Let’s take a closer look at the NBA odds for Game 2 of the 2013 NBA Finals at AmericanAirlines Arena, with the opening tip scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.
Take a look at our picks & predictions for the NBA Finals series price.
Slow and steady
San Antonio captured a 92-88 victory over Miami as five-point road underdogs in Game 1 Thursday, while going UNDER the betting total of 189.5 despite combining for 101 points in the first half.
The Spurs are 4-2 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) as road underdogs of 3.5 to six points since the start of the regular season, with no edge in terms of the total (3-3 Over/Under).
Ran out of gas
Miami was outscored by a 23-16 margin in the fourth quarter, as it lacked the necessary energy to close out the series opener due to going the distance against the Indiana Pacers in a physical Eastern Conference finals.
The Heat are 13-3 ATS following a SU loss, while the UNDER is 5-0 in their last five games when playing on two days rest.
Protecting the rock
NBA handicappers might want to entertain the idea of backing the Spurs to win the championship at this point, as they’ve gone 20-3 in best-of-seven series when winning Game 1 under coach Gregg Popovich.
San Antonio’s success against Miami will come down to protecting the rock, which was a key statistic Thursday, as it turned the ball over just four times.
The Heat will need to find a way to create pressure on Spurs’ ball handlers—something they didn’t need to stress against a turnover-prone Pacers squad.
Since Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade joined up in South Beach, the Heat have dropped three series openers in the postseason, but then went on to win the next four games.
I’d be a little concerned with Wade being held scoreless in the fourth quarter, which places more pressure on James to score.
I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as their NBA picks Sunday, as the OVER is 6-2 in the Heat’s last eight home games versus a team with a winning road record.
Both teams were able to get good looks throughout Game 1, with San Antonio getting numerous looks in the lane, while Miami missed out on open opportunities on the perimeter.
I expect this number to close at 189 at tipoff.
NBA Pick: Over 187.5