NBA Finals Schedule Tonight: Lakers vs. Heat Game 1 Live Stream, TV Channel and Odds

The 2020 NBA Finals get underway on Wednesday night as the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Miami Heat in Game 1 at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida, which has housed the NBA bubble since the season restarted at the end of July.

In their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010, the Lakers are bidding to win a 17th NBA title, which would see them equal the Boston Celtics' all-time record. Miami, meanwhile, returns to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2014, which marked their fourth consecutive appearance in the Finals.

Here's all you need to know ahead of Game 1.

  • Tip off time—Game 1 of the NBA Finals begins at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday, September 30 at the AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.
  • TV channel—ABC.
  • Live stream—ABC's digital platforms, the ABC Sports website, watchESPN, YouTube TV and fuboTV and SlingTV.
  • Odds—The Lakers are 1/4 favorites with DraftKings and William Hill to win a first NBA title in a decade, while FanDuel and BetMGM both have them at 7/25. The Heat are 3/1 outsiders with both DraftKings and BetMGM, while FanDuel and William Hill have Miami at 29/10 and 16/5 outsiders respectively.

The most unprecedented of NBA seasons reaches its climax with the most unprecedented of NBA Finals. Forget about home court advantage, hostile atmospheres and fans holding placards demanding a clean sweep or a memorable comeback, the coronavirus pandemic has ensured the upcoming NBA Finals will look nothing like their predecessors.

The lack of spectators may make for an eerie atmosphere for both fans watching on TV and players, but on the court it will be very much business as usual.

"It's probably been the most challenging thing I've ever done as far as a professional, as far as committing to something and actually making it through," LeBron James said on Tuesday at a media day ahead of Game 1.

"But I knew when I was coming what we were coming here for. I would be lying if I sat up here and knew that everything inside the bubble, the toll that it would take on your mind and your body and everything else, because it's been extremely tough. But I'm here for one reason and one reason only, and that's to compete for a championship."

In his 10th NBA Finals appearance in the last 11 years, James is four wins away to deliver on the promise of returning the Lakers to the top of the basketball universe. In his first season in Los Angeles, James couldn't prevent the Lakers missing the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year, but his second season with the franchise has told a vastly different tale as the Lakers entered the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and have reached the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.

The Lakers have dropped just three games en route to the Finals with James averaging 26.7 points, 8.9 assists and 10.3 rebounds so far in the playoffs. If he is to add a fourth ring to his personal collection, James will have to defeat the team with whom he won his first two titles in 2012 and 2013 against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs—the Heat also reached the Finals in 2011 and 2014, losing to the Dallas Mavericks and the Spurs respectively.

The Lakers are 1/4 favorites to win the NBA title and five-point favourites to take Game 1, but if there's one thing this playoffs has shown is that the Heat can't be underestimated. Miami arrived in the postseason as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, before sweeping the Indiana Pacers in the first round, upsetting the No. 1-seeded Bucks in five games and defeating the Celtics 4-2 in the Conference Finals.

"Nobody picked us to be here? That's OK," Heat star Jimmy Butler said on Tuesday.

"Pretty sure nobody is picking us to win, either. That's OK. But we understand that. We embrace that, because, at the end of the day, we truly don't care. We're just going to go out here and compete, play together like we always have, and I'm going to see where we end up.

"But at the end of the day we're going to do this our way, the Miami Heat way, and that way has worked for us all year long."

LeBron James, NBA, Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers guards Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat during the second half of a regular season game at American Airlines Arena on December 13, 2019 in Miami, Florida. The two will face off in the NBA Finals beginning from Wednesday. Michael Reaves/Getty