Let’s take a closer look at the pro basketball odds for the opening game of this high-profile matchup at the AT&T Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC.
A Major Test
LeBron James has been on teams that opened playoff series on the road seven times, which has resulted in a forgettable 0-7 record—losing those contests by an average of 12.3 points.
The Heat are 4-3 on the road during the 2014 NBA playoffs, while they’ve advanced past the Charlotte Bobcats, Brooklyn Nets and Indians Pacers to reach this stage.
NBA handicappers will find that the franchise is 0-3 as road underdogs of 3.5 to 6 points since the start of the regular season.
San Antonio has proven victorious in each of its five Game 1’s in the finals, including a 92-88 triumph over Miami as five-point road underdogs a year ago.
The Spurs are certainly capable of duplicating that effort, considering they’ve outscored opponents by an average of 10.3 points at home since the start of the regular season.
Since the 2011-12 campaign, the squad is 18-12 as home favorites of 3.5 to 6 points, with the OVER going 24-6 in that situation.
The Heat bench has outscored the opponents bench in 11 of 15 postseason games, but they’ll have a hard time accomplishing that feat against the Spurs—a team that employed 30 different lineups and featured 17 different starters.
San Antonio didn’t have a member of its roster that averaged 30 minutes of action during the regular season, which led to its reserves averaging an NBA-best 45.1 points per game.
Point guard Tony Parker missed the second half of the Spurs’ series-clinching victory over the Thunder last Saturday, but all signs point to him being available for Game 1.
It’s imperative that San Antonio has Parker on the floor for at least 30 minutes a game, as he leads the postseason with 195 drives to the basket.
I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their NBA picks, as the OVER is 5-2 in the last seven overall meetings between these two teams.
MLB Pick: Over 198.5