NBA Finals Game 4 Picks – What Trends Will give us Most value?

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The Miami Heat are down 2-1 to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals and needing a win Thursday night in Game 4 (9:00 p.m. ET, ABC).

NBA Finals Game 4 PicksThe Heat opened as 5-point home favorites — and were bet up to 5.5 on Wednesday.The sum total is 197.5. Another loss means San Antonio can end things at home in Game 5 in the brand new 2-2-1-1-1 Finals format.

This series has been a back-and-forth affair with each game alternating winners. The oddsmakers like this trend to continue, making Miami a heavier favorite compared to the 4.5-point spread last game. San Antonio got the shocking 111-92 road win behind 29 points from Kawhi Leonard.

The Heat have now been nearly untouchable following a playoff loss, 13-0 straight-up and 12-1 contrary to the spread since Game 6 of the 2012 East Finals contrary to the Celtics. They’re 4-0 SU and ATS because situation in these playoffs, including a 98-96 road win in Game 2 in San Antonio.

The OVER is 2-1 because of this series with combined points scored of 205, 194 and 203. The OVER is 13-5 for the Heat in the postseason and 5-0 in their last five in South Beach.

Miami outlook: The Heat need to remain composed, knowing they are still a great home team at 8-1 SU and 6-3 ATS in these playoffs. The defense does need to improve, although San Antonio will naturally cool off after scoring 71 first half points last game on 75.8 percent shooting from the field.

Coach Erik Spoelstra features a problem with scoring depth. Starting point guard Mario Chalmers and backup Norris Cole are each averaging just 3.3 PPG this series. Chalmers was an integral section of last year’s Finals win over San Antonio, scoring 10.6 PPG overall and 17 PPG in the last two.

LeBron James needs to be the most effective player on the court every night for Miami to win. He’d 22 points last game, but only eight came in the last three quarters, he turned the ball over seven times, and he was outplayed by Leonard overall. James needs another bounce-back performance like in Game 2 when he imposed his will with 35 points and 10 rebounds.

San Antonio outlook: The Spurs are a thing of beauty to watch offensively when they manage to get thier ball movement going. Even the speed of the Miami defense can’t catch up. They have a lot of weapons when Leonard and Danny Green (15 points last game) are clicking along with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

Coach Gregg Popovich deserves lots of credit for starting Boris Diaw last game over Tiago Splitter. Diaw had just nine points and five rebounds, but again led the team in plus/minus (+20) and has the defensive capability to challenge the Miami big men on the perimeter. Search for Diaw to get the start for Game 4.

San Antonio is just 4-5 SU and 3-6 ATS on the highway in the playoffs, but the last two have now been top-notch performances, including a Game 6 clincher (112-107 OT) at Oklahoma City. This game on Thursday is likely to be their toughest test to date.

Live odds: Check updated lines and totals

The Linemakers’lean: Handicapping this game comes down to trends vs. value. A tendency like’Miami after having a loss’is really a tough one to opposed to, but we’ve the Spurs rated nearly a spot better compared to the Heat on a simple court, and so the 5.5 points screams value to us. Desperation is really a factor for Miami, but it doesn’t soon add up to the premium you should have to pay to back them on Thursday night. Also, recall that the one ATS blemish in these 13-game run came contrary to the Spurs — in last season’s Game 6 overtime barn-burner.

People will lay the points due to the trends, but we advise taking the points with the Spurs. When Miami shoots 51 percent at home and still loses by 19 points, that is a good enough indicator to opposed to the grain and the public here.

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