bet365 Square Logo

NBA Conference Finals predictions with 77/1 double tip

Updated on 2:14am GMT 16 May 2023
NBA Conference Finals predictions with 77/1 double tip

Before becoming a Sports Journalist for Free Super Tips, Aaron spent three years studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland while taking in the Black Cats' 'glory years' under Martin O'Neill. Now back in Northern Ireland he turns niche stats into predictions for FST, while he's one of the few people on this island who is equally comfortable at Windsor Park and the Aviva.

There are just four sides left standing in the NBA Playoffs, with the Boston Celtics facing the Miami Heat for the Eastern Conference title, while the Denver Nuggets take on the LA Lakers in the west in a repeat of the 2020 bubble season.

This year’s playoffs have had a shade of March Madness to them, with the traditionally rigid seeding system turned upside down. Among the final four are the seventh-seeded Lakers and the eighth-seeded Heat. Miami are the first eight-seed to make a Conference Finals since 1999.

It all starts in Colorado on Tuesday night, as the Lakers try to brave the Denver altitude. Ahead of that clash, I’ve braved a postseason filled with shocks and upsets to put together the best bets as four sides chase a spot in the NBA Finals.

All of our Conference Finals selections have been priced up with bet365 and you can add each of them directly to your betslip in one-click below. If you’re new to bet365, you can claim £30 in free bets by signing up here:

NBA Conference Finals Predictions

Lakers can’t handle Jokic threat

Denver star Nikola Jokic has propelled his side to the west finals after topping the regular season standings. It’s arguably been his standout year, despite being named MVP in the previous two. Having managed to come through clashes with Rudy Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns and Deandre Ayton, it’s been suggested Jokic could potentially spend time facing the likes of Tristan Thompson or Mo Bamba.

Anthony Davis is likely to field the Jokic assignment, having impressed in the last two rounds in favourable matchups against two small sides. Jokic is the ultimate test for AD, as he removes any height advantage Davis had against smaller opposition. While there’s more to the Lakers’ star than his size, it’s hard to see anyone capable of stopping the two-time MVP at his current level.

Denver are worth favourites – and not just because they have won every home game at an altitude which gives them the biggest home advantage in the NBA. In Jokic they have one of the league’s top players, who is defying any idea that he can’t produce in the postseason. This is the first time the Nuggets have had a healthy supporting cast for Jokic since their 2020 run and the Serbian has taken huge leaps since.

Jokic is central to everything the Nuggets do, he’s effectively a center turned point-guard. While his defensive efforts can leave a little to be desired, his basketball IQ means you’ll routinely spot him dishing out tactical tweaks to his teammates on the court when they struggle defensively.

As good as the Lakers’ postseason run has been, this is a tough matchup for them. Not only can Jokic cancel out their top defender, but their depth can match the string of role players LA added at the trade deadline. While the west’s top seed are too short to back outright, there’s slightly better value on Jokic adding the series’ MVP award to his growing collection.

Heat have tools to down Celtics

The Boston Celtics started the season as title favourites, lost their coach to off-court controversy, then slipped back only to arrive in the Conference Finals as the frontrunners.

However, that process hasn’t been easy. Boston have seen three key members of last season’s coaching staff depart. New boss Joe Mazzulla hasn’t had the easiest introduction to the top job, with his own players even vocal about his shortcomings this season.

Those shortcomings will face no tougher test than a meeting with Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. The two-time NBA champion is arguably having his best postseason yet, guiding an eight-seed to the conference finals amid injuries to Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo. He’s squeezing everything he can out of undrafted guards like Gabe Vincent, Max Strus and Duncan Robinson.

On the other hand, the Celtics have proven their own worst enemy in the postseason, losing five games across two series. They let their first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks drag on far too long, while they were facing elimination at 3-2 down in the last round. The Celtics were able to put those missteps right, but those let-offs won’t happen against the Heat.

Miami were able to see off the New York Knicks without putting too much on star Jimmy Butler. He had some explosive games against the Celtics at this stage a year ago and as usual he’s shifted into another gear in the postseason. Butler scored 82 points across the final two games of last year’s Conference Finals and if his three-point attempt at the buzzer had landed they’d have won the series and he’d have landed the MVP award. He’s 9/2 to make that right this time around, which seems like the best value in the market.

Spoelstra dropping Kyle Lowry to the bench has also given the Heat a threatening second unit. Bench scoring dented a short Boston rotation in the Hawks series and it can cause problems in the Conference Finals. Two wins from the Heat would take this series to six games and to think they aren’t capable of doing that is discounting a side that revel as underdogs. Take over 5.5 total games in the east alongside a -1.5 series handicap for the Nuggets.

77/1 Correct Score Double tip

The Miami Heat have made brilliant starts to both of the previous rounds, winning at the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks. They can catch the Celtics off-guard in the opening double-header at TD Garden. Boston’s lapses combined with Miami’s quick adjustments, bench scoring and strong home record mean a surprise 4-2 series win is my correct score selection.

In the west, I’m looking at Denver to also progress in six games. They haven’t dropped a game on home court in the postseason and they look capable of handling the Lakers in the same fashion as the Suns.

build better bets free super tips.gif

Build better bets with our free betting tips, predictions and accumulators, every day.

More betting news:

120/1 Bet Builder for Inter vs AC Milan

Early bird tips for Cheltenham 2024

View All Today’s Football Tips

Betting Academy: See our complete guide to football betting

To squeeze every drop of value out of today’s Football Predictions and Tomorrow’s Football Predictions we highly recommend you take a look at our Free Bets hub, where you can compare all the best free bets and special offers from the best sportsbooks around.

Related Articles

See All