We’re almost halfway through the conference finals and thus far, there seems to be a trend happening on either end. Both the Miami Heat and the Denver Nuggets are lup 3-0 their opponents (the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers, respectively).

The conference titles hinge on the next game for the Celtics and the Lakers, as they will need to win the remaining 4 games in order to secure their places in the NBA Finals in early June. According to NBA history, no team yet has ever managed to come back from a 3-0 deficit, hence both these teams will have to work nothing short of a miracle to keep them in the runnings.

On the Eastern end of the spectrum, the Heat are dominating the board, riding high on a 26-point win that put them up three games on Sunday. However, as per ESPN’s Basketball Performance Index (BPI), all is not lost for the Celtics. Boston still has a 72% chance of winning.

Fans from all over the country are on the edge of their seats as these teams compete for a spot in the finals. States such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, and a few others have regulated sports betting and allow fans to pick their favorite team and place odds and predictions for the final games before the big ultimate game.

Audiences can now predict these upcoming conference matchups thanks to regulated sports betting, with the Heat suddenly favored to win after the bookmakers had gone against them in almost every game they’ve played in the postseason. Fans who have been with  Miami thus far have already seen the big possibilities this team has. And, if history repeats itself, the Heat will almost certainly enter the championships as underdogs.

The Celtics seem to be the fan favorite this year. The offense still poses quite a challenge, with 60.6% accurate shooting, 38.6% from the 3-point range, and 48.8% from the field. They are also averaging approximately 55.0 points in the free throw lane per game in the conference playoffs, and twice as many assists (24.7) as their turnovers (12.4). Despite their hat trick of losses, the Celtics continue to perform at a stellar level, restricting opponents to 42.1 points in the paint, 22.5 assists, and 19.3 free throw attempts per game.

However, the Heat have still managed to outshine them, their defense being their most notable trait. They allow only 111.6 points from 100 possessions, their opponents scoring a measly 33.5% from the 3-point range.

The Heat also cover 34.4% of offensive rebounds and are able to shoot 49.7% from the field and 43.9% from 3-point range. This is coming from a team who held the number four spot in the league for the worst 3-point shooting team during the regular season. This kind of execution and the low probability of Boston (or any team in league history) making a comeback from a 3-0 deficit has effectively cemented Miami in the runnings for Eastern Conference winners.

On the opposite end, the Western Conference finals between the Nuggets and the Lakers are trending similarly. The Lakers are teetering on the edge of elimination, with only a 5% chance of claiming the title (as per ESPN’s BPI). The Nuggets finished first in the Western Conference standings for the first time in the team’s history.

Denver boasts the likes of  Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Jokic, who plays center, has been leading the charge for the Nuggets. He scored a total of 24 points, six rebounds, and eight assists in Saturday night’s game, averaging 29.9 points, 10.1 assists, and 13.2 rebounds per game.

Murray, a point guard, has also made a name for himself this season, with 51.7% of his field goals being successful, inclusive of 49.5% of those from the 3-point mark. Murray has shown great improvement this season, averaging eight more points than during the regular season.

Meanwhile, LeBron James is averaging 23.5 points, with 6.3 assists and 9.9 rebounds, and is hoping to make this season his eleventh visit to the finals. But time is running out for the aging superstar and many are of the view that this season will present his last opportunity to challenge for a ring.

Perhaps getting to play with his son Bronny might mean a lot more to him than winning another ring. But he’d do well to chase a fifth title while he can.