Game Six: Miami’s Backs are Against the Wall – Betting Preview

Dallas Mavericks AT Miami Heat
Jun 11, 2011 at 8 PM EST
Opening Line:  MIA -6
Current Line:  MIA -5
Opening Total:  187
Current Total:  187
Opening Moneyline:  MIA -270, DAL +230
Current Moneyline:  MIA -225, DAL +195
Dont understand what these numbers are?  Learn it all here.

Dallas Leads Best Of Seven 3-2

Heat Celtics NBA Game Preview
LeBron is averaging 2.2 points per fourth quarter this series

After Game 3, few imagined it would come to this.  Dallas defended their homecourt well enough, winning 2 of 3 in Dallas to return to Miami one win away from being NBA Champs.

It has to be a bitter pill to LeBron James who was considering this to be his first championship run long before it culminated in an actual championship.  Dirk Nowitzki, though, knows the feeling better than anybody, after having plugged away at it for so long:

“That’s just a part of the game if you’re the star or the face of the franchise,” Dirk commented on Saturday. “If you win, it’s great for you, and everybody looks at you. And if you lose, you’re going to get hammered. It’s just part of the business. I think we understand that, we’ve been around long enough. I got the hammered the last 13 years, basically. So hopefully this year I can make the hammering go away for a year.”

For as good as James has been all year, he’s not getting it done when the Heat need it most:  during Dallas’ fourth quarter surges.  In 5 games in this series, LeBron is averaging 2.2 points per quarter in the fourth.  That’s right, his fourth quarter average if projected over a game is under 9 points per game.  James realizes he hasn’t responded to pressure well…”I think the game of basketball can be pressure…basketball is about pressure, how you can handle it.”

So far, Wade has stood the test of pressure and passed.  He’s averaging 28.4 points per game in this series and if the Heat are to win it, he will undoubtedly be the Finals MVP as we discused in our how to pick nba games article.

With the series shifting back to Miami, the Heat hope to keep the pace in their favor.  While they are certainly capable of running given their athletic lineup, they seem to thrive in games that score under 200 total.  Wade, James, and Chris Bosh combined for 59 points, which would be impressive from most trios, but given the need of scoring that Miami has, it’s just not enough for a team with very mediocre role players.

On cue, Jason Terry stepped up in game 5 to hit 8 of 12 shots from the floor, including 3 of 5 from distance, to score 21 points, six points per game higher than his season average.  He and Dirk scored 50 combined, nearly as much as the Miami trio.  To cap that off, Dallas had four other players in double figures, with Marion being the only starter to score in single digits.  Tyson Chandler led the Mavs in typical fashion on the boards, but did not have the monster rebounding game he had in game 4.

The move to start J.J. Barea has proven to be a wise one.  The water bug guard scored 17 in the Game 5 win and went 4 of 5 from deep.  He also recorded 5 assists with only 1 turnover, a ratio better than point guard Jason Kidd that game (5:1 vs 2:1).

Everyone knows it, James included, that for Miami to come back and win this series, it’s going to take better play from him.  He realizes that this is when legacies are built and that faltering now would put him at nearly a decade of ball without a ring.

Some betting trends that teach you how to bet:

Dallas is 13-3 SU In their last 16 games and 2-3-1 ATS in their last 6 games.  The total has gone UNDER in 4 of their last 6 games and they are 6-1 SU in their last 7 on the road.  The Mavs are 13-2 SU in their last 15 against the Heat and the Mavs are 6-1 SU In their last 7 on the road against the Heat.

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Miami’s last 6 games and the Heat are 18-6 SU in their last 24 games.  The Heat are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games and the total has gone OVER in 6 of Miami’s last 8 games at home.  The Heat are 11-1 SU in their last 12 at hom e and they are 2-13 SU in their last 15 against Dallas.  The Heat are 2-4-1 ATS in their last 7 against the Mavs and the Heat are 1-6 SU In their last 7 at home against Dallas.  The Heat are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 home games against the Dallas Mavericks.

As is often the case with playoff games especially, the line is again in favor of the home team.  Miami has won 11 of their last 12 at home, but Dallas’ success in Game 2 shows that it is possible to win big games at American Airlines Arena.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see James redeem himself with a big game tonight, but if Dallas’ role players produce again, the series may end tonight.

“We’re one win away from my dream, what I’ve worked on for half my life,” Nowitzki said. “This is really all I’m worried about, this is all I’m focusing on, and not really the off-the-court stuff that happened.”

Erik Spolestra still feels things can go the Heat’s way in what has been a very close series.  “This is about as close as you can possibly have a series, and you have to stay the course,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’re doing a lot of things well. It’s a possession game, possession series, it goes down to the end. We’re a very good closing team on both ends of the court.”

It’s going to come down to possessions, but who will step up on those possessions for Miami?  Will Wade be forced to carry the entire load as LeBron wavers?  If you dont know which way to go on this game consider reading up on how to handicap NBA basketball.  Works like this are why Maddux is a staple in the sports handicapping industry.

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