The NBA Finals have been a ratings bonanza and overall success for everyone involved—the NBA, fans, media and gamblers. The league got is marquee matchup with superstar players fighting for legacies. The fans got nothing but entertaining basketball every step of the way. The media got LeBron, Duncan and Popovich (well, they’re probably not too excited about the Popovich part—have you seen those courtside interviews?). And gamblers got one of the easiest NBA Finals to wager on in years. The Spurs cover, then the Heat cover, then the Spurs cover, then the Heat cover. The first two games go under, then the next three go over—even I managed to make money on this series, and that never happens!
The NBA Finals have been so good that we haven’t even had a chance to digest the fact that the Brooklyn Nets actually hired Jason Kidd as their head coach—yes, you read that correctly, the Nets are actually paying Kidd money to coach the third-largest payroll in the league. Those Russian’s really are crazy. And I still haven’t even mentioned the fact that the Clippers are in serious trade talks with both the Lakers and Celtics, and could wind up with Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett.
Since there are only two possible games left in the NBA season (nooooooo), let’s take closer look at the Finals, go over a few betting lines and give out some awards.
If you haven’t been watching this series you would think that this award is LeBron James’ to lose or even Tony Parkers’. But you would be completely wrong. He might not actually win the award, but Danny Green has been the Finals MVP so far. Green has sunk 25 three points this series—repeat 25 three pointers—and only needed five games to break Ray Allen’s record for most three-pointers made (22) in the NBA Finals. Green has been nothing short of magnificent and is probably the main reason why the Spurs are on the verge of winning a fifth title in 14 years.
Can the Spurs actually win a game in Miami?
Even though the Spurs are currently up 3-2 on the Heat, their backs are against the wall. The team still has to win a game in Miami, which is easier said then done. San Antonio is a series price underdog, and the oddsmakers believe the Heat will still win the title. The Spurs and the Heat have alternated wins so far in this series, and if that pattern were to stay true, then Miami will easily win Game 6 and set up a Game 7 showdown in South Beach.
If any team in the NBA can win a Game 7 in Miami, it’s the San Antonio Spurs. But, the truth is, San Antonio’s best shot is to end this series in six. The Spurs are good enough to win one of the next two games, but this exact situation played out in 2010 when the Boston Celtics took a 3-2 lead on the Los Angeles Lakers and could not close out the series.
Game 6 lines:
There is currently tons of value in wagering on the Spurs +7 for Game 6. San Antonio’s best chance is to win the title during this game, and the team will probably come out looking for a knockout blow. LeBron James is great—definitely the best player in the league—but imagine the pressure that will be on his shoulders if the Spurs take an early lead during Game 6? It might be enough to crumble any player.
There is value on the Spurs at +105 because all they have to do is win one game. But, on the other hand, there is also great value on Miami at -125—it all depends on how you feel about Game 6. If Miami manages to win Game 6 they will probably be a seven point favorite for the final game of the series, which is roughly a -330 moneyline favorite. If you believe that the Heat are going to win this series wager on them now so you can get a discount and essentially have the Game 7 moneyline at Miami -125 instead of -330.