San Antonio Spurs 1.40 Miami Heat 3.00 (Spurs lead 3-1)
It’s win or go off on vacation for the Miami Heat on Sunday but do they have any hope of halting the seemingly unconquerable San Antonio Spurs and prolonging the NBA Finals beyond Game 5?
The answer, of course, is yes. But they’ll have to raise their level several notches beyond the last two meetings on their own floor when they were dismantled in every department by the league’s pass masters.
The Heat’s defence, normally so assured, has been so shredded that San Antonio have out-scored them by 197 points already. A win by nine, available at 2.43, would be the biggest margin in league history, overtaking the 1987 Lakers.
Victors of Games 3 and 4 by an average of 20, the Spurs have the comfort of history behind them now with no side ever coughing up a 3-1 advantage in the Finals. The reigning champions are 10.00 to become the first to make the mother of all comebacks yet the manner in which they were booed off the court in Florida reflects a consensus that this clash is all but over.
Dwyane Wade has notched 16.3 points per game in this series, Chris Bosh a mere 14.3 and we’ve received irrefutable proof that even the super-human LeBron James cannot secure victories by himself.
That’s not a problem for the hosts, for whom Tony Parker is their leading scorer this post-season with 17.5 per night. Their supporting cast has been outstanding with Boris Diaw, at 12.50, now shorter odds for MVP than James at 13.00.
Since joining Miami, James has put up 35 points and nine rebounds in elimination games with the Heat losing just once. That came to Dallas in the 2011 NBA Finals, when defeat sent the championship to Texas.
History, unless there is a drastic drop from San Antonio, should repeat itself.
Best bet: Go over 200.5 total points in San Antonio – Miami at 2.40