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Wednesday's NBA Tips

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Editor's note: Brian Edwards is #2 on VI in NBA winning percentage (59%) and #1 in guaranteed money (+30.6 units!). His pay-if-it-wins-only selections are on an incredible 19-3 run. Brian owns a 29-12 NBA record (71%) since April 25, so don't miss out on his pick pack for tonight!

**Bulls at Heat**

--Most betting shops opened Miami (73-17 straight up, 52-38 against the spread) as a 14-point favorite for Game 5 with a total of 182. As of early this morning, there had not been much line movement with just a few spots moving to 14.5 and/or 182.5. Gamblers can take the Bulls to win outright for an enormous 15/1 payout (risk $100 to win $1,500). For first-half bets, the Heat is favored by 8.5 with a total of 92.

--Miami has won three straight games since dropping Game 1, including a pair of victories in the Windy City. The Heat won a 104-94 decision in Friday’s Game 3, but the game was much closer than the final score indicated. Miami backers collected a fortunate spread cover as an eight-point road favorite.

--In Monday’s Game 4, it was clear that the short-handed Bulls were running on an empty gas tank. The Heat took a 3-1 series advantage by dealing out an 88-65 clubbing as an eight-point road ‘chalk.’ The ‘under’ (185) was an easy winner. LeBron James was the catalyst for winners with 27 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and a pair of steals. Chris Bosh added 14 points, six boards and four blocked shots.

--Chicago (50-43 SU, 40-53 ATS) would not have advanced past Brooklyn without the stellar play of Nate Robinson, the diminutive reserve guard who had posted double-digit scoring efforts in seven consecutive games going into Game 4. However, the increased minutes have taken their toll on Robinson, who missed all 12 of his shots from the field and was held scoreless on Monday.

--Although he made only 3-of-14 shots from the field, Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 14 points and 12 rebounds in Game 4. Jimmy Butler added 12 points, while Taj Gibson finished with 10 points and nine boards in only 21 minutes of playing time.

--Chicago’s Kirk Hinrich (calf), Luol Deng (illness) and Derrick Rose (knee) will remain ‘out’ for Game 5.

--Miami’s Dwyane Wade is ‘probable’ with soreness in his knee. Wade scored only six points on 3-of-10 shooting from the floor in Game 4.

--Miami has been a double-digit ‘chalk’ 26 times this year, compiling a mediocre 10-16 spread record.

--Chicago’s only two double-digit underdog situations this season came in Games 1 and 2 of this series at Miami. The Bulls won outright (93-86) in Game 1 before getting spanked by a 115-78 count in Game 2.

--In eight head-to-head meetings between the Heat and Bulls this season, totals have been an overall wash (4-4). Miami owns a 5-3 record both SU and ATS in those eight encounters.

--The ‘under’ is 48-44-1 overall for the Bulls, but they have seen the ‘over’ go 25-22 in their road assignments.

--The ‘over’ is 44-43-3 overall for the Heat, 25-18-2 in its home games.

--Tip-off on TNT is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

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**Grizzlies at Thunder**

--Most books opened Oklahoma City (65-27 SU, 52-38-2 ATS) as a 3.5-point favorite with a total of 185. As of early Tuesday night, most books had adjusted OKC to a four-point ‘chalk’ with the total slightly increased to 185.5 at The Mirage and William Hill properties. Bettors can back the Grizzlies on the money line for a +160 return (risk $100 to win $160). OKC is favored by 2.5 with a total of 92.5 for first-half wagers.

--Memphis (63-29 SU, 55-35-2 ATS) took a 3-1 series lead by capturing a 103-97 overtime win as a 4.5-point home favorite in Monday’s Game 4 at The Grind House. The 200 combined points went ‘over’ the 185-point total, but it was a winner in regulation when the game was knotted at 94-94.

--Lionel Hollins’s squad trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half but was able to trim the deficit to eight by halftime. The Grizz outscored the Thunder 9-3 in the extra session. Mike Conley Jr. scored a team-high 24 points for the winners. Zach Randolph finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds, while Marc Gasol tallied 23 points, 11 boards and six blocked shots. Tony Allen chipped in with 10 points, six rebounds and three steals.

--In the Game 4 defeat, Kevin Durant scored a game-high 27 points to go with seven rebounds and seven assists. Kevin Martin added 18 points from off the bench. Serge Ibaka had his best performance of the postseason with 17 points, 14 boards and three blocked shots. Reggie Jackson finished with 15 points and eight dimes.

--Memphis is 7-2 ATS in the last nine head-to-head meetings with OKC. The Grizz have taken the cash in all four games of this series, while totals have been a wash (2-2).

--Since getting thumped in Game 1 against the Clippers to open the postseason, the Grizzlies have covered the number in nine straight games.

--The ‘under’ is 53-38-1 overall for Memphis, 24-21-1 in its road assignments. The ‘over’ is 4-1 in Grizzlies’ five road assignments in the playoffs.

--The ‘under’ is 50-40-1 overall for the Thunder, 23-22-1 in its home games. The ‘under’ is on an 18-6 run in OKC’s last 24 games.

--Most books have the updated series price as Memphis -700 (risk $700 to win $100), Oklahoma City +500.

--TNT will have the telecast at around 9:40 p.m. Eastern.

  
HEADLINES
ASA: Fading the Cavs and LeBron
Steve Ballmer met with Donald Sterling
Clips CEO: Rivers to quit if Sterling stays
Bulls sign F McDermott, G Brooks
Blazers F Robinson has thumb surgery
Cavs trade Felix to Jazz for three players
Nets director talks up Russian exhibitions
McDermott named to Team USA Select team
LeBron James begins tour of China
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