Top 6 Recent Underdogs to Win the NBA Finals


With the Toronto Raptors taking Game 3 off the series favorite, Golden State Warriors in Oakland, they have taken back homecourt advantage.

Now the Raptors have a 64% probability of winning the who shebang. If you want to get into the action with some NBA betting, be sure to check different betting sites. But in the meantime, let’s look at the history of underdogs who’ve shocked the world and won the NBA Finals.

The Cleveland Cavaliers +180

Recent Underdogs to Win the NBA Finals

The most recent underdog upset of the 2016 NBA Finals was in 2016 when Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers came back for certain defeat to blast past the Warriors. It was the first time ever that a team came back from a 0-3 deficit, making this NBA Finals a historic event.

However, this is the NBA Finals that really brought the NBA officiating policies under the microscope. Not being a fan of either team, I can honestly say, although the Cavs won game 7 fair and square, there should have never, ever been a Game 7. Cleveland got very questionable help. Remember the association just suddenly deciding to suspend Draymond Green, knowing that he was the NBA Finals’ most lockdown defender. That said, it goes down in the history books as a great underdog win, albeit with an asterisk in my personal history book.

The Miami Heat +135

Recent Underdogs to Win the NBA Finals

The 2012 Miami Heat were a force to be reckoned with in the early 2010s. After losing to the Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals, they made it right back to the big dance, as slight underdogs to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Heat won it all in just five games against the OKC team that held Durant, Westbrook, and Harden. Lebron’s dominant performance earned him his first Finals MVP.

The Dallas Mavericks +155

Recent Underdogs to Win the NBA Finals

Talk about doing a lot with a little. The 2011 Dallas Mavericks road Dirk Nowitzki’s back all the way to the NBA Finals. The came into the series as moderate underdogs against a star-studded Heat team that consisted of Bosch, Wade, and Lebron, along with world-class supporting players like Chalmers, Stackhouse, and Bibby. It’s no wonder the Mavs were dogs, as they had, Dirk, Dirk, Dirk, Dirk, and Jason Kidd.

But it didn’t matter. There was simply no answer for Dirk as he put up double-double after double-double, finally ending the series in six games.

The Boston Celtics +160

Recent Underdogs to Win the NBA Finals

It was like a return to the golden age. The Celtics and Lakers were in the Finals once again, and the rivalry was renewed.

Everyone expected Kobe and company to get another ring, but Rondo, Garnett, and Paul Pierce had other things in mind. The series went six games and Lakers fans had not been this stunned since the 80s.

The Miami Heat +125

Recent Underdogs to Win the NBA Finals

Perhaps the worst team to ever win an NBA Finals was the 2006 Miami Heat. They got into the playoffs with just 52 wins and somehow were the second best team in the East … just shows how horrible the Eastern Conference was that year. And they immediately went down 0-2 to the -145 favorite, Dallas Mavericks. But somehow, Shaq and Wade led the Heat back to win 4 straight and take the Title.

The Detroit Pistons +400

Recent Underdogs to Win the NBA Finals

2004 was the Pistons’ year. That said, nobody thought that they had a chance against Kobe and Shaq. Malone was hobbled, and defensive mastermind Gary Payton wasn’t playing well leading up to the Finals. But the Pistons absolutely shut down the stellar Laker offense in one of the greatest underdog NBA Finals upsets ever. The Pistons were massive 4 to 1 underdogs making this NBA Finals victory truly remarkable.