NBA Betting Value in Game 3: Spurs to Keep it Close?

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 11:58 AM GMT

Our resident sports betting guru breaks down the betting odds in Game 3 of the 2014 NBA Finals, while also previewing the matchup between the Heat and Spurs. His article concludes with a NBA free pick in this contest.

Shaping Up to be Another Classic Series 
The Heat will host the Spurs in Game 3 of the NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida with opening tip slated for 7:05 PM ET. The series is all tied up at 1-1 after Miami’s 98-96 win at San Antonio on Sunday night.

According to NBA betting odds the Heat are a 4.5 point home favorite, and the posted total is 197.5. These teams have seen 25 of their previous 36 meetings go under the total, including 13 of the last 18 played in Miami. The favorite has covered 4 of the last 5 between these clubs.This is a rematch of the 2013 NBA Finals in which the Heat prevailed in 7-games. 


The Lebron Factor 
The big story in Game 1 was the absence of air conditioning at the arena in San Antonio, and temperatures inside the building topped 90 degrees. The conditions certainly affected Lebron James who cramped up early in the 4th quarter, had to leave the contest with about 10-minutes to play, was only able to return for 20-seconds before cramping up again, and was forced to sit the rest of the way. As a result the Heat went from a 7-point 4th quarter lead, to a 15-point opening game loss.

It was a different story in Game 2 as Lebron played over 37-minutes, scoring 35-points, and adding 10 rebounds. Since Lebron has been with the Heat, they’re a perfect 14-0 at home following an away game in which he scored 35-points or more. Miami has won those 14-games by an average of 12.5 points per contest. 


The Heat Bounce Back Nicely 
The Miami Heat was horrible defensively in the opening game of this series. They allowed 110-points and the Spurs to shot a remarkable 58.8% from the field. However, they were extremely better in Game 2 holding San Antonio to 96-points, and just 43.9% shooting from the field. The Heat shot the ball very well in the first two games of the series converting on exactly 50% of their field goal attempts, and were successful on a very good 20-for-48 (41.7%) from beyond the 3-point line. They were also able to force 33 Spurs turnovers in the first 2-games. 


Spurs Red-Hot from Beyond the Arc 
The San Antonio Spurs were sizzling hot from beyond the 3-point line during the first 2-games of this series. They made a remarkable 25 three-point shots in those 2-games, while converting on a terrific (49%) of their attempts. San Antonio leads all playoff qualifiers in 2014 by shooting a stellar 40.3% from long distance. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise considering they were the best 3-point shooting team during the regular season converting on a superb 39.7% of their attempts. 


Spurs are Tough off a Loss 
The San Antonio Spurs are a tough team to keep down for very long. They’ve gone a terrific 20-5 this season following a loss. As a matter of fact they lost 2 or more games in a row just 5 times all season long, and that includes the playoffs as well. This veteran group has only sustained one 3-game losing streak all season, and didn’t at any time lose 4 in a row during the 2013-2014 campaign. Game 2 of the NBA Finals marked just the 11th time all season that the Spurs allowed an opponent to shoot 50% or better from the field. They allowed opponents to shoot 50% or better from the field in consecutive games only one time this year. The Spurs have gone a perfect 6-0 SU & across the spread since the start of the 2011-2012 campaign in non-conference away games, following a home favorite ATS loss. They’ve won those 6-games by a whopping 15.9 points per game. 


NBA Betting System 
Any away underdog of 5.0 or less that’s playing in Game 3 of a playoff series with 3 or less days of rest, they have a winning percentage of better than .666, and they’re coming off a home favorite straight up loss in their previous game in which they allowed 96-points or more, has gone 16-0 ATS since 1990. The underdog has won 15 of those 16-games outright. 

Free NBA Pick: Spurs +4.5 over the Heat for your NBA pick

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