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With the NBA Finals knotted at 1-1, the best-of-seven series shifts to San Antonio for Tuesday night’s Game 3 at AT&T Center.
Most books have installed San Antonio (71-27 straight up, 50-46-2 against the spread) as a two-point home favorite with a total of 187.5. The money-line price for the Spurs is -130, while the Heat is +110 on the comeback (risk $100 to win $110).
For first-half wagers, San Antonio is a one-point ‘chalk’ with a total of 93.5.
Sportsbook.ag has adjusted the series price to Miami -165, San Antonio +145.
Miami (79-21 SU, 56-44 ATS) drew even Sunday by capturing a 103-84 Game 2 win as a six-point home favorite. The 187 combined points dipped ‘under’ the 189-point total.
The Heat broke open a tight game in the second half by turning a 62-61 deficit into a 27-point lead thanks to a 33-5 run. When LeBron James buried a trey with 7:43 remaining, Gregg Popovich emptied his bench to concede defeat.
James flirted with another triple-double, finishing with 17 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, three steals and three blocked shots. Mario Chalmers scored a game-high 19 points and didn’t commit a turnover in 35-plus minutes of action.
Chris Bosh finally had a good shooting night, draining 6-of-10 shots from the field. He produced a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Ray Allen has now made 6-of-9 shots from 3-point range in the series and is averaging 13.0 points per game. Mike Miller splashed the nets with all three of his attempts from deep in Game 2.
Danny Green scored a team-high 17 points in the losing effort. The UNC product made all six of his shots, including 5-of-5 from behind the line. Tony Parker made only 5-of-14 shots en route to a 13-point effort. He had just as many assists (five) as turnovers (five).
Tim Duncan finished with nine points and 11 rebounds, struggling from the field all night by connecting on just 3-of-13 attempts. Kawhi Leonard pulled down 14 boards but had only nine points on 4-of-12 shooting from the floor.
This is Miami’s first underdog situation in these playoffs. The Heat has been an underdog seven times this year, going 6-1 both SU and ATS. They own a 5-2 record both SU and ATS in even postseason road assignments.
San Antonio has won six of its seven home games in these playoffs, compiling a 4-3 spread record.
The ‘under’ has cashed in both Games 1 and 2 and has cashed at a 23-5 clip in the last 28 head-to-head meetings between these clubs. The ‘under’ has cashed in five consecutive Miami games and has gone 9-7-1 in the postseason. Meanwhile, San Antonio has seen the ‘under’ go 9-7 in the playoffs.
VegasInsider.com's Chris David offered up his thoughts on tonight's total. He said, "Bettors watched the ‘under’ cash for the game in both Game 1 and 2, even though the ‘over’ was a winner in the first-halves. The two teams both shot the ball well in the first-half of Game 2 but the Spurs scoring drought in the second-half set up the blowout, which allowed Miami to milk the clock. San Antonio only scored 39 points in the final two quarters of Game 2 but that result was similar to Miami’s 36-point effort in the second-half of Game 1."
"Nothing has surprised me in this series so far except the officials, who have kept themselves out of trouble, which has helped bettors taking the ‘under’ in the first two games. The Heat and Spurs combined for 35 free throw attempts in Game 1 and that number dropped to 28 on Sunday. I understand that both teams like to shoot from distance but if you believe all things balance out, then we’re certainly due to see an increase of an opportunities at the charity stripe in these next three games."
Game 3 is scheduled to tip at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
--Sportsbook.ag is currently showing LeBron James as the -200 favorite to win Finals MVP honors. Parker has the next-shortest odds (+180), followed by Duncan (+450), Wade (20/1), Ginobili (50/1), Bosh (50/1) and Chalmers (50/1). The ‘field’ has 25/1 odds.
--Maurice Cheeks has been named the new head coach of the Detroit Pistons, replacing Lawrence Frank. This will be Cheeks’s third NBA head-coaching gig. He posted a 284-286 regular-season record for Philadelphia and Portland. He had a 5-11 record in three trips to the postseason. Cheeks was the starting point guard for the 76ers on their NBA championship team in 1983.
--Despite dealing with the unpopular mid-season trade of Rudy Gay, Lionel Hollins led Memphis to a franchise-record 56 wins and a trip to the Western Conference finals. For his efforts, Hollins was shown the door yesterday. Don't worry, though, Hollins, a key reserve guard for the 76ers in the early 1980s, won't be out of work long.
--The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Monday that the Hawks have hired Quin Snyder as an assistant for new head coach Mike Budenholzer.
--Also, the AJC reported Monday that former Hawks point guard Mookie Blaylock surrendered to the Jonesboro Police Department after being charged with second-degree vehicular manslaughter. Blaylock was released from an Atlanta hospital over the weekend.
--According the Associated Press, the Hawks and two other teams have been fined an undisclosed amount of money for tampering. The Hawks’ fine came after a letter to season-ticket holders mentioned the potential signings of Chris Paul and Dwight Howard.
--According to quotes from the man himself and published by USA Today, Kenny Smith has ‘been talking’ to the Sacramento Kings about their General Manager position.