Heat carry on, Cats carry over
The questions surrounding the Heat this postseason are very valid. If there was ever a time where the Miami Heat could be vulnerable, it’s this season. However even with all the question marks, they are still -9 ½ NBA Odds favorites against the Bobcats on Sunday, with a total of 189.
The Cats are a sneaky defensive team, and even though they don’t’ have the individual defender to slow down Lebron James, they do have a solid team defense, anchored by Al Jefferson down low. Big Al should be top five in the MVP balloting this season, and he might be the only chance the Cats have at being a good ATS value this series.
While the Cats may not win a game SU in this series, I seriously think they could have some value ATS, especially with NBA Odds like +9 ½. Charlotte could scheme defensively to let James get his, and not let anyone else for the Heat go off.
Miami will try and stretch out the Bobcats’ defense by making Jefferson defend Chris Bosh on the perimeter, but on the other end of the floor, the Heat are going to have as much trouble with Jefferson as the Cats do with James.
I could also see the Cats crumbling under the pressure as well, (this is the first playoff game for Kemba Walker and several other Bobcats players) but Steve Clifford is a great coach and he should have his young team ready for the challenge of facing the two-time defending champs. As long as they don’t let James go for 60-points again, I think Charlotte can cover tonight.
The Sharp Pick
The Bobcats were one of the best ATS teams as road dogs this season at 20-13-2 ATS, but more importantly, their rest over the three days they’ll have before Sunday is going to be crucial. Rest is key for all the teams heading into the playoffs, but for the Cats this season when they have had this much rest before a game, they have been virtually unbeatable ATS.
On 2-3 days rest in between games this year, the Cats are 13-3 ATS. In order to make sure they don’t get run out of Miami, Charlotte’s only hope will be to slow down the Heat enough to keep the game close and not allow them many runs. Jefferson, like Lebron will get his, but the key to covering lies in Charlotte’s young point guard, Kemba Walker.
While they may not win a game SU in the entire series, Walker’s play and how he handles the offense is going to determine whether they Cats are a fly on the windshield, or an formidable opponent. Walker taking care of the ball and not turning it over will be the difference here. He has never been a high turnover guy throughout his brief three-year career, and don’t think it will start here. I’m taking the points.
My Pick: Bobcats +9 ½