King James Crushes Rebellion
While the King rules from the beaches of Miami, he heard a lot of rhetoric coming from Brooklyn these past few games, and after getting beaten at the battle of Game 3, the King took it upon himself to crush the Brooklyn Rebellion of 2014. Now the Nets are all but crushed, and there looks to be one final battle to be waged. Will the Nets win to force a Game 6, or will the Heat cruise at home to the Eastern Conference Finals? The NBA odds heavily favor the Heat in Game 5 at -7, with a total of 189 points.
James’ 49 points tied a playoff high for him that he set back in 2009 with the Cavs, which also happened to be his last season in a Cleveland uniform. However, even though this performance was one for the ages, I don’t think it gave us an indicator that the Heat are back to peak value.
If it wasn’t for Lebron’s huge night, the Heat might be facing a 2-2 series right now. Dwyane Wade played well in Game 4, but the Heat got nothing from the rest of the team. Miami’s bench was outscored 28-16, Chris Bosh had only 12 points, and all in all, this was a bad game for the Heat outside of their great leader and a little bit of Wade.
James will likely go back to his normal playoff output in Game 5 of this series, and even though I do think he could carry the Heat to the Finals playing like this, the Heat aren’t winning a title with solely James doing all the heavy lifting.
The Sharp Pick
Even though I do think Miami will win this game SU, I’m not so sure about it ATS with how the rest of the team is playing. However, with the likelihood that James doesn’t have back-to-back 50-point performances, I think the total might be a better and safer wager than trying to gauge a seven-point playoff spread.
At 189 points, we could see some nice 'under' value in this elimination game. If it wasn’t for the huge performance from James in Game 4, that total would have went 'under', and assuming Lebron dips back to even just slightly over his playoff average, this total is going 'under' if we get another lackluster shooting night from everyone else.
The defense in this series has been fierce, and now that we have an elimination game on our hands, it might start to get even more chippy and physical. With that almost always comes lower scores, and even though the 'over' is 7-6 this season when one or both playoff teams are facing elimination, long term, the 'under' is the play when a team is facing elimination.
I see a slower paced and even more physical game in Game 5 than we have seen this entire series, and if that is the case, and Lebron doesn’t go nuts, the NBA pick 'under' is looking valuable.
My NBA Pick: 'Under' 189