NBA Picks: Heat vs. Spurs NBA Finals Game 3

Jeff Grant

Monday, June 10, 2013 1:27 PM GMT

The Miami Heat will likely tip off as an underdog for just the eighth time since the start of the 2012-13 season, as they take on the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday night.


Let’s take a closer look at the NBA odds for Game 3 of the 2013 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

Falling into a pattern

Miami has alternated wins and losses over its last nine playoff games, as it came away with a 103-84 blowout victory over San Antonio as 6.5-point home favorites in Game 2 Tuesday, while going UNDER the betting total for a fifth consecutive contest.

With the series tied at a game apiece, it’s important to point out that the Heat are 9-3 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) when tied in a playoff series the last two-plus seasons. 

Mission accomplished 

Despite a humiliating loss that was caused by committing 16 turnovers, San Antonio still accomplished the task of gaining home-court advantage by coming out on top in Game 1, which offers the squad value in betting the outcome of this best-of-seven series. 

NBA handicappers will find that the Spurs are 9-2 SU and 6-5 ATS after suffering a loss of 10 or more points, with the OVER going 6-5 in that situation. 

Dangerous underdog 

The Heat have compiled a 6-1 SUATS record as an underdog this season, which includes a perfect 2-0 mark when receiving three points or less. 

Early action certainly landed on the Spurs with the line moving from one to its current resting place at 2.5, but expect the number to settle in at 1.5 before the opening tip.

Trouble in the paint 

San Antonio hasn’t played at home since May 21, which could provide a lift for its offense in terms of scoring inside, as it has connected on just 48 percent of its shots inside five feet in the first two games against Miami. 

The Spurs knocked down 63 percent of those opportunities in their first three series during the 2013 NBA playoffs.

Winning on the road

I established the Spurs as one-point home favorites in this affair, which provides me value in backing the underdog in this spot, especially since the Heat have won at least one game on the road in 11 consecutive playoff series. 

Miami has totaled 15 playoff road wins since the 2011 postseason—the most in the NBA over that span.   

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Heat as their NBA playoff pick Tuesday, as the Spurs are 1-5 ATS in their last six home games versus a team with a road winning percentage of .600 or higher. 

NBA Pick: Miami Heat +2.5 at Will Hill

[gameodds]5/238033/43-349-192/us[/gameodds]