Everyone seems to expect a bounce back performance from the Heat and especially Lebron James tonight, as NBA odds boards have dropped the spread to -1 in favor of San Antonio, even though the Spurs won by 36 points just a few nights ago. The total for this one sits at 187 points, so where should we look for sports betting value in this pivotal and maybe even legacy-defining game?
Bounce back series
After a thrilling Game 1 of this series, both Games 2 and 3 have been blowouts. It’s been a series of bounce-back performances, and all signs point to one tonight for Miami. They have traded wins for losses in their last ten games, and of course they haven’t lost back-to-back games in a very long time.
However the Spurs are quite different from the teams Miami ran through in the Eastern Conference during the playoffs. The question of a bounce-back is still up in the air for me however. I realize the Heat are excellent coming off a SU loss, but they are 10-9 ATS in the playoffs this season. They are also 1-3 ATS in their last four road playoff games.
I think a blowout from either team is very non-realistic this evening. We’ve seen two blowouts in a row so far, one from either team. This is just one of the reasons why I am avoiding the spread with my NBA picks in this situation.
Tony Parker’s hamstring
Parker slightly strained his hamstring in Game 3, and after briefly returning to the floor, all the Spurs starters made their way out of the game because of the huge lead. I doubt Parker sits out this game, but if he plays it’s going to be a struggle. I do however think he will suit up and give it a go. It’s the NBA Finals for crying out loud.
The Spurs need Parker to play and be out there on the floor, but I don’t think they necessarily need him to dominate by scoring. The Spurs are 18-1 SU in the regular season and the playoffs when Parker has 10 or more assists. Although he likely won’t be 100%, Parker has to have the ball in his hands if the Spurs want to take a 3-1 lead.
The Sharp Pick
Because of the Heat’s uncertainty recently, combined with Parker’s injury, I cannot recommend the spread in this game. However we barely missed the under in Game 3, and with the possibility of Parker being limited, combined with the Heat’s atrocious road scoring average in the playoffs, (92 ppg) I think we have to double down and try and get the under again tonight.
The Heat cash the under at 12-9 this season after a SU loss, and the Spurs are 38-32-1 cashing the under this season and in the playoffs after a SU win. Even though we lost the under two nights ago, the under is still 10-3 in the last 13 meetings between these two from San Antonio. Combine all of that with the Parker injury and the Heat’s recent road struggles, (82 ppg in their last three road playoff games) the under seems like the most logical choice for me this evening.
My NBA Pick: UNDER 187