The Heat have done what most thought they would not be able to do and that’s force a Game 6 in this best of 7 series. The Lakers still have the upper hand here but barely at this point. A Heat win tonight will put all of the pressure on the favorite Lakers and the line for this game has been adjusted to reflect that.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Miami Heat
October 11th, 2020 – 7:30 PM EDT at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Must Win Game for Lakers Tonight
The Lakers still have the upper hand in this series and are expected to win tonight. Even though that is the case, they can't afford to let Miami force a Game 7. Momentum in the playoffs can't be overlooked and if the Heat win another game, they'll be playing with house money at that point. Nothing more dangerous in sports than a team with nothing to lose.
The Lakers do have championship experience on their roster in the form of LeBron James, Rajon Rondo and Danny Green. If you go on social media right now, Green is probably one of the most hated Lakers in a while after missing what could have been a championship clinching 3 pointer. It's not just that he missed, it's how badly he missed while being as wide open as he could ever hope to be. I mentioned on Jammin With Jay Money (Mon-Sat Noon E.T on SBR's YouTube channel) that I thought for the rest of the series, that nerves would play a part. We saw that in Danny Green's miss and Markieff Morris' turnover trying to force it into Davis while he had LeBron standing wide open on the wing.
The line for this game opened at Lakers -5.5 and hasn't moved much from there if you check out the SBR odds page. Most of the top online sportsbooks in the industry have had to make that adjustment from the previous game which closed at 7.5.
Be sure to check out Jay Money's picks for this game here.
Heat Will Have to Do It With Defense
The way Jimmy Butler has played in this series is really remarkable. He went toe to toe with LeBron James in the 4th quarter of an elimination game. If you saw the press conference after the game, Butler could barely walk while getting off the podium. That's probably because he played 47 minutes in an old school warrior performance but how many times can Miami really rely on that? I'm not doubting Butler but at least one other player from his supporting cast has to elevate their game the way he has.
In Game 5 that was Duncan Robinson who hit 7 threes on his way to 26 points which was obviously a big part of why Miami won. The one positive that I see from the win in Game 5 is that Bam Adebayo didn't even play that well. If he can play up to his normal standard and Duncan or maybe Tyler Herro can get hot, the Heat can cover this spread but I'm not sure they'll win the game.
I can't say that I know what's going to happen at the end of the 4th quarter in this game and the truth is, for most of this series I've just bet spots. The spot I saw in Game 4 is that because the championship was on the line, it would be a low scoring first quarter which it was. I think the same thing but not just because of nerves, it's due to the fact that both teams are successful because of defense. The Lakers don't get as much credit as they should but they finished 3rd in defense and that's how they'll win Game 6 if they come out focused.
Miami plays at the 4th slowest pace in the league and they are looking to clamp down in their half court defense. I like the under and I like LeBron James to come out very aggressive in a situation where he is coming off criticism for not taking the last shot. In my opinion LeBron actually made the right play, he was triple teamed which is why Green was so wide open in the first place. I think the Lakers win the first quarter by keeping Miami to under 25 points.
2 Team Parlay (Pays +265)