Miami is a seven-point favorite at essentially every NBA betting site we've looked at. The Heat have covered the spread for backers in three of the four games in this series so far.
Tonight's O/U is listed at either 188.5 or 189, with the OVER at 3-1 thus far.
Game 4 was close throughout, with the largest lead on either side at nine points (in Brooklyn's favor). However, the Heat made more plays down the stretch and did enough to secure a crucial 102-96 win on the road.
The Nets once again got a great balanced scoring effort, but it still wasn't enough.
Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Deron Williams, Shaun Livingston and Alan Anderson all scored in double figures, while Kevin Garnett and Andray Blatche had eight points apiece. Brooklyn shot 43.6 percent overall and 22.7 percent (5-of-22) from the three-point line.
Brooklyn certainly had their chances to win the game, but didn't make the necessary plays in the closing minutes. They gave up a corner three to Chris Bosh in the final minute and that ended up being the killer blow.
We know the Nets aren't going to come out and lay down here in Game 5, but we find it hard to believe they'll be able to keep up with the Heat. Yes, they're facing elimination, but Miami can smell the conference finals and will have the rowdy crowd behind them again. Brooklyn will have to be at their very best.
It pays off to have the best player on the planet on your team.
LeBron James took over in Game 4, scoring a playoff career-high 49 points on 16-of-24 shooting. He also had six rebounds, two assists and three steals while only turning the ball over once. It was a truly special game from the superstar.
As we talked about above, Bosh had some big shots and finished with 12 points, five rebounds, three blocks and two steals, while Dwyane Wade posted a 15/4/3 line with two blocks. Ray Allen contributed 11 points and seven boards off the bench.
It was just one of those games where LeBron had the look. He was aggressive early and Paul Pierce and company simply had no answer for him throughout.
All the Heat have to do is win one more game and they'll have a great opportunity to do so back on their home court, where they've yet to lose in the playoffs so far. They've also managed to cover the spread in three of their four games at American Airlines Arena.
Game 5 Pick
The Nets need to bring a top defensive effort in order to stave off elimination tonight. That's one of the reasons Jordan Sharp is thinking the UNDER is the right way to go in Game 5.
We can't disagree there, as we do think we'll see a more physical battle tonight, but we'll once again be taking Miami to win and cover the chalk.
Unlike Indiana, we fully expect the Heat to wrap this series up in a hurry and get some more rest ahead of the Eastern Conference finals. It's been a great run for the Nets, but we see it all coming to an end tonight, with our best recommendation to take Miami to win by eight or more on their home floor.
Pick: Heat -7 (and lean UNDER)