Bettors Edge-Handicapping the NBA Finals
This Thursday night at American Airlines Arena the 2013 NBA Finals will get underway with Game 1 of a best-of-seven showdown between the Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat and the Western Conference Champion San Antonio Spurs. The following is a look at a few pertinent facts and figures that should help in your efforts to handicap this showdown.
Miami has been opened by Sportsbook as a -215 favorite to win a second-straight NBA Championship with the Spurs listed as a +185 underdog on the series price. The best odds for the length of the series have the Heat winning in either five or seven games at +300 followed by the Heat in six games at +350. The odds that Miami sweeps this series in four games have been set at +600. None the less, you get the picture that the Spurs are distinct underdogs in every possible scenario. The lowest odds for San Antonio pulling off the upset are +550 with it winning in six games. The odds for the Spurs winning in seven games is +700. Winning in five games is listed at +1200 and a San Antonio sweep has the highest odds at +2500.
The Heat come into this series 12-4 straight-up through their first 16 postseason games but just 9-7 against the spread. The total has gone an even 7-7-2 over the course of its three previous series against Milwaukee, Chicago and Indiana. It stayed UNDER in the last three games against Pacers after going OVER in the first four games of that series.
San Antonio is 12-2 SU in the postseason including a four-game sweep over the Lakers in the opening round and over Memphis in the Western Conference Finals. It is a profitable 10-4 ATS during this run and the total has been evenly split 7-7 over the 14 games. The Spurs are 6-1 SU in their last seven home games but 4-3 ATS. They are also 6-1 SU and ATS in their last seven games on the road.
Head-to-head in this matchup, the series is evenly split at 5-5 both SU and ATS in the last 10 meetings; however Miami has won the last four games SU and is 3-1 ATS. The total has gone OVER in three of the last five games between the two.
Tale of the Tape
Miami is averaging 97.2 points a game in the playoffs with LeBron James leading the way with an average of 26.2 points. The team is shooting 47.2 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from three-point range while averaging 37.4 rebounds a game. They Heat have turned the ball over an average of 13.5 times a game in the postseason.
San Antonio is scoring an average of 101.6 points a game while hitting 46.9 percent of its shots from the field and 36.2 percent from beyond the Arc. Its leading scorer has been Tony Parker with 23 points a game. The Spurs are pulling down an average of 42.9 rebounds and turning the ball over just 12 times a game.