NBA Finals Betting News and Notes

NBA Finals Betting News and Notes

NBA Finals Betting Angles
By Marc Lawrence
VegasInsider.com

With the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs set to meet in the 2013 NBA Finals, let’s look at four solid Championship Round betting theories outlined below from our powerful database, along with some tantalizing team trends and an incredible stat.

All results are ATS since 1991 unless noted otherwise.

Home On The Road

Life may be cozy at home, but the money can be found on the road.
   
Our database finds visiting teams are moneymakers in the championship round, cashing 55% of the time, going 65-54-3 ATS.

Better yet, put them in a game with the Over/Under total is 181 or higher and they improve to a 61% winning proposition, going 54-34-1 ATS.

Put these same teams on the road in games with a total of 181 or more off a SU and ATS loss and they ratchet all the way up to 22-8 ATS, or a 73% ATS spread beater.

Return To Earth

Defense rules in the championship round.

That’s confirmed by the fact that teams who score less than 90 points in a game in this round are just 31-74 SU and 33-70-2 ATS.

When teams manage to score an inordinate amount of points in any one game, they return to the earth faster than a free-falling spaceship.

That’s validated by the fact that teams who score 110 or more points in a championship round showdown are just 6-9 SU and 5-10 ATS in their next contest.

Dress these same teams up as favorites after igniting the scoreboard and they short-circuit, going 1-8 ATS.

Meaningful Revenge

Speaking of returning to earth, teams in this round that had the rug pulled out from underneath them the previous game (lost straight up as a favorite) tend to right them selves in a hurry.

That’s confirmed by a rock-solid 22-12 SU and 18-14-2 ATS mark in games after being upset, including 12-4 ATS when they take to the road off the applecart loss.

Best of all, when road teams where upset as a favorite and managed to stay within 20 or more points to the spread, they are 11-1 ATS in these payback affairs.

Zigzagging

While the famed ‘Zig-Zag’ theory has unraveled the last 10 years in the playoffs, it still works in this round… if you work it right.

To do so you want to play on a ‘dog off one loss exact in the championship round, as they are 25-17 ATS.

Teams taking 5.5 or more points in this role increase to 13-5 ATS, including 10-1 ATS if they own a win percentage of .647 or more.

Championship Round Team Trends

In this round, Miami is…

-- 10-7 SU and 8-8-1 ATS since 2006.

-- 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS in games with an Over/Under total of 189 or more points

-- 2-5 SU and 1-5-1 ATS in games with an Over/Under total of less than 189 points.

-- 0-3 SU and 0-2-1 ATS in games in which they fail to score 88 points.

-- 1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS off a win of more than 6 points.

-- 4-5 SU and 3-6 ATS versus an opponent off a win.

In this round, San Antonio is…

-- 16-6 SU and 15-7 ATS since 1999, most recently defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers (and LeBron James) in a four-game sweep in 2007.

-- 8-0 SU and ATS in games in which they score 88 or more points.

-- 7-0 ATS as a favorite of 6 or more points.

-- 4-0 SU and ATS in Game One (all as a host).

-- 9-1 SU and ATS versus an opponent off a win.

-- 7-2 SU and 8-1 ATS with two or more days of rest.

Incredible Stat

San Antonio is 16-2 SU in all games when playing with 5 or more days of rest since 2004.

There you have it.  Four time tested Championship Round theories, terrific team trends and an eye-opening stat.  Play accordingly and, like the eventual champions, you too shall rule.

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Re: NBA Finals Betting News and Notes

NBA Finals Series Betting Preview: Heat vs. Spurs
By Covers.com

The NBA Playoffs are down to two teams, the defending champion Miami Heat and the veteran-heavy San Antonio Spurs. This is the third straight NBA Finals appearance for the Heat and the Spurs’ fourth trip to the finals in the last 11 seasons.

Here’s a look at how these teams stack up and their odds to win the NBA Championship heading into Game 1 Thursday.

No. 1 Miami Heat vs. No. 2 San Antonio Spurs

Season series: Miami 2-0, 1-1 ATS, 1-1 O/U
Series prices: Miami -220, San Antonio +190
Postseason record: Miami 12-4 SU, 9-7 ATS, 7-7-2 O/U, San Antonio 12-2 SU, 10-4 ATS, 7-7 O/U

Why bet the Spurs:
San Antonio has been off for nine full days since sweeping Memphis in the Western Conference finals. For most teams, that layoff would disrupt momentum but the Spurs have proven mentally strong during extended breaks, going 8-1 SU and 6-3 ATS when playing on three or more days rest this season. The Spurs don’t have a true 7-footer inside like Indiana’s Roy Hibbert but they are tough in the paint, with Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter going up against a smaller Miami frontcourt. San Antonio can quickly adapt to any pace and Gregg Popovich has had ample time to cook up a plan for slowing down LeBron & Co.

Why bet the Heat: LeBron. The reigning MVP is approaching Jordan status as the ultimate trump card when it comes to arguing which team will win. San Antonio will throw Kawhi Leonard at James, who scored 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting in his lone game vs. the Spurs this season (missed the other due to injury), but there is no stopping LeBron. Not to mention, there’s still a chip on James’ shoulder from a 2007 finals sweep to San Antonio while with the Cavs. Dwyane Wade scored 21 points in the finale with Indiana, his playoff high. If he’s awakening from his postseason slumber, the Heat could burn San Antonio when it doubles up on James.

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NBA Finals… An Old Man’s Game                     
By Jim Feist 
Playbook.com

Heat/Spurs! Lebron versus Duncan! The last two years were supposed to be the year the kids stepped up in Miami and Oklahoma City and start a new era in the NBA Finals. Well, Miami came close in 2011, carving out a 2-1 series lead before collapsing, but it was those old fogies in Dallas who came away with the title - another veteran team winning the whole thing. Last year Oklahoma City stepped into that role, winning Game 1 of the FinalsÖthen the more experienced Heat smoked them the next four games to win LeBron's first title.

The truth is, veteran NBA teams have been on a roll. The Spurs won it all in 2007, the Celtics in 2008, the Lakers in 2009-10, the old Mavericks in a surprising 2011 run before Dwyane Wade grabbed his second ring alongside LeBron. King James is now 28 and a 10-year NBA veteran. So much for the youth movement in the Finals!

Last year the young Thunder certainly looked lost and overwhelmed as the Heat ran circles around them. While the NBA is more of an athletic game, primed for young legs, the experience of the 2011 Mavericks and 2012 Heat certainly helped them.

At some point age can work against a team, breaking down from injuries like the Celtics and Lakers. This postseason the Final Four found a pair of young teams (Grizzlies, Pacers) against the veterans (Spurs, Heat). The Spurs copied the Celtics strategy the last few years by taking the final month of the regular season off to get healthy.

There really haven't been many youthful teams winning the NBA title lately. The Celtics and Lakers were veteran teams that clashed in the Finals in 2008 and 2010. The experienced Lakers topped the young Orlando Magic in 2009, blowing out the kids in Game 1, 100-75. Prior to that veteran teams like the Spurs, Pistons and 2006 Miami Heat won titles.

Ahh, the Miami Heat. They really aren't that youthful, with LeBron James the only kid at age 28. He's also been in the NBA Finals in 2007 with Cleveland. Wade (age 31) already has a ring with the 2006 Heat, a veteran team that also had Shaq, Antoine Walker and Gary Payton.

One thing that stands out with the NBA's Final Four of 2013 is defense, something that is always valuable this time of the year. The Grizzlies were No. 1 during the regular season in points allowed, the Spurs 11th, the Heat ranked 5th while the Pacers were tops in the NBA in field goal shooting defense from the field AND from three-point land.

This shouldn't surprise. A year ago Miami was 4th in the NBA in points allowed and 5th in field goal shooting defense. Two years ago they were sixth in points allowed during the regular season, eventual champion Dallas was 10th; Miami was second in field goal defense (.434%), while Dallas was 8th (.450%).

The Western Conference Finals the last two years have been a terrific clash of Youth vs. Experience. Last year Oklahoma City had 23-year old 6-10 Kevin Durant (27.9 ppg, 8 rpg), 23-year old Russell Westbrook (23.7 ppg), 22-year old James Harden, Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka.

Memphis this season had 28-year old Marc Gasol and 25-year old Mike Conley leading the way, teamed with a pair of 31-year olds (Zach Randolph and Tony Allen). Their opponent each time was San Antonio, the NBA version of Methuselah: 37-year old Tim Duncan (17.8 ppg, 9.9 rpg), 35-year old Manu Ginobili (11.8 ppg) and 30-year old Tony Parker (20.3 ppg). All battled injuries much of the year. Although the Spurs rely heavily on their deep bench, which led the league in scoring for the fourth straight season, with Danny Green (10.5 ppg), Stephen Jackson, and role players in 7-foot Matt Bonner, 6-11 Tiago Splitter, Kawhi Leonard and Gary Neal.

So how did San Antonio do against the Best of the East? They lost at Miami (105-100) and at home (88-86), and won at Indiana (104-97) and at home over the Pacers (101-79). Don't read too much into the two games against Miami, as the Spurs rested 4 starters in the first meeting and Miami was without LeBron, Wade and Mario Chalmers (all out with injuries) in the rematch. Some trends to keep in mind: The Spurs are 8-17 ATS against a team with a winning percentage above .600 and 6-14 ATS playing on one day's rest. The Heat is 17-5 ATS on the road against a team with a winning home record. And for totals players the under is 12-3 for San Antonio on the road, Miami is 9-1-1 over the total on one day's rest. Let the games begin!

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Re: NBA Finals Betting News and Notes

Game 1 Betting Trends
VegasInsider.com

The home team has gone 13-2 straight up in Game 1 of the last 15 NBA Finals

Nine of the 13 victories have come by double digits and 11 have come by eight points or more

The ‘under’ has gone 10-4-1 during this stretch

Miami has gone 2-1 SU in Game 1 matchups in this year’s playoffs but they’re just 1-2 against the spread

The Heat are 7-2 SU and 4-5 ATS at home in the playoffs

San Antonio is 2-1 both SU and ATS in Game 1’s this postseason but all three wins were on the road

In the Spurs’ first road game in each of their first three series, they’ve gone 3-0 both SU and ATS

Overall, San Antonio is 6-1 both SU and ATS on the road in this year’s playoffs, the lone loss coming in overtime during its second round series versus Golden State

Listed below are the past 14 openers in the NBA Finals, with total results

Game 1 of the NBA Finals (1998-2012)

2012 Oklahoma City 105 vs. Miami 94 OVER (195.5)
2011 Miami 92 Dallas 84 UNDER(188)
2010 L.A. Lakers 102 vs. Boston 89 PUSH (191)
2009 L.A. Lakers 100 vs. Orlando 75 UNDER (205.5)
2008 Boston 98 vs. L.A. Lakers 88 UNDER (191.5)
2007 San Antonio 85 vs. Cleveland 76 UNDER (179.5)
2006 Dallas 90 vs. Miami 80 UNDER (194)
2005 San Antonio 84 vs. Detroit 69 UNDER (176)
2004 L.A. Lakers 75 vs. Detroit 87 UNDER (171)
2003 San Antonio 101 vs. New Jersey 89 OVER (187)
2002 L.A. Lakers 99 vs. New Jersey 94 OVER (191)
2001 L.A. Lakers 101 vs. Philadelphia 107 (OT) OVER (191)
2000 L.A. Lakers 104 vs. Indiana 87 UNDER (194)
1999 San Antonio 89 vs. New York 77 UNDER (172)
1998 Utah 88 vs. Chicago 85 (OT) UNDER (186)

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Heat-Spurs Outlook
By Brian Edwards
VegasInsider.com

No. 1 Miami Heat vs. No. 2 San Antonio Spurs

Series Price:
Miami -240, San Antonio +200

Series Format: Miami (2-3-2)

Game 1 - Thursday, June 6 (9:00 PM EST, ABC)
Game 2 - Sunday, June 9 (9:00 PM EST, ABC)
Game 3 - Tuesday, June 11 (9:00 PM EST, ABC)
Game 4 - Thursday, June 13 (9:00 PM EST, ABC)
Game 5* - Sunday, June 16 (9:00 PM EST, ABC)
Game 6* - Tuesday, June 18 (9:00 PM EST, ABC)
Game 7* - Thursday, June 20 (9:00 PM EST, ABC)

Skinny: San Antonio advanced to the NBA Finals by sweeping Memphis in four games to win the West. The Spurs polished off the Grizzlies with a pair of wins at The Grind House, including a 93-86 win as 2.5-point road underdogs in the Game 4 clincher.

Tony Parker was sensational with 37 points and six assists on 15-of-21 shooting from the field. Tim Duncan added 15 points and eight rebounds.

Since the May 27 close-out victory, Gregg Popovich’s veteran-laded squad has had nine days to rest and prepare. The combination of Pop, Parker, Duncan and Manu Ginobili is gunning for a fifth career NBA title.

Miami is aiming for a second title with this nucleus and is making a third consecutive Finals appearance. The Heat got pushed to the brink of elimination by the Pacers in the East finals, but it rose to the occasion in Game 7 by capturing a 99-76 victory.

LeBron James scored a game-high 32 points and finally got some help from his partners in crime. After scoring just 20 combined points in Games 5 and 6, Dwyane Wade scored 21 points and pulled down nine rebounds.

Chris Bosh grabbed a series-high eight rebounds, blocked three shots and was clearly more active and playing with more energy. However, he failed to score in double figures for the fourth consecutive game and was an abysmal 3-of-13 from the field.

In order to win back-to-back championships, Miami is going to have to get better play from Bosh. The Heat would also be well served if it can get Shane Battier going again.

Battier was outstanding in the Finals against Oklahoma City last season, but he has fallen out of favor with Erik Spoelstra in the past week. Battier played only four minutes in Game 6 and took the dreaded Did Not Play – Coach’s Decision in Game 7.

Kawhi Leonard is a going to be a key player for San Antonio. He is going to draw LeBron James for a defensive assignment and will need to chip in on the offensive end, too. Nobody can stop LeBron, but I think Leonard’s muscle, size and athleticism give him a chance to make things difficult on the league MVP.

With the way Bosh is struggling, Duncan’s play becomes even more important. The Spurs need him to punish Bosh in the paint like Roy Hibbert and David West did for the most part over the course of seven games.

With all that said, Parker is the Spurs’ catalyst. They go as he goes. Parker relentlessly attacks the basket off the dribble to score or kick to teammates for open looks from the perimeter. He will be the reason if San Antonio prevails.

Head-to-Head Matchups: There isn’t a lot to glean from the two head-to-head meetings between these teams during the regular season because so many key players didn’t play. In the first encounter, Popovich sent Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili back to San Antonio following a win at Orlando the previous night.

With the Spurs’ version of the Big Three back home and third-leading scorer Kawhi Leonard also out with an injury, Miami captured a 105-100 win. However, San Antonio took the cash as a six-point underdog. The 205 combined points slipped ‘over’ the 202-point total.

James produced 23 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and four steals. Ray Allen came off the bench to score 20 points, while Bosh added 18 points and 12 rebounds.

In the losing effort, Gary Neal scored a team-high 20 points, while Tiago Splitter added 18 points and nine rebounds. Matt Bonner had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.

When these clubs met in San Antonio, Miami won an 88-86 decision as a 1.5-point road underdog. The 174 combined points fell ‘under’ the 194-point total.

Bosh led the way with 23 points and nine rebounds while James and Wade sat out. Allen and Norris Cole finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Duncan and Leonard tied for team-high scoring honors with 17 points apiece. Duncan had 12 rebounds and Leonard grabbed 11. Parker struggled on a 4-of-14 shooting night and settled for only 12 points.

Ginobili sat out both head-to-head meetings.

Betting Notes: San Antonio has been producing for its backers in the postseason, cashing tickets at a 10-4 ATS clip. The Spurs have been underdogs three times, winning outright in each instance.

For the season, Popovich’s squad has compiled an 8-6 spread record in 14 ‘dog situations. As for totals, they’ve been a wash (7-7) for San Antonio with the ‘over’ going 3-1 in its last four games.

Miami is 9-7 ATS in the playoffs but has dropped five of its last eight contests versus the number. Totals have been an overall wash (7-7-2) although we should note the appearance of three straight ‘unders.’

The ‘under’ is currently on an incredible 21-5 run in the last 26 head-to-head meetings between the Spurs and Heat. The ‘under’ is 11-3 in the last 14 games at Miami.

For Game 1, most books are listing the Heat as a five-point home favorite with a total of 188.5. The Spurs are +200 on the money line (risk $100 to win $200). For first-half wagers, Miami is a three-point ‘chalk’ with a total of 93.

Sportsbook.ag has the Heat as the -205 favorite for the series. The Spurs are +175 on the comeback (risk $100 to win $175).

The offshore website has James as the -280 ‘chalk’ to win Finals MVP honors. The next-shortest odds belong to Parker (+240), Wade (+800) and Duncan (+800).

Series Outlook: LeBron James is going to be great in this series. To me, that’s a given. Which is why I think the biggest factor in this series is whether or not Wade and/or Bosh play at an elite level.

I’m going to guess that Wade will – at least at home. And the homecourt advantage will be critical because I think the series goes the distance. With Game 7 at Miami, I’ll call for the Heat to prevail and win a second straight championship.

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