Game 1 of the NBA Finals is set for Thursday evening as the San Antonio Spurs head into Miami to play the Heat. The NBA odds for this one favor Miami at -5 ½, with a total of 188. After the Spurs have had about 10 days off, and after Miami's grueling seven-game series with Indiana, who will come out with more force in Game 1?
Who’s got better Big Three?
With the ineffectiveness of Chris Bosh, who once again had a horrific game in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, (which no one is talking about) and the duly noted injury to Dwyane Wade, the Miami Heat are looking slightly vulnerable heading into Game 1 at home. The Spurs are well rested, and they have shown in the past that they do wonders when they have plenty of rest. The Spurs are 13-11 ATS and 20-4 SU since 2003 when they have four or more days rest before a game. They are also 68-55-3 ATS in the playoffs overall since 2003.
I think the rest is going to help the Spurs to at the very least a cover in Game 1, and that’s all we need. I am tempted to take the Spurs’ money line in Game 1 just because of the sports betting value it displays at +200. I would feel much better about a +200 bet to win Game 1 than a +200 bet for the Spurs to win the series, but you can read about that next.
My point is, with Tony Parker dissecting the Heat, along with their shooters knocking down shots, as long as the Spurs don’t turn the ball over, they should cover Game 1.
Success of San Antonio
As I said, I still think the Heat will win Game 1, but the Spurs are just too undervalued here not to take a shot. The Spurs have covered five of their last eight meetings with Miami, and they have also covered three of their last fives meetings with the Heat in Miami. However we have to take that with a grain if salt because the two teams have barely played one another in the last few seasons with every player intact.
On top of being outstanding when they have multiple days rest in between games, the Spurs have been equally outstanding during these playoffs. They have the best straight up record of any NBA team this postseason, and during their 14-playoff games they have gone 12-2 SU and 10-4 ATS. That’s not too bad for a team that should be over the hill according to some.
San Antonio has been equally impressive on the road in these playoffs. The Spurs are 6-1 both SU and ATS during the playoffs when playing away from Texas, their only loss coming at Golden State in Game 4 of that series. The Spurs have also not lost a Game 1 in a playoff series since 2011, which was the series they eventually lost to the Grizzlies in the first round. However this is the first playoff Game 1 they will play on the road since 2009, where they lost Game 1 both times.
The Sharp Pick
As I said above, I’m falling short on saying the San Antonio Spurs will outright win Game 1, but I think their time off will have a positive influence on them as opposed to negative, and I think they come in and cover in Game 1. The Spurs are simply too undervalued to not back them with our NBA picks in this spot.My Pick: Spurs +5 ½