NBA Conference Finals (05/16/14)

By John Ewing
NBA Conference Finals odds, plus updated odds to win the 2014 NBA Championship and value bets on NBA futures.

In the NBA postseason, all "normal" or better plays are 27-8 (77% ATS and O/U). For access to the NBA Playoff picks, visit the Shop.

Eastern Conference Finals

In 50,000 simulations of the Eastern Conference Finals, Miami wins over Indiana 67.2% of the time. The most likely scenario (as seen below) is a six game series won by the Heat. The series goes at least six games 62.3% of the time and to a decisive Game 7 in 19.0% of all simulations, which benefits the Pacers as they have home court advantage and are more likely to win the series in seven games than Miami. The most likely series outcome, Miami in six games (26.1%), occurs more often than either team sweeping (12.3%) or either team winning in five games (25.4%).

Western Conference Finals

In 50,000 simulations of the Western Conference Finals, Oklahoma City defeats San Antonio 53.1% of the time. The most likely scenario is a six game series won by the Thunder. The series goes at least six games 65.7% of the time and a third of all simulations end in a winner take all Game 7. The Spurs, with home court advantage, are most likely to win the series in seven games. There have been 119 Game 7s in NBA Playoff history; the home team has won 79.8% of them.

Here are the results of the 2014 NBA Conference Finals played 50,000 times:

Conference Team Wins Series in 4 Games in 5 Games in 6 Games in 7 Games
Eastern Indiana 32.8% 1.8% 8.8% 7.2% 15.0%
Eastern Miami 67.2% 10.5% 16.6% 26.1% 14.0%
Western San Antonio 46.9% 2.6% 14.6% 9.5% 20.2%
Western Oklahoma City 53.1% 7.0% 10.1% 23.1% 12.9%

NBA Finals

The Miami Heat are the most likely NBA Champions. Miami's odds of a three-peat have increased from 28.2% before the playoffs began to 36.7%. Though Miami is the favorite to win it all once again, the Heat are not nearly as dominant as they were last year. Miami was 50% likely to win it all before the playoffs began in 2013.

Nonetheless, the sportsbooks are giving the two time defending champions even odds to win the 2014 NBA Championship. To be confident in the Heat at +100 (wager $100 to win $100), Miami would need to win the title 50% of the time, meaning there is no value in betting the Heat at +100 to win the championship. However, there is good value in betting Oklahoma City +350. The odds imply a 22.2% chance of winning the title, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have a 29.6% chance of winning the Thunders' first championship. While it would be a long shot, there is also value in the Pacers at +1000 to win the title.

Here are the odds to win the 2014 NBA Finals played 50,000 times:

Team NBA Finals Champions
Indiana 32.8% 11.9%
Miami 67.2% 36.7%
San Antonio 46.9% 21.8%
Oklahoma City 53.1% 29.6%

How we do this:
The Predictalator plays this best-of-seven series 50,000 times. Each series is played in its entirety and recorded by which team wins and in how many games. The data we use incorporates individual player's statistics, where most recent games are given more weight. This helps us account for player development as well as those who may be playing differently now because of health (good or bad). Playing time and matchup assumptions are made with regards to recent team history, so they are dictated by coaching styles and not necessarily what would be optimal. Relevant statistics include individual and team per-possession statistics as adjusted by strength of schedule of opponents.

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