NBA Finals Game 5 Betting – Series Tied 2-2

NBA Finals Game 5 Betting – Series Tied 2-2

Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs +1.5 – Total: OvUn 188

Tip-off: Sunday, June 16th, 2013 at 8:00 EDT on ABC

Odds provided by Bovada.lv

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Our betting coverage continues on the NBA Finals. We picked the San Antonio Spurs to win the title in our series preview, and we’ve been providing game picks for each game of the Finals, so far. We had a 2-1 record in three games leading into Game 4, and we improved to 3-1 with our Miami Heat +1 selection. The Heat beat the Spurs handily in Game 4, winning 109-93.

Game 4 Recap

As we predicted in our Game 4 preview, Miami’s Big 3 finally stepped up and put together solid performances to power the Heat to victory.

Dwayne Wade, bum knee and all seemed to turn back the clock in Game 4. He looked impressive from the outside, becoming the wing scorer the Heat desperately needed, gliding through the paint with ease and showing no signs of knee discomfort, something that Wade told the media had bothered him all series. Chris Bosh was effective in his own right, scoring 20 points and also grabbing his fair share of boards for the second start game. Of course, LeBron James was fantastic as well, and led the Heat in scoring with 33 point from 15 of 25 from the field.

The Spurs did not look as inspired as they had been in previous games, and while some of that may have been the Heat’s defense, it seemed like it simply was not their night offensively. They stayed with the Heat for much of the game, but failed to hit some open shots from the field and turned the ball over a series-high 18 times. Tim Duncan led San Antonio in scoring with 20 points on 6-10 shooting and added five boards.

Part of their sluggish performance might have been the health of point guard Tony Parker, who admitted he was not 100% in Game 4 and played a series-low in minutes. Parker has been the Spurs best player this year, and his health is critical to their championship aspirations. He has reported no lingering pain from his hamstring strain and but has said that it could “tear anytime.”

Our Pick:

The oddsmakers have pegged the Spurs as +1.5 underdogs after their loss at the hands of Miami in Game 4. This is a curious line, especially considering how well San Antonio has played at home in recent years. Also, while the Heat looked impressive in Game 4, does that justify the road favorite status in a series that has been mostly even so far? Time will tell, but for now it does not appear Miami’s play of late deserves the road chalk.

This turnover-prone offense of Game 4 is certainly not what the Spurs are about, nor is it what Gregg Popovich is about. I’m sure the veteran coach was seething with anger as he team continued to give the ball away. Surprisingly, despite this, the Spurs were firmly in the game until the 4th quarter. A lot of the ball handling issues may have been related to Tony Parker’s injury as the ball handling duties were handed off to others as Parker played fewer minutes.

A lot of analysts are now saying the Heat have “figured out” the Spurs and the series has now taken a turn for the worse for San Antonio. We do not think that is the case. Miami suddenly puts it all together in Game 5, and now all of a sudden it is smooth sailing for the Heat, why weren’t they capable of performances like this in Games 2 or 3? Bosh suddenly started rebounding, and Wade’s knee is magically better? We do not think so.

Barring a serious injury to Parker or the collapse of the Spurs’ defensive philosophy, we give San Antonio an excellent shot to take Game 5 and head back to Miami with a 3-2 series lead, putting the pressure back on the Heat. The Spurs will be more focused than ever, and the turnover display that we saw last game will be a distant memory.

Also, judging by the pace of the last few games, we are favoring the Over 188 in one this one, as well. Miami clearly thrives when pushing the ball in transition, but the Spurs also benefit from getting the ball up the floor quickly too. It helps them to run through their offensive options quicker and establish better shots. Both teams have been aggressive obviously, and during stretches the pace has been comparable to a track meet.

We like the San Antonio Spurs +1.5 and the Over 188 with Bovada.

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