NBA Finals 2012: Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, Game 1 Preview
Miami Heat at Oklahoma City Thunder
Tuesday, 6/12/12, 9:00 PM EST, TV: ABC
Opening Point Spread: Oklahoma City -4.5
Current Betting Line: Oklahoma City -5
Opening Total: 194.5
Current Total: 195.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Miami is hoping for a different result in reaching the NBA Finals for a second consecutive year, as it watched the Dallas Mavericks celebrate winning the championship in capturing last year’s series in six games. “I think it’s going to be a great matchup,” commented Heat guard Dwyane Wade about playing the Thunder. The Heat have reached this stage by moving past the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics, but could be fatigued after capturing the 2012 Eastern Conference final in seven games. Miami is 1-5 ATS as an underdog this season, with the “under” going 5-1 in those contests.
The Heat have been led by LeBron James offensively during the 2012 NBA playoffs, averaging 30.8 points, while tying a franchise record in the postseason by scoring 30-plus in his last three games. Miami is 12-6 during the playoffs, splitting its eight games away from South Beach. It’s still important to note that the squad has won nine postseason games over the last two seasons, which leads all NBA teams. Power forward Chris Bosh should have more of an impact in this series, as he played in just three games against the Celtics due to an abdominal injury, scoring 19 points in Game 7 on Saturday night.
Oklahoma City has won all eight of its games during the playoffs inside Chesapeake Energy Arena, while posting a 34-7 overall mark inside the venue since the start of the 2011-12 season. The Thunder doesn’t need to accomplish anything else other than maintaining home-court advantage in hopes of winning their first NBA championship. The core of this group have youth on its side, with Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook all being 23 or younger. Oklahoma City is 19-8 ATS against Southeast division opponents the las two-plus years.
The Thunder and Heat split their two regular-season meetings this year, with both teams holding serve on its home court. Oklahoma City tallied a 103-87 blowout win over Miami as two-point favorites on March 25, as the defense was able to limit James to just 17 points on 8-of-18 shooting from the floor. It will be hard to pick against this rising team after dispersing the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference playoffs.
Bettors will likely back the Heat due to the underdog being 9-4 ATS in the last 13 meetings, while the Thunder are 2-5 in their last seven home games in this series.
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