The Miami Heat and Florida Panthers were the lowest seeds in the Eastern Conference to reach the playoffs in the NBA and NHL.
Nearly two months later, those teams are set to compete in the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup Final.
The Heat were 40-to-1 to win the Eastern Conference at FanDuel entering the NBA playoffs.
The Panthers could be found as high as 65-to-1 to win the Eastern Conference at FanDuel when the team was down 3-1 to the Boston Bruins in the first round.
This is the 10th instance in which the same metro area has an NBA and NHL finalist in the same season, per the Elias Sports Bureau.
Will this be the first time ever that both teams go on to win their respective titles?
While I won’t bet against Florida in the Stanley Cup Final, I’m all in on the Denver Nuggets to win the NBA title, and I won’t be hedging that bet at FanDuel anytime soon.
This is the Morning Coffee for Wednesday, May 31, 2023.
Heat the biggest long shot to reach NBA Finals since merger
The Heat were 240-to-1 to win the NBA championship at FanDuel entering the play-in and 160-to-1 to win the title at the start of the playoffs.
After upsetting each of the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, and Boston Celtics, the Heat have already set the record for the longest odds of any team to reach the NBA Finals since the 1976-77 ABA/NBA merger, per SportsOddsHistory.com.
This is the fifth instance in which a team that was 25-to-1 or longer to win it all at the start of the postseason went on to reach the NBA Finals.
None of the previous four went on to win the title.
Believe it or not, Miami actually opened with shorter odds to win the NBA championship than Denver last summer.
The Heat opened at 15-to-1 to win the title at FanDuel. The Nuggets were 21-to-1 to win it all at the time.
Meanwhile, Miami was actually considered a bigger long shot to beat the Bucks and Celtics than they are versus Denver.
The Heat were +750 to beat Milwaukee in the first round. They were +390 to beat Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Miami is currently +330 to win the NBA championship.
While no one is going to completely dismiss the Heat, I haven’t even considered hedging my bet on the Nuggets to win the title.
Denver opened -8.5 for Game 1 at FanDuel. That spread has already ticked up to Denver -9.
The Nuggets have the talent, size and depth to create matchup nightmares for Miami.
They should also be well rested with nine days off between games.
With the Nuggets to win the title at +230 in-pocket, the only wager I’ve considered for the NBA Finals over the past 24 hours is a bet on Denver to sweep at +460.
The Heat have already made history with the longest odds of any team to reach the NBA Finals since the merger.
Maybe Miami shocks the world again and goes on to pull off the upset to win the title.
I’m not saying it can’t happen. I’m just saying I wouldn’t bet on it.
Medvedev stunned in upset loss at Roland Garros
Daniil Medvedev entered Roland Garros as the fourth choice to win the men’s singles title at FanDuel.
According to the traders at FanDuel, Medvedev was the third-most popular pick to win the title, behind only Carlos Alcaraz and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
If you were among those that bet on Medvedev, just skip to the best bet section right now.
Thiago Seyboth Wild upset Medvedev as a +1100 money line underdog.
The second-seeded Medvedev was -1700 to win that first-round match.
Seyboth Wild was playing in only his second match in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament.
He’s 160-to-1 to win the title at FanDuel this morning.
Alcaraz remains the favourite to win the men’s tournament at FanDuel this morning at +135 odds. Novak Djokovic is the second choice at +200.
No other contender on the men’s side has shorter than +1000 odds to win the title.
A FanDuel Best Bet for Wednesday
Sandy Alcantara and Ryan Weathers gave us a bit of a sweat, but they ultimately got the six outs we needed as we cashed the No Run First Inning in last night’s game between the Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres as our FanDuel Best Bet in Tuesday’s Morning Coffee column.
If you’ve tailed the best bets, it’s been a good run as we are 2-0 to start the week and 11-3 over the past three weeks combined.
Let’s keep it going with another winner this morning.
The Oakland Athletics are on pace to be one of the worst teams in MLB history.
That didn’t stop them from winning back-to-back games against an Atlanta Braves team that owned the best record in the National League heading into their three-game series.
Will the Athletics sweep the Braves tonight? I’m betting against it.
Oakland had lost 11 in a row before winning consecutive games against Atlanta.
It’s just the second time this season the Athletics have won back-to-back games and they haven’t managed to win three in a row yet.
James Kaprielian is 0-5 with an 8.45 ERA.
Jared Shuster hasn’t been great for the Braves, but Oakland still rank last in runs scored per game this season, so as long as the Atlanta offence can do its part, they should score enough to cover the run line.
After getting held to three runs combined in the first two games of the series, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Braves top that mark in today’s game alone.
I’ll take the Braves -1.5 against the Athletics as my FanDuel Best Bet for Wednesday.