In the most unpredictable NBA Finals in years, the popular choice for a champion has shifted back and forth between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat. But Game Five on Sunday night may bring this series’ pivotal moment.
With teams tied at 2-2, it’s now effectively a best of three series. But with just this one last game in Texas, it’s hard to see a scenario where the Heat come out on top tonight, and then lose two in a row to the Spurs back in Florida. And on the 27 prior occasions that the Finals have been locked after four games, the winner of the next clash has gone on to claim the championship 20 times.
No team has, so far, claimed consecutive victories in these Finals. With concerns over the viability of Tony Parker’s hamstring, and the slump of Manu Ginobili, San Antonio are 2.06 to snatch a 3-2 lead with their Eastern Conference rivals at -1.85 on the handicap.
Parker will play until he drops. However he’s only averaging 10.5 points over the past two games while his Argentine cohort is putting up a mere 7.5 points per night in these series. That’s a big reason why, following their 109-93 victory on Thursday, Miami are 1.33 to retain their title with San Antonio 3.35.
Because for all the help the Spurs have had from their secondary players, it’s still their stars who will carry their hopes.
They’ve been written off before and proved everyone wrong. With home advantage, and a group that can deal with the pressure, don’t be shocked if San Antonio are packing their bags for one last trip with an advantage stashed away.
There are also odds of 1.30 that either LeBron James or Tim Duncan will be named MVP of the Finals. There’s only one other candidate imaginable in the shape of Parker, it’s worth a punt on having a new name on that trophy at 3.35 if you’re a believer in San Antonio’s cause.
Best bet: Take San Antonio to win against Miami at 2.06