Miami Heat 1.51 – San Antonio Spurs 2.60 (series tied 1-1)
After stealing Game 2 of the NBA Finals, along with homecourt advantage, the Miami Heat have shortened to 1.67 to claim a third successive title with San Antonio dropping to 2.20. Don’t think for a second though that one solitary victory has knocked the Spurs to the canvas.
However the Western Conference champions must now claim at least one back on the road, starting on Tuesday in Game 3 where they’ll attempt to break the reigning champions 11-game streak on their own floor that began after they lost the opening gambit of last year’s Finals to their current foes.
There’s not a lot that San Antonio need to change from Sunday where their 98-96 reverse could have bounced the other way had they not missed four critical free throws in the fourth quarter, as well as slashing their turnovers with Miami out-scoring their rivals 14-5 off mistakes.
And the Spurs, who were 30-11 on their travels during the regular season, look a particularly enticing 2.30 to claim the first quarter advantage, given the Heat’s slow starts to date.
Miami’s hopes ever more look pinned on LeBron James, who had 35 points and ten rebounds last time out. The four-time MVP is 1.95 to score under 28.5, worth a punt when you consider his playmaking skills are the Heat’s best asset – with the odds of 1.95 on LBJ claiming over 5.5 assists providing a dynamic double.
That’s a symptom of the hosts’ backcourt weakness with Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole non-factors offensively so far. And it might only take one more Spur to come up big and exploit the numbers game to tilt the balance with the visitors available at -2.5 on the handicap at 2.90.
With the NBA Draft coming up on June 26, the Cleveland Cavaliers are working out prospective candidates to decide who to choose with the number one pick. After bombing out last year with Anthony Bennett, and with Kyrie Irving landing a maximum contract, the Cavs can’t afford to go high-risk.
That might close the door on choosing Joel Embid, despite his status at 1.62 favourite to be the first choice, with the Cameroon native flagged with a back problem. And with defence also an issue for Cleveland, it’s looking more likely they’ll plump for Andrew Wiggins, who is 2.10 for the No. 1 slot, over Jabari Parker (5.50).
Best bet: Go under 194.5 total points in Miami – San Antonio at 2.23