The Spurs are 4 to 4.5-point favorites at most of the sportsbooks we've examined. The Heat are an extremely profitable 10-5 ATS in the playoffs so far, while San Antonio are an even 9-9 against the spread. Game 1's total ranges from 198 to 199.5.
It's been a relatively straight-forward postseason for the Heat so far. They opened the playoffs with a four-game sweep of Charlotte, and then took care of Brooklyn in five. In the Eastern Conference Finals, they proved too much for Indiana, winning in six games, despite not having home-court advantage.
The Big Three have imposed their will, like usual. LeBron James is averaging 27.1 PPG, 6.8 RPG and 5.0 APG in the playoffs so far, while Dwyane Wade (18.7 PPG, 4.3 APG and 3.9 RPG) and Chris Bosh (15.2 PPG and 5.7 RPG) have had their moments too.But it's the role players that have ultimately made the difference for Miami. We've seen the likes of Ray Allen, Chris Andersen, Norris Cole and Rashard Lewis make significant impacts at some point in this postseason. Even James Jones, Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem have contributed.Considering the Spurs have the deepest team in the NBA and have used that to catapult into the Finals, the Heat are going to need everyone to step up. It all starts with LeBron and D-Wade's effectiveness is hugely important too, but we're interested to see which role players have the most say.
San Antonio Spurs
After getting pushed to their limit by the Mavericks, the Spurs have been getting better, and better throughout the playoffs. They took care of an exciting young Portland team in five games, and then rose to the occasion in the conference finals, overcoming the star power of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to win in six games. San Antonio's depth has been on show throughout the postseason, but Tony Parker's health is crucial to the team's chances in the Finals. He's averaged a team-best 17.2 PPG and 4.9 APG so far in the playoffs, despite being nowhere near 100 percent physically. Parker is just one of many who's been playing at a high level. Tim Duncan's averaged 16.5 PPG and 8.9 RPG in the playoffs, while Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, and Boris Diaw have averaged in double figures as well. Toss in the likes of Danny Green, Tiago Splitter, Patty Mills and Marco Belinelli, all of whom have been playing important minutes for San Antonio, and you can see why this team has had so much success.
Game 1 Pick
Since that Game 2 loss to Dallas in the opening round of the playoffs, the Spurs haven't fallen at home. In fact, San Antonio has been flat-out dominant on their own court since that defeat, covering the spread in seven of their last eight matchups there, including games against the Mavericks, Trail Blazers and Thunder. In the Western Conference Finals, Duncan and company throttled Oklahoma City by an average margin of 26.7 points in the three home meetings, so while we expect a significant chunk of the public to side with Miami in Game 1, we feel like San Antonio is the better play.
The Spurs are playing outstanding team basketball right now, and have been buoyed in a big way by their crowd in these massively important contests. Back them to cover the chalk with your basketball picks.
Free NBA Pick: Back the San Antonio Spurs -4