Brooklyn Nets 2.02 – Miami Heat 1.80 (Heat lead 2-0)
Miami are now 3.00 to sweep out Brooklyn in the Eastern Conference semi-finals after two comfortable victories so far and the Nets will be painfully aware that a 3-0 series deficit will be a kiss of death for their hopes.
Much better will be required on Saturday. LeBron James has only had to put up 44 points during Games 1 and 2 and with Kevin Garnett and Deron Williams going Missing in Action, it’s barely even examined the credentials of the reigning champions.
Home advantage, Brooklyn hope, can bring a change of fortune but having spent $180 million on their expensive roster, it would be nothing short of disaster if they crash out in the second round of the playoffs.
Paul Pierce, who is notching just 12.8 points in this post-season, is 1.80 to go over 13.5 and although his competitive nature makes him a threat, there’s no sense the Nets have enough to match the form shown in their regular season sweep of Miami.
The Heat are good value on the handicap of -4.5 at 2.40 to move to the brink of the East Finals. At 2.35 for the title, they’ve barely been tested yet.
Portland Trail Blazers 2.02 – San Antonio Spurs 1.80 (Spurs lead 2-0)
With a pair of dynamic efficient displays, the Spurs are 3.40 to blank the Blazers and win two straight in Portland to move on. But it’s not yet time to call it a series despite the superiority of San Antonio so far.
LaMarcus Aldridge, who averaged 29.8 points in the first round ouster of Houston, put up only 16 in Game 2 with Tiago Splitter especially effective in holding him in check. The All Star is 1.80 to contribute under 26.5 in Game 3.
But it is defence that has let Portland down, an area coach Terry Stotts has vowed to address. To come up trumps, they’ll surely need to keep the total points under 206.5, a line available at 2.45, with the hosts at -3.5 on the handicap at 2.12.
Best bet: Back Miami the handicap of -4.5 against Brooklyn at 2.40.