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Christmas Day Betting: 2012 Finals Rematch

Oklahoma City at Miami (-2.5, 205.5)

Christmas Day always means a full day of NBA action on the card and there are usually numerous games pitting championship contenders against one another. This year is no different as the Oklahoma City Thunder get their first chance for revenge on a Miami Heat team that beat them in five games of last year’s NBA Finals.

OKC was swept in the final four games of that series to come up short and now have their first opportunity on national television to get some measure of retribution. Obviously a win in December doesn’t have the same sting to it as losing a championship does, but if OKC can come out and dominate in this one, that seed of doubt is planted in the back of Miami’s mind.

Miami comes into this game on a four-game winning streak and has covered the number in each of those contests. They have never been less than -5 ½ points in those games and quite frankly none of them were close. But the level of competition was nowhere near what they will see in this one and the Heat know it. They are 7-1 ATS in their last eight vs. teams from the Northwest division and 4-1 ATS in their last five after scoring 100 or more.

Miami also understands that this building has been a house of horrors for OKC of late (0-4 ATS last four trips) and would like to make a statement of their own to the world that they are still the champions until someone says otherwise.

However, OKC has just the voice to do so. They had their twelve-game winning streak snapped last time out in Minnesota in a game the Thunder just couldn’t get out of their own way or knock down shots. They were on the end of a back-to-back after beating a good Atlanta team the night before and with the holidays and the Heat on deck you can’t blame OKC for potentially looking past Minnesota. They understand this is their chance to atone for all that pain they felt last June and after 4 days off (they are 6-0-1 ATS last seven after three or more days rest), Durant and company will bring their "A-Game" here.

This game should be an instant classic that could go either way but given the rest and revenge angle, I’ve got to take the points with OKC.

Take Oklahoma City +2.5.

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