Indiana Pacers 2.25 – Miami Heat 1.66 (Game 1)
As Roy Hibbert goes, so do the Pacers. Likewise for Dwyane Wade and the Heat. And the spotlight is on the two All Stars to deliver the goods when the Eastern Conference Finals begin on Sunday in Indianapolis.
Hibbert has been the NBA’s equivalent of a lucky dip at the carnival: you never know what you’re going to get when you buy your ticket on any given night.
The centre has averaged 8.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in these Playoffs, numbers elevated only slightly by glimpses of his former self during Indiana’s defeat of Washington at the last stage.
At his peak, however, he is the player Miami will fear most. Their lack of size in the middle is a glaring weakness, one which might see Greg Oden wheeled back into service in what would be a huge ask for the injury-plagued former number one pick.
Wade will be the wildcard in Game 1. He had one 28-point flurry against Brooklyn to turn back the clock but, although he averaged 21.3 against the Pacers in the regular season, the youthful legs of Lance Stephenson will surely harangue his ageing legs.
The only sure thing is that LeBron James will show up. The rest is very an unknown. With Hibbert off-form, and Wade inconsistent, trust in LeBron to guide the Heat to the first blow – with a handicap of -4.5 worth a punt at 2.23.
Euroleague Final: Real Madrid 1.14 v Maccabi Tel Aviv 6.10 (Watch LIVE on Unibet TV)
Europe’s champion will be crowned in Milan on Sunday evening and the title is heading to one of the continent’s legendary clubs.
Real Madrid were simply unstoppable on Friday in a semi-final rout of FC Barcelona in what was less El Clasico and more El Shambolico for the Catalans who sustained the largest defeat in Final Four history.
And with MVP Sergio Rodriguez, who had 21 points, and running mates Rudy Fernandez and Nikola Mirotic forming a magic trio, there’s no doubt they deserve their tag as favourites after losing out to Olympiakos in last year’s final.
Maccabi – 6.10 long shots - deserve all the plaudits for their astonishing late rally which saw the Israeli giants pip CSKA Moscow in their semi. But the men from Tel Aviv are not in the same class as Real and for all their fighting qualities, it could be another one-sided affair but look under the total points line of 153.5 at 2.14 for the best punt.
Best bet: Go over 185.5 total points in Indiana-Miami at 2.55