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NBA Betting News and Notes Sunday 6/17

NBA Betting News and Notes Sunday 6/17

Thunder at Heat Game 3: What Bettors Need to Know

Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat (-4, 193.5)

Series tied 1-1

THE STORY: The NBA Finals shift to South Beach as the Miami Heat entertain the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 3 on Sunday night. The Heat escaped with a split if the opening two games in Oklahoma City, fending off the Thunder 100-94 after nearly squandering a 13-point advantage. Miami would like to prevent a return trip to the Midwest, but in order to do so it will need to find a way to stop Thunder superstar Kevin Durant from dominating the fourth quarter.

LINE: Miami opened as low as -3.5 and has been bet up as high as -4.5 at some markets. The total opened at 194 and has come down to 193.5.

ABOUT THE THUNDER: Oklahoma City couldn't atone for its early struggles in Game 2, falling behind 18-2 in the first quarter and never quite catching up the rest of the way. "We can't go down that much, especially at home," Durant told reporters afterward. "We've got to correct it." Durant was sensational in defeat, pouring in 32 points, while Russell Westbrook added his second consecutive 27-point effort. Thursday's defeat was the first at home for the Thunder in the postseason, and they now must find a way to earn at least one win in Miami to being the series back to Oklahoma City.

ABOUT THE HEAT: Three quarters of sublime basketball almost wasn't enough for the Heat to earn a series split. "We had played too well in the first 36 minutes to try to let this one slip away from us," said James, who equaled Durant with 32 points in the win. "We just wanted to make one more, two more plays than they made and come out with a victory and we were able to do that." Chris Bosh returned to the starting lineup and was largely effective, pouring in 16 points and adding 15 rebounds - eight on the offensive end. Inside scoring was the key, with Miami outscoring Oklahoma City 46-32 from inside 10 feet.


* Thunder are 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings in Miami.
* Under is 3-1-1 in the last five meetings.
* Road team is 12-4 ATS in the last 16 meetings.


1. Durant has scored a combined 33 points in the fourth quarter of Games 1 and 2.

2. Oklahoma City has trailed by double digits in each of their last three games.

3. James' only 30-point performances in Finals games have come in the first two games of this series.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Sunday 6/17

Game 3, Thunder at Heat
By Chris David

The NBA Finals will resume Sunday as Miami and Oklahoma City will square off in a pivotal Game 3. The winner of this matchup will take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Heat held off the Thunder on Thursday and squeaked away with a 100-96 victory in Game 2 to even up the series. Oklahoma City had an opportunity to tie the game late but Kevin Durant’s jumper came up short and LeBron James sealed the victory with two free throws.

Some pundits believed Durant was fouled by James and he clearly was when you saw the replay but he still had a clean look and surprisingly it didn’t connect. James finished with 32 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the win, plus he was a perfect 12-of-12 from the free throw line. Miami hasn’t been a great free throw shooting team (73%) in the playoffs but they knocked down 22-of-25 (88%) shots in Game 2.

The Thunder couldn’t buy a shot early in Game 2, missing 11 of their first 12 shots in the first quarter. Seven minutes into the game, OKC only had two points on the board. After finishing the first with 15 points, the offense closed with 28, 24 and 29 but for the second straight game, they put themselves in a bad spot. OKC shot 43 percent from the field and just 34 percent (9-of-26) from 3-point land. Also, they were just 73 percent (19-of-26) from the free throw line, which is poor when you look at their playoff average (83%).

Miami has received great production from Shane Battier in the finals.     
Miami has received great production from Shane Battier in the finals. (Getty Images)     

OKC point guard Russell Westbrook took some heat again, for taking 26 shots and making 10 but when Durant is on the bench with five fouls, somebody has to take over and he did. After scoring just five points in Game 1, James Harden rebounded with 21 on Thursday and kept his team in the game during the first-half drought.

Westbrook and Harden’s production for OKC were countered with Miami’s output from Dwyane Wade (24 points) and Chris Bosh (16 points, 15 rebounds). The advantage in Game 2 for the Heat was their role players, in particular Shane Battier. The forward scored 17 points for the second straight game in the finals and is looking more like the player that stood out at Duke instead of a 33-year old veteran.

Most sportsbooks opened Miami as a four-point favorite for Game 3 and the number has held steady the past two days. The Heat did their job by earning the road split and that’s not an easy task according to expert Kevin Rogers.

He said, “Since 2005, this is only the third NBA Finals to be tied at one game apiece heading into Game 3 and it hasn’t been a good thing for team hosting Game 3. In the previous two instances, the road team has stolen Game 3, including Miami (2011) and Los Angeles (2010), as the Heat won at Dallas last June, 88-86 as 2 1/2-point underdogs.”

For those who forgot, Miami blew a huge lead at home in Game 2 of last year’s NBA Finals and the Mavericks earned the improbable road split. A lot of gamblers and experts wrote off the Heat in last year’s finals but they answered the bell, as Rogers mentioned above. Can Oklahoma City do the same thing?

Rogers dug up some solid trends on the Heat at home. “The Heat returns to South Florida owning a 24-6 straight up and 15-15 against the spread record at home off a win. Plus, Miami is 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS in the playoffs in this situation,” explained Rogers.

Miami has gone 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS at home in the playoffs and the majority of the eight wins was never in doubt, seven coming by nine points or more and the other by four. Also, the Heat went 8-1 SU and 7-2 ATS at home during the regular season versus the Western Conference, which includes a 98-93 win over OKC on Apr. 4 as three-point favorites.

Before you run to the counter or log into your account and back the Heat, be aware that the Thunder has been a tough team to fade on the road. Rogers argues that taking the points in Game 3 might be a sound investment. “Oklahoma City has done a solid job of bouncing back on the road off a loss, compiling a 7-3 record, both SU and ATS. However, one of those defeats came in Game 2 at San Antonio in the conference finals. The Thunder is 3-1-1 ATS in the postseason as a road underdog, but OKC has won only two of those five contests,” noted Rogers.

Overall, OKC has gone 4-3 SU and 5-1-1 ATS on the road in this year’s playoffs. Two of the three losses came by three points and the other by nine.

When you look at the home and away tendencies for both the Heat and Thunder, you should be scratching your head because you can easily argue for either side in Game 3.
Rather than beat yourself up over choosing a side, make yourself aware of other wagering options for Sunday. For instance, the team totals look real doable. Oklahoma City is sitting at 94½ points and it’s scored 95 or more in every playoff game on the road, plus it just put up 96 points in Game 2 and that was with a 15-point first quarter. Miami’s total is 98 ½ points and it has eclipsed that number in six of its 10 postseason games at home. If you do like the Heat, make a note that they’ve gone 9-0 in the playoffs when they break triple digits and more importantly, they’re 8-1 ATS in those games.

The two biggest proposition wagers receiving action at are based on the best two players, LeBron James and Kevin Durant. For Game 3, you can bet ‘over’ or ‘under’ on each of their total points, rebounds and assists. Durant has a number of 40.5 and James is listed at 45. In the first two games, KD combined for 48 and 36, while LeBron totaled 43 and 45.

The ‘over/under’ for Game 2 opened as high as 195 but is now hovering between 193 and 194 points and most shops. Game 1 barely jumped ‘over’ and most total bettors got a push in Game 2, both numbers were helped by late shots, in particular free throws. Miami has seen the ‘over’ go 6-4 at home in the playoffs, while OKC has watched the ‘over’ produce a 5-2 mark in its seven road affairs.

Bettors following the adjusted series price have watched the odds move like a roller coaster so far. Prior to Game 1, Oklahoma City was a minus-165 series favorite (Bet $165 to win $100) over Miami and that number jumped to minus-280 (Bet $280 to win $100) after the victory in Game 1. Bettors could’ve taken the Heat as plus-260 underdogs (Bet $100 to $260) heading into the second battle. Now that the series is tied, Miami has been listed as a short favorite (-115) but that will obviously change after Sunday’s results.

ABC will provide coverage for tonight’s battle, which is expected to start at 8:05 p.m. ET.

Game 4 is scheduled for Tuesday and Game 5 is set for Thursday, both games played from American Airlines Arena. Make a note that since the NBA switched to a 2-3-2 format in the finals, only five teams have swept the middle three games and only two clubs accomplished the feat at home, one of them being Miami during its 2006 championship run.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Sunday 6/17

Thunder at Heat Preview

The Miami Heat is back in the NBA finals for a second consecutive season. Unfortunately for basketball fans in South Beach, their team is once again at risk of coming up short on the biggest stage of them all. The Heat will press the reset button before stepping out on their home court in Miami Sunday for game three against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the first of the series in front of their home fans. There is an old sports bet saying that reads, “nothing has happened in a series until a team loses at home”, and if the Heat are going to have any chance at coming out on top in the NBA finals this time around, they will have to defend their home court.

The Thunder come in to this game with a ton of confidence, and no pressure knowing that as long as they take care of business on their own home court they will be just fine. Three-time defending scoring champion Kevin Durant has taken his game to an entirely different level so far in these playoffs, and he has gotten a ton of support from his surrounding cast along the way.

Betting Preview: Oklahoma City Thunder

While Lebron James was already named MVP of the regular season, there is no doubt about who the MVP of the playoffs has been, with Durant executing at the highest level on the biggest stage of them all. Unlike with Lebron over the years, there seems to be no doubt about Durant’s ability to execute after he hit game-winning shots in each of the first two rounds of the playoffs, and then provided one of the most dominant fourth quarters in NBA playoff history against the San Antonio Spurs in the Western conference finals. Russell Westbrook has cut down on his bad decisions, James Harden has emerged as a potential starter, and the Thunder are playing excellent basketball at both ends of the floor, leaving little about the team to criticize.

Betting Preview: Miami Heat

Regardless of how incredible Lebron plays, Miami will need more from the other two-thirds of its Big Three to have any chance at coming back in this series. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh struggled mightily in game one, but they won’t have a choice but to play at an elite level or basically concede the series as they attempt to defend their home turf. Miami’s Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers have been better than expected this time around, and unlike a year ago it is now the Big Three that is getting all of the negative attention, as James, Wade, and Bosh look to find a way to deal with all of Oklahoma City’s weapons.

Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick
The pressure that the Heat have to be facing heading back to Miami cannot be overstated, as consecutive losses in the NBA finals would be absolutely devastating after all of the hype the team attracted when the Big Three first assembled two summers ago. Lebron showed in game six of the East finals that he has the ability to completely take over a game, but it will take that effort and more from both Wade and Bosh to wrestle even one betting sites win away from Oklahoma City, and get back in the series.

Pick: Miami Heat

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Sunday 6/17

NBA Preview

Oklahoma City (1-1) @ Miami -- Not sure how to organize this, so I'll go with individual notes........

-- Miami led Game 1 by 18, led 16-2 in Game 2, so Thunder has a really serious problem as far as preparation and being ready to play physical ball right from opening tip. This is their #1 problem heading to Miami.

-- Thunder bench dominated even in Game 2 loss; they're now +51 in 145 minutes on floor, while Miami bench is -37 in 82 minutes.

-- Thunder's FG% went down, from 51.9% in Game 1, to 43% in second game, which is normal; problem is, Miami's went up from 46.2% up to 47.4%- they took five less 3's and seven more foul shots.

-- Miami is 14-33 from arc in two games; Battier is 9-13, rest of squad is 5-20. The man guarding Battier has to help less on defense.

-- Sefolosha/Ibaka/Perkins, OC's"Little 3" starters, went just 4-15 from floor in Game 2, after going 9-17 in Game 1. Harden had five points; he is a critical player for Oklahoma City.

-- Thunder is 4-3 on road in playoffs; Miami is 8-2 at home. Heat is 5-2 vs spread in game following a win in same series.

-- Notice that Miami had 54-55 points at halftime in two games; this has to be lower if the Thunder is going to win a road game in this series.

-- Over is now 6-1-1 in last eight Miami games.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Sunday 6/17

OKLAHOMA CITY (60 - 23) at MIAMI (59 - 27)

Top Trends for this game.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 46-36 ATS (+6.4 Units) in all games this season.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 84-59 ATS (+19.1 Units) as an underdog since 1996.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 50-37 ATS (+9.3 Units) in road games over the last 2 seasons.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 20-8 ATS (+11.2 Units) in a road game where where the total is between 190 and 194.5 points over the last 3 seasons.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 14-6 ATS (+7.4 Units) in non-conference games this season.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 14-6 ATS (+7.4 Units) revenging a loss vs opponent this season.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 12-4 ATS (+7.6 Units) off a upset loss as a favorite this season.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 17-5 ATS (+11.5 Units) in road games after playing 3 consecutive home games since 1996.
OKLAHOMA CITY is 48-31 ATS (+13.9 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons.
MIAMI is 1-9 ATS (-8.9 Units) in home games when playing with 2 days rest over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
OKLAHOMA CITY is 5-3 against the spread versus MIAMI over the last 3 seasons
OKLAHOMA CITY is 5-3 straight up against MIAMI over the last 3 seasons
4 of 8 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


The total has gone OVER in 5 of Oklahoma City's last 6 games on the road
Oklahoma City is 5-1-1 ATS in its last 7 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Miami's last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Miami's last 12 games when playing at home against Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City at Miami
Oklahoma City: 14-6 ATS playing with revenge
Miami: 1-9 ATS at home playing with two days rest

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