A week ago it seemed like a Boston-Los Angeles series was a virtual lock to occur in NBA odds. How things have changed.
The Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns have decided that they want to have a say in who plays for the title and they are giving Boston and Los Angeles some trouble in basketball odds.
NBA odds heavily favored the Celtics and Lakers after each team won the first two games of their series. A strange thing happened though as the Celtics lost two of the next three games while the Lakers lost both games in Phoenix. It still should be a Boston-Los Angeles series in the NBA Finals but it is definitely not the lock it was a week ago. Both Boston and Los Angeles face a very important home game that neither wants to lose. If the Lakers lose Game 5 at home they would face elimination back in Phoenix. If the Celtics lose Game 6 at home on Friday night they would face the unpleasant prospect of going to Orlando for a game seven knowing they could become the first team in NBA history to blow a 3-0 series lead.
There are a lot of people around the world who are closely watching the Eastern and Western Conference Finals now. A Boston-Los Angeles series in the NBA Finals would be extremely popular with the league, fans and with the sports books. Any other series will not hold nearly the appeal and a disaster would be if the Lakers and Celtics both lose. An NBA Finals where Phoenix is playing Orlando would have very little appeal to most people outside of those two cities. And the NBA odds on that series would not be nearly as popular as a series between Boston and Los Angeles.
The basketball odds still favor the Celtics and the Lakers. The Lakers were solid favorites at home in Game 5 while the Celtics were 3-point favorites in Game 6. If the Lakers win they would regain control of that series while a Boston win would eliminate Orlando. What suddenly looked like a cakewalk for both Boston and Los Angeles has turned into a dogfight and both teams are starting to feel the pressure.