The Lakers took a commanding 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals. The Heat played better than they did in Game 1 but it was not nearly enough as they lost again by double digits. The Heat will have some players hopefully returning from injury so let’s see if we can find some value here.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Miami Heat
Sunday, October 04, 2020 – 07:30 PM EDT
Lakers Look Dominant Right Now
Throughout the postseason, the Lakers have been a bit up and down by their standards. They lost the opening game of the first two rounds of the playoffs before they got serious and put Portland and Houston away. In the Western Conference Finals, they took their foot off the gas in Game 3 but were bailed out by an Anthony Davis buzzer-beater.
After that shot went in, most assumed that the Lakers would go on to sweep Denver but that was not the case. They would end up losing Game 3 before ultimately winning in five games. It might be nitpicking to say the Lakers let those three teams win those three games but the way they look right now, it's probably true. None of that will matter much if they keep playing the way they are right now. The Lakers look primed to sweep Miami if they keep up their current level of intensity in the Finals.
If you head over to the NBA odds page, you'll notice that a lot of the best sportsbooks had different opening lines for this game. The most popular opening line seemed to be -10 Lakers. Action on Miami has seen that line move to between 8.5 and 9 depending on where you shop.
Miami Hoping for Reinforcements in Game 3
Although the Heat were better in Game 3, they aren't in the Finals looking for consolation victories. They need actual wins and if they lose this next one, I find it hard to believe they avoid a sweep. The latest word coming from Miami's camp is that Bam Adebayo is expected to return to the lineup which is a huge boost to the Heat's chances. You have to expect that's why there were people taking Miami plus the points when the line opened.
The problem I have with taking points with Miami is the way Anthony Davis is playing. Even if Bam Adebayo was healthy, I'm not sure how he stops Davis when he's playing like this. Before the series, I said Adebayo wouldn't be afraid of Davis because they are both Kentucky alumni who have definitely played against each other in summer workouts. I also said that I think at his best, Anthony Davis is a top 5 player in the NBA which along with LeBron James gives the Lakers two of the top five players in the league.
That's what has made the Lakers the favorites since the trade was announced and right now, we are seeing the best version of Anthony Davis. He has had several games in these playoffs where he has taken his foot off the gas. That has not been the case at all in the NBA Finals and if that continues, Miami has no chance of winning.
I'm taking the Over in the first half of these games based on what I've seen so far in this series. The pace hasn't even been very fast in these games but one thing that has been surprising is the Lakers' three-point shooting. I mentioned on Jammin with Jay Money (Monday-Saturday Noon E.T on the SBR YouTube Channel) before the last game that if the Heat don't shoot more than 40 threes, they have no chance. They only attempted 27 which is not nearly enough, especially considering the Lakers attempted 47 of them.
If you're Miami, those numbers need to be flipped because three-point shooting was supposed to be the one clear advantage Miami had over Los Angeles. If this trend continues, this series will end in a sweep but I do expect Miami to get up way more three-point attempts in Game 3, especially in the first half. At the exact same time, I've seen no proof that they can slow the Lakers down so I'm taking the over 109.5 at BetOnline.