the Finals for the next four seasons, all of them vs. the almighty Golden State Warriors. Needless to say, Steve Kerr's team was always heavily favored against them, even when Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were at full strength.
That only made his 2016 NBA Championship run even more impressive. The Cleveland Cavaliers were huge underdogs vs. a team that had just won 73 regular-season games and were down 3-1. Even so, they were able to come back and become the first team in NBA history to ever overcome such a deficit in the Finals.
Then, the Warriors signed Kevin Durant and were even more overpowered, so it's not unusual to see that they were favored over the Cleveland Cavaliers both in 2017 and 2018.
However, let's not forget about the fact that LeBron already knows what it's like to lose a Finals series despite being favored, as he dropped the 2011 NBA Finals to Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks in 6 games.