Sportsbook NBA Odds
No. 2 MIAMI HEAT at No. 7 NEW YORK KNICKS
Sportsbook Line & Total: Miami -5 & 186.5
Opening Line & Total: Heat -5 & 186
The Heat took care of business at home with a pair of double-digit wins, but now they have to travel to Madison Square Garden on Thursday night to face a desperate Knicks team trying to avoid an 0-3 series hole and an NBA-record 13th straight playoff defeat.
New York is an absolute mess with PF Amar’e Stoudemire not able to play in Game 3 after injuring his hand punching glass following the Game 2 loss. He’ll join two other starters, SG Iman Shumpert (torn ACL) and PG Jeremy Lin (knee) on the sidelines. Miami has owned New York since 2009, going 12-2 SU (9-5 ATS) in the 14 meetings, including 4-1 (SU and ATS) at Madison Square Garden. Here’s another huge trend backing the Heat: In the past five seasons, road favorites off two straight double-digit home wins are 71-31 ATS (70%).
Miami has not been a stellar road favorite this season at 17-11 SU and 13-15 ATS, outscoring these lesser teams by just 3.6 PPG. But the Heat are 7-2 (6-3 ATS) with at least two days of rest this season, scoring 103.8 PPG in these nine games.
SF LeBron James leads the Heat with 25.5 PPG (56% FG) during this series, with SG Dwyane Wade not far behind at 22.0 PPG on 61% FG. But the third member of the Heat’s Big Three, PF Chris Bosh (21 points in Game 2), might not play in Game 3 after flying home to be with his wife preparing to give birth to their child. His status is uncertain. But Miami’s success hasn’t been based solely on the performances of its top three players. PG Mario Chalmers has 12.0 PPG (47% FG), 15 assists and just four turnovers in the two games, while SG Mike Miller (10.0 PPG in series) and SF Shane Battier (9.5 PPG in series) have combined to make 11-of-25 threes.
Although the Knicks are hurting, there are some trends favoring them. They are an outstanding 11-1 (SU and ATS) in their 12 home games under interim coach Mike Woodson. Also, the Heat are just 1-5 ATS in their past six on the road and a subpar 14-19 ATS on the road this season. And on exactly two days’ rest, New York is 6-2 (5-3 ATS), outscoring opponents by 8.4 PPG.
New York is averaging a mere 80.5 PPG on 42.9% FG (33% threes) in the series. SF Carmelo Anthony is producing nicely with 20.5 PPG and 9.5 RPG in the series, but he’s shooting just 36.6% FG with four assists and seven turnovers. SG J.R. Smith has scored 15.0 PPG on 46.4% FG and will be counted on as a key scorer filling in for the injured Shumpert. PG Baron Davis has had a strong series with 11.0 PPG on 64.3% FG (4-of-7 threes), but his ball distribution has been mediocre with eight assists and six turnovers. C Tyson Chandler should be completely over his illness, and could have a big night if Chris Bosh doesn’t play. Chandler has had a quiet series thus far with 6.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG and zero blocks in 54 minutes of action.
No. 2 OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER at No. 7 DALLAS MAVERICKS
Sportsbook Line & Total: Dallas -3.5 & 194.5
Opening Line & Total: Mavs -1.5 & 195.5
The Mavericks hung tough for two games in Oklahoma City, but they have nothing to show for it as they trail the series 0-2 when they host the Thunder on Thursday night.
Kevin Durant has grabbed the headlines of this series, winning Game 1 with a 15-footer in the closing seconds, then scoring 26 points in a three-point victory on Monday. But Russell Westbrook has done the most damage to Dallas in this series with 28.5 PPG on 52% FG. Oklahoma City has now beaten the Mavericks in five of six meetings this season, but the final victory margins have all been close: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 9 points. The Thunder have not been fazed playing on the road this season, going 21-12 SU and 18-15 ATS. They are also 9-2-1 ATS in their past dozen trips to Dallas.
Although his team is scoring 100.5 PPG on 47% FG in this series, Durant has not been shooting well at all. He’s averaging 25.5 PPG, but on a woeful 34.1% FG clip, including 3-of-12 threes. Durant has also been careless with the basketball, committing nine turnovers to just five assists. Westbrook’s offense has been stellar, but his 1:1 ratio of seven assists and seven turnovers needs to improve. SG James Harden has shown no ill effects from the concussion suffered after being elbowed by Metta World Peace, scoring 17.0 PPG (43% threes) with 4.0 APG and 2.0 SPG in the series. PF Serge Ibaka and C Kendrick Perkins have done a nice job on the defensive end with a combined eight blocks and 12.0 RPG in the series. Oklahoma City has been even tougher when well-rested this season, going 8-2 (7-3 ATS) with at least two off-days in between games.
The Mavs have also played well with two days of rest going 4-2 (SU and ATS) and limiting these six opponents to 93.8 PPG. Dallas hurt itself with poor three-point accuracy in Game 2 (5-for-23), but hasn’t really been a great long-range shooting team all year at 33.9%. However, the Mavericks are 23-10 SU (16-16-1 ATS) at home this season and the Thunder have had no answer for Dirk Nowitzki, who has 28.0 PPG on 49% FG in the series. Nowitzki also torched OKC last year with 32.2 PPG on 56% FG in the Western Conference Finals.
But the Mavs need a consistent second scorer. SG Jason Terry shot lights-out in Game 1 (20 points, 8-of-10 FG), but tallied just 13 points on 5-of-12 FG (2-of-6 threes) in the Game 2 defeat. SF Shawn Marion is the only other Dallas player averaging double-figure scoring in this series with 16.0 PPG and 8.0 RPG. Veterans SG Vince Carter and PG Jason Kidd need to find their offense quickly. Carter is shooting 30% FG in the series and Kidd is even worse at 22%. However, both players are grabbing 6.0 RPG (more than Nowitzki’s 5.5 RPG) and Kidd has 12 assists and 10 steals in the two games.