Matchup: San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat
Date/Time: Sunday, June 9, 8 p.m. (ET)
NBA Betting Odds: VietBet
Pointspread: Miami -5.5
Total Line: 187.5
Despite cruising to the Western Conference title with a 12-2 straight-up (10-4 against the spread) record in series victories over the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State and Memphis, the Spurs came into the NBA Finals as +195 underdogs on the series price. That all changed this past Thursday night with a stunning 92-88 victory in Game 1 of this best-of-seven series as five-point underdogs on the road. The total stayed UNDER the 194-point line and it has now stayed UNDER in six of their last 10 playoff games.
San Antonio shot just 41.7 percent from the field in Game 1 after averaging close to 47 percent in the first three series. It was outrebounded 46-37 and hit just 30.4 percent from three-point range, but the Spurs only turned the ball over four times and will all the star power that was on the court, their two All-Stars shined the brightest. Tony Parker scored a game-high 21 points but none bigger than the two he squeezed-out of an extended possession during the final minute of play to seal the win. Tim Duncan shook off the first half rust to end the night with 20 points and 14 rebounds.
Miami’s biggest star showed up to play on Thursday night with LeBron James recording a triple-double (18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists) and the rest of the Big Three of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combined for 30 points, but in the end it was not enough. Whether you want to chalk it up to poor shooting down the stretch or fatigue from an extended seven-game series in the Eastern Conference Finals, the defending champs came up short when they needed to the most.
The Heat are averaging 96.6 points a game in the postseason and shooting 47 percent from the field, but they only hit 43.6 percent of their shots in Game 1 and 32 percent from three-point range. They only turned the ball over eight times; however six of them came in the second half. Miami went 8-1 SU (6-3 ATS) in its first nine playoff games in series wins over Milwaukee and Chicago, but since then it is just 4-4 SU and 3-5 ATS. The good news for Sunday night is that the Heat have not lost two games in-a-row since early January.
Free NBA Finals Game 2 Pick
It is hard to see Miami losing two-straight at home to start this series, but grinding out a victory against a veteran team like the Spurs is never going to be easy. Look for the Heat to bounce-back with the SU win to even things up at a game apiece, but the free NBA pick for Game 2 is San Antonio and the 5.5 points.
Miami 102 San Antonio 98
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.