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San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat

The San Antonio Spurs look to make it a clean sweep at home as they face Lebron James and the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the NBA finals on Sunday night. The Spurs are -4.5 point favorites over the Miami Heat.
Head to head, the Heat are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings in San Antonio while the home team is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings and the favorite is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings. The Spurs are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 home games vs. a team with a winning road record, 16-7 ATS in their last 23 NBA Championship games and 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games overall. The Heat on the other hand are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a S.U. loss and 23-9 ATS in their last 32 games following a SU loss of more than 10 points, but just 0-5 ATS in their last 5 vs. Western Conference.
The San Antonio Spurs managed to fight through the tough conditions on Thursday night to make it a perfect 6-for-6 in NBA finals Game 1s as they defeated the visiting Miami Heat 110-95 in the best of seven series. The big three once again led the way for the Spurs as Tim Duncan scored a team-high 21 points and 11 rebounds, Tony Parker added 19 points and eights assists and Many Ginobili chipped in with 16 points and 11 rebounds off the bech for a San Antonio team that shot 59 percent from the floor in their decisive Game 1 victory.
It wasn’t your typical opening finals game due to the fact that the air-conditioning stopped working after half time, which turned the AT&T Center in some-what of a sauna. The conditions got so bad that Lebron James, who scored a game-high 25 points, didn’t play in the final five minutes of the game due to cramps in his legs, which just so happened to be the time when the Spurs made their run, outscoring the visitors 36-17 in the final term.
So do you think Miami would of been victorious in Game 1 if the air-con had stayed working? The Spurs were effected by it as well, but their best player, which just also happens to be the best player on the planet, didn’t miss the most important part of the game. Who know’s what would of happened, not point speculating now.
Going against the Spurs at home is a scary proposition, but I saw enough from the Heat in Game 1 to suggest they are going to right their with San Antonio in the final minutes. The Spurs probably win, but James and company get the cover this time

Pick
Miami Heat +4.5 San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat

The NBA Finals kicks off with the San Antonio Spurs hosting the Miami Heat in Game 1. The Spurs are -3 point favorites over the Heat with an over/under point total set at 190.
I don’t know about you, but this is the matchup I’ve been waiting for since Game 7 of last season and it’s finally here. The Spurs hit the ground running this season and stormed their way through the first 82 games to earn them the top seed and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. Now, with the addition of Marco Belinelli and the improved play of Boris Diaw, Patty Mills and Manu Ginobili, the Spurs seem to be in better shape than they were at this time last season. The run to the playoffs has been tough for the Spurs but they flexed their muscle in every round and finally figured out the winning formula to beat the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. The Spurs know they only have one team left to beat, just four more games to win.
As for the Heat, it seemed like no team has ever had such an easy run to the Finals which is not too surprising given how good the Heat are and how weak the Eastern Conference was this season. After sweeping the Bobcats (now known as Hornets) in the first round and beating the Nets by 4-1 in the second, the Heat lost a couple games against the streaky Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals but never really looked threatened in their quest for a three-peat and a fourth consecutive NBA Finals appearance. We already know exactly what we’re going to get from LeBron James and the extra rest Dwyane Wade was allowed during the regular season seems to have put the Heat in good stead, but Chris Bosh and Ray Allen have been far from consistent and will need to step up against the much deeper Spurs.
In ATS trends, the Home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings and the Heat are just 2-5 ATS in the last seven meetings in San Antonio.
We’ve all heard how coach Popovich still hasn’t moved on from the Spurs’ heartbreaking Game 6 loss against the Heat last season and I’m sure that feeling is mutual throughout the camp. Given that Tony Parker is also confirmed to start in Game 1, I’m leaning towards the Spurs to draw first blood and carry on with their strong form at home.

Pick
San Antonio Spurs -3 Miami Heat

Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers

The Miami Heat look to close out the Indiana Pacers and advance to the NBA Finals tonight. The Heat are -7 point favorites over Pacers with an over/under point total set at 183.5.
With their backs against the wall, the Indiana Pacers were able to stave off elimination with a hard-fought 93-90 win over the Miami Heat in Game 5. Defensively, the Pacers did a great job of getting LeBron James into foul trouble early on and keeping the Heat off the charity stripe, but it would have all been for nothing if Paul George didn’t exploded for 21 points in the fourth quarter to finish with 37 points for the game. David West added 19 points, Roy Hibbert added 10 points and 13 rebounds and Lance Stephenson added 12 points to round out the scorers.
As for the Heat, Chris Bosh led the way with 20 points while Dwyane Wade and Rashard Lewis added 18 points apiece, but the big story was that LeBron has held to a career playoff-low seven points while playing just 24 minutes. The absence of LeBron didn’t hurt too much in the first half, but it really put the Heat in a hole in the pivotal third quarter where the Pacers outscored them by 31-15. Despite the loss, the Heat can take plenty of encouragement from the fact that they were still in with a chance to win despite playing without their leader, but the loss does break a streak of eight straight Game 5′s that Miami has won when up 3-1.
In ATS trends, the Pacers are only 2-5 ATS in the last seven meetings and 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings in Miami.
The stars had to align for the Pacers in Game 5 and the Heat still almost came out on top. With the Heat looking to avoid a dangerous Game 7 on the road, I have no doubt that they’ll bounce back and finish off these pesky Pacers tonight.

Pick
Miami Heat -7 Indiana Pacers

Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers

The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers will square off for game two of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday night. The Heat are -2.5 point favorites over the Pacers with an over/under point total set at 184.
Despite shooting 51.3 percent from the field and getting 27 points from Dwyane Wade, the Heat lost their second playoff game of the season, 107-96. Both playoff losses have come when the Heat have allowed more than 100 points, and they’ve actually lost eight straight when allowing triple digits. The Heat shot just 26.1 percent from downtown and allowed the Pacers offense to knockdown 51.5 percent from the field. In the Heat’s last five games, they’re averaging 95.6 points on 48.6 percent shooting and allowing 96.6 points on 47.3 percent shooting. Chris Bosh continues to disappear against the Pacers, as he’s scored no more than 10 points in three of the five games against them this season. The Miami Heat are 43-47-2 ATS overall and 22-23-1 ATS on the road.
The Pacers played their best game of the playoffs by getting all five of their starters to score in the double figures and making 42.1 percent from beyond the arc. It doesn’t happen often, but the Pacers are 17-0 SU in their last 17 games when scoring 100 or more points. In the Pacers last five games, they’re averaging 91.8 points on 45.6 percent shooting and allowing 86.6 points on 44 percent shooting. Lance Stephenson has shot above 60 percent from the field in his last two games, and David West has scored 18 or more points in three of the five games against the Heat this season. Still, a concern for the Pacers is that they’re getting just 15.1 point from their bench in their last five games. The Indiana Pacers are 46-49-1 ATS overall and 24-24-1 ATS at home.
The Heat are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games following a SU loss of more than 10 points and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. The Pacers are 18-37-1 ATS in their last 56 games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference. The Heat are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Indiana.
The Pacers played their best game of the playoffs in game one and as you’ve seen throughout the playoffs, you can’t expect that to happen again with this team. Miami won’t miss as many threes, the defense will be better and the Heat will cover the small chalk and tie this series up.

Pick
Miami Heat -2.5 Indiana Pacers

Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami Heat

The Brooklyn Nets will be playing to stay alive against the Miami Heat in Game 5 tonight. The Heat are -7 point favorites over the Nets with an over/under point total set at 186.
With Miami coming off their first loss of the playoffs, LeBron James knew he needed to take on even more of the scoring load for his team so he decided to pour in 49 points on 16 of 24 shooting. Dwyane Wade had 15 points while Chris Bosh added 12, but this night was all about James and his ability get to the paint where he either scored or got to the charity stripe. Defensively, the Heat made an extra effort to sprint out to the Nets’ three-point shooters and it paid off big, as the Nets shot just 5 for 22 after shooting 15 of 25 in Game 3.
Speaking of the Nets, Joe Johnson led five players in double figures with 18 points while Paul Pierce added 16, but the Nets were reluctant to double LeBron despite his hot shooting and the ploy lead to players the Nets falling into early foul trouble. On the bright side, you can look at the strategy as somewhat of a moral victory because even with LeBron’s playoff-best night, the Nets were always within striking distance and even had the chance to take the lead with just 1:15 left in the game but it just wasn’t meant to be.
In ATS trends, the Nets are just 2-5 ATS in the last seven meetings in Miami and the Under is 6-1 in the last seven overall.
As dominant as LeBron was in Game 4, the Nets were always in the game and will still be confident they can upset the Heat. I can’t see the Nets keeping their season alive with past this game, but I can definitely see them getting pretty close so I’ll take them with the points here.
Pick
Brooklyn Nets +7 Miami Heat

Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami Heat

The Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets will play game four of the NBA playoffs on Monday night. The Heat lead the series 2-1. The Heat are -2.5 point favorites over the Nets with an over/under point total set at 187.5.
The Heat lost game three by allowing the Nets to knockdown 15 threes and shoot 52.8 percent from the field. LeBron James led the way with 28 points, but no Heat player besides the ‘Big Three’ scored in double figures. The 104-90 loss was the first time during the playoffs the Heat have allowed more than 100 points. The Heat are 0-7 SU in their last seven games when allowing 100-plus points. In the Heat’s last five games, they’re averaging 99.6 points on 48.9 percent shooting and allowing 91 points on 46.9 percent shooting. The Heat are also allowing teams to shoot 40.5 percent from beyond the arc during this stretch. The Miami Heat are 42-45-2 ATS overall and 21-22-1 ATS on the road.
The Nets had six players score in the double figures in the game three win, and Mirza Teletovic made four of seven three-ball attempts. Teletovic is shooting 57.9 percent from three in this series, while Joe Johnson is shooting 57.1 percent from the field. The Nets improve to 8-2 SU when scoring more than 100 points in their last 10 games. In the Nets last five games, they’re averaging 94.6 points on 46.8 percent shooting and allowing 95.4 points on 47.5 percent shooting. The shooting performance in game three shouldn’t be a huge surprise, as the Nets are shooting 38.9 percent from beyond the arc at home this season. The Brooklyn Nets are 47-44-1 ATS overall and 26-19 ATS at home.
The Heat are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Nets are 15-6 ATS in their last 21 home games and 23-10 ATS in their last 33 games playing on 1 days rest. The Heat are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Brooklyn.
The Nets had their shooting performance of their life. Now that it’s out of the way, it’s time to get back on the Heat bandwagon. The Heat are still clearly the better team in this matchup and will make sure to end this series in five so another trip to Brooklyn isn’t a possiblity.

Pick
Miami Heat -2.5 Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami Heat

Lebron James and the Miami Heat square off against the Brooklyn Nets in Game 2 from South Beach on Thursday night. The Heat are -8 point favorites over the Nets with an over/under point total set at 192.
Head to head, the Nets are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings while the home team is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings and the underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings. The Heat are 22-8-1 ATS in their last 31 Conference Semifinals games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall, but just 8-20-1 ATS in their last 29 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400. The Nets on the other hand are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games following a S.U. loss, 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600 and 13-3-1 ATS in their last 17 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
Behind an even spread of scorers, the Miami Heat easily dispatched the visiting Brooklyn Nets in Game 1 on Tuesday night, running away with a comfortable 107-86 victory. LeBron James led the way with 22 points while Ray Allen added 19 off the bench for a Miami team ran away with things in second half, outscoring the visitors by 18-points over the last two quarters. For the Nets, only three players finished the contest in double-digits, with Deron Williams and Joe Johnson both scoring 17 points apiece while old timers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett adding a combined eight points on just 3-10 shooting.
Strangely enough, Miami’s win on Tuesday night snapped a four-game losing streak to Brooklyn as they swept the regular season series. The Nets also covered the spread in those four meetings and three of those were decided by just one point, with the other contest going into overtime. Playoff basketball is indeed different to that of the regular season, but Brooklyn can surely draw some confidence from those meetings and not get to hung up about their 21-point loss in Game 1.
Despite what happened in Game 1, eight points in simply too much to be giving this veteran Nets squad and it wouldn’t shock me at all to see them win this one straight up. I’m not saying that’s going to happen, but I expect a much better performance out of Brooklyn tonight. Given the fact that the Heat struggled to put away Charlotte in Game 2 in the last round and that every single one of the four regular season meetings with the Nets was a thriller, taking the points seems like the way to go in this one.

Pick
Brooklyn Nets +8 Miami Heat

Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers

The Miami heat and the Philadelphia 76ers meet as they close out their 2013-2014 NBA regular season schedules. The Heat are -10 point favorites over the 76ers with an over/under point total set at 204.
The Miami Heat have locked down the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and this game has no bearing on anything for them. While the Heat are two time defending NBA Champions it is doubtful we will see LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh nor any of the other stars who are an integral part of this team. The heat rested their starters last game as well to take the loss that sealed their playoff position. Facing a 76ers team that was one of the worst in the NBA, it would do the Heat little good to play their best players as the rest will do them much more good than the win.
The Philadelphia 76ers have had a season to forget and as soon as the final buzzer sounds the Sixers will be happy this season is history. The 76ers have the second worst record in the NBA and will have the second best chance at the top pick in the NBA draft but no matter where they end up, no worse than fifth, they should be able to pick up some real quality talent. The 76ers are just 8-32 on the road this season going 3-7 in their last 10. While Philadelphia has little to play for look for them to give this one all they have.
Miami is 7-3 against the spread against the Eastern Conference, 1-4 against the spread in their last five games, and 4-1 against the spread against a team with a losing record. Philadelphia is 5-1 against the spread in their last six games, 4-1 against the spread in their last five road games, and 4-11 against the spread against the NBA Southeast.
I believe the Heat should win this easily as they use this game as preparation for the playoffs.

Pick
Miami Heat -10 Philadelphia 76ers

Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks

LeBron James and the Miami Heat will be looking to stay hot when they welcome the New York Knicks to town. The Heat are -11 point favorites over the Knicks with an over/under point total set at 194.
The Knicks have lost nine of their last 11 games and will be hoping to avoid a fourth straight loss after falling to the Mavericks by 110-108 on Monday. Carmelo Anthony carried the Knicks with seven three pointers on his way to a game-high 44 points, but all his hard work came undone in the last second of the game when Dirk Nowitzki drained the game-winning buzzer beater to send the Knicks to 21-36 on the season and 12-19 at home. Unfortunately, things went from bad to worse shortly after the game as Raymond Felton was arrested on felony gun charges which means he could possibly face some time in prison, but for now, he is expected to suit up for tonight’s game.
On the other hand, the Heat have won 11 of their last 13 games and will be looking to build on a five-game win streak after cruising past the Bulls by 93-79 on Sunday despite LeBron James sitting out the game with a broken nose. Chris Bosh led the scoring with four three pointers on his way to 28 points while Dwyane Wade stuffed the stat sheet with 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Interestingly, Greg Oden replaced James in the starting lineup for his first NBA start since December 2009 but played just 13 minutes as he continues to work himself into shape. With the win, Miami improved to 40-14 on the season, just two games behind Indiana for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
In ATS trends, the Knicks are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games against a team with a winning record and 2-6 ATS in their last eight road games, while the Heat are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games overall and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games.
Head to head, the road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings and the Under is 13-4-1 in the last 18 meetings.
I think the Knicks keep it close and cover the spread but do not win.

Pick
Miami Heat -11 New York Knicks

Phoenix Suns vs. Miami Heat

Lebron James and the Miami Heat travels to Phoenix to face the surprising Suns on Tuesday night. The Heat are -4 point favorites over the Suns with an over/under point total set at 208.5.
Head to head, the Heat are 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings and 5-0 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Phoenix while the favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings. The Suns are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record, 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Heat on the other hand are 19-8 ATS in their last 27 games following a S.U. loss, but just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games playing on 2 days rest and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. NBA Pacific.
Coming off a surprising loss to the Utah Jazz in their last outing, Lebron James and the reigning champion Miami Heat will be looking to bounce back against this surprising Phoenix Suns team, but it won’t be easy. Phoenix, who has been a feel good story so far this season, currently sits in sixth position in a stacked Western Conference, ahead of teams like Dallas, Memphis, Denver and Golden State, who they defeated in their last game on Saturday night 122-109. More importantly, for us bettors, the Suns have been one of the premier teams in that respect, covering the spread in 33 of their 50 game so far this season, a super impressive number for a team that was expected to finish at the bottom of the West before the season started.
The Heat always tend to struggle in Utah and that was again the case on Saturday night as they mustered up just 89 points as they struggled to from distance the entire game, making just seven of their 23 three-point attempts. Lebron James, the leagues second-leading scorer, was held to just 13 points on 4-13 shooting while is counter part on the other side, Marvin Williams, scored a game-high 23 points on 9-15 shooting. It was strange to see Miami struggle to score against one of the worst defensive teams in the league, especially considering they poured in 116 big ones in their previous outing against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Given that nearly every Suns home game this season has been a shootout, the over looks like a really solid play here. It’s no surprise that the over is 15-5-1 in their last 21 games at US Airways Center. While the Heat struggled shooting the ball in their last outing, that was a one off more than anything else as they had averaged a shade under 106 points in their previous nine outings. I see another shootout coming tonight.

Pick
Over 208.5

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Bobby C Sports Columnist