The Miami Heat And Florida Panthers Reach The Championships In Their Respective Sports

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Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and star Jimmy Butler (22) work against the Denver Nuggets during the first quarter of the NBA Finals game 1 at Ball Arena in Denver on Thursday, June 1, 2023. AARON ONTIVEROZ/BENZINGA

Two professional sports teams from the state of Florida are both in their respective sports’ championship finals best-of-seven series with a chance to make the faithful fans from their state proud.

Here’s a look at how many cities have had multiple winners in the same year and the betting odds — as well as that bettor’s big parlay. 

Radko Gudas #7 of the Florida Panthers celebrates victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at FLA Live Arena on May 24, 2023 in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers defeated the Hurricanes 4-3 to take the series 4-0. BRUCE BENNETT/BENZINGA

There have been many storylines in the National Basketball Association (NBA) Playoffs, with LeBron James an underdog in the first round for the first time in his career andSteph Curry going down 0-2 in a playoff series for the first time.

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Neither James or Curry made it to the NBA Finals and will instead be watching the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets compete in the series.

The Heat have won NBA Championships in 2006, 2012 and 2013 and would add a fourth trophy to their case. The Denver Nuggets are already making team history, appearing in the first-ever NBA Finals in its 47-year history.

While the Heat won’t make team history or history for the city of Miami, the team has a chance to join a small list among sports championships.

In the four major North American sports leagues (NBA, MLB/Major League Baseball, NFL/National Football League and NHL/National Hockey League), only 18 years have seen two winners from the same metro area.

Along with the Heat playing in the NBA Finals, the Florida Panthers are competing to win the Stanley Cup in the NHL Playoffs.

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots a jumper over Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors in game six of the Western Conference Semifinal Playoffs at Crypto.com Arena on May 12, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. Neither Curry or James are in the NBA Finals. HARRY HOW/BENZINGA

Both cities represent the Miami area and would become the first time Miami has had two winners in the same season if their respective teams can win, but the second time in Florida within a three-year span since the pandemic.

The last time a city won two championships in the same year was 2020, which saw the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL) win and the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Los Angeles Dodgers win (MLB).

No city has ever produced more than two winning teams in the same year. New York City tops the list accomplishing the feat seven times with Los Angeles ranking second at three times.

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One of the problems with having two teams from the same city advance far in the postseason is trying to stagger the games, so fans of both teams can watch and attend games. With the NBA and NHL seasons overlapping, fans have had to pick which game to watch on several occasions.

The NBA Finals schedule is:

  • Game 1: Thursday, June 1*
  • Game 2: Sunday, June 4
  • Game 3: Wednesday, June 7
  • Game 4: Friday, June 9
  • Game 5: Monday, June 12
  • Game 6: Thursday, June 15
  • Game 7: Sunday, June 18

*The Denver Nuggets won Game 1 104-93 over the Miami Heat.

All the games will air on ABC, a unit of Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS). The games are all scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. ET, except for Game 7 set for 8 p.m. ET.

The Stanley Cup Finals schedule is:

  • Game 1: Saturday, June 3
  • Game 2: Monday, June 5
  • Game 3: Thursday, June 8
  • Game 4: Saturday, June 10
  • Game 5: Tuesday, June 13
  • Game 6: Friday, June 16
  • Game 7: Monday, June 19

The Stanley Cup Final games will all air on TNT, a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery Inc (NASDAQ: WBD) with all games taking place at 8 p.m. ET.

As you can see, the finals have no games on the same night, giving South Florida residents and fans of the Heat and Panthers plenty of opportunities to watch their teams.

Disney is hoping to have strong viewership for the NBA Finals despite no James or Curry. The ratings in the 2020 NBA Finals had an average of 7.45 million during the series in the isolated “bubble” due to the pandemic.

Ratings rebounded in 2021 and 2022 with an average of 12.4 million viewers in last year’s NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors.

TNT also saw strong NBA Playoffs ratings including its most-watched Eastern Conference Finals game ever with Game 7 between the Heat and Celtics averaging 11.9 million viewers.

While the Heat and Panthers have both overcome large odds to reach the finals, they also enter their respective matchups as underdogs on sports betting platforms.

The Miami Heat are listed as large underdogs to win the NBA Finals with odds of +320 at DraftKings Inc(NASDAQ: DKNG). The Nuggets enter the series at odds of -425 and one of the biggest favorites in recent years.

The over/under on the series is 5.5 games at -140, suggesting the sports book thinks the game will go six or seven games. The series going seven games at odds of +220 has the lowest payout, suggesting sports books think it is the most likely outcome.

In the Stanley Cup Finals, the Vegas Golden Knights are the favorites at odds of -125. The Panthers are slight underdogs at odds of +105, which could come down to the Golden Knights having home ice in the first two games and up to four of the games if the series goes seven games.

The series going seven games pays out at +200 with six games at +205, the two most likely outcomes from DraftKings.

One bettor will be rooting fiercely for the Heat and Panthers to win their respective series, but will also need help from another Florida team to cash in on a huge parlay later this year.

A bettor at PointsBet put $1,000 on a parlay of the Heat winning the NBA Finals, the Panthers winning the Stanley Cup and the Tampa Bay Rays winning the World Series. The bet pays out $573,750 if all three legs hit.

Produced in association with Benzinga

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