Miami Heat at Boston Celtics
Thursday, 6/7/12, 8:30 PM EST, TV: ESPN
Opening Point Spread: Miami -1
Current Betting Line: Miami -1.5
Opening Total: 180
Current Total: 178.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Miami has been pushed to the brink of elimination after dropping three consecutive games in the Eastern Conference final, including a 94-90 setback as 7.5-point home favorites in Game 5 on Tuesday night. “If you’re a competitor, you live for this,” commented Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. The Heat must find a way to contain Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, as they’ve been using many different combinations to try and fulfill the task. Miami is 5-5 ATS as a road favorite of three or fewer points this season.
The Heat are 10-6 overall during the 2012 NBA playoffs, but have gone just 3-4 on the road, dropping both games at the TD Garden in this best-of-seven series. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade figure to be the key players in this contest, averaging 29.9 and 23.3 points per game respectively in the postseason. Power forward Chris Bosh is also expected to play more minutes in his second game back from an abdominal injury, scoring nine points and grabbing seven rebounds in just over 14 minutes of action.
Boston has shrugged off the critics that have voiced that the roster is too old to make another run in the playoffs, as the franchise needs just one more win to move onto the 2012 NBA Finals and take on the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Celtics came back from a 13-point early deficit in the latest game in this series, something that coach Doc Rivers deserves a lot of credit for. “We just told our guys, hang in there,” stated Rivers after the game. “The longer we’re in the game, the better we’ll play.” Boston is 20-15 ATS as an underdog this season, while the “under” is 21-14 in that situation.
All five of the projected starters for this game are averaging double figures in the postseason, with center Kevin Garnett leading the way, scoring 19.9 points and grabbing 10.8 rebounds per game. Rondo is still the key to victory, averaging 16.8 points and 11.9 assists per game. Boston certainly has the experience to close the book on this series and advance, but must receive some solid minutes from Mickael Pietrus off the bench, especially when he’s matched up with James on the defensive end.
Bettors will likely back the Celtics due to their 16-5-2 ATS mark as a home underdog, while the Heat are 3-7 ATS on the road.
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