Thunder vs. Heat: Game 4, 2012 NBA Finals Betting Preview

Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat
Tuesday, 6/19/12, 9:00 PM EST, TV:  ABC
Opening Point Spread:  Miami -3.5
Current Betting Line:  Miami -3.5
Opening Total:  191.5
Current Total:  192.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Oklahoma City Thunder PG Russell Westbrook needs to shoot less in Game 4 in Miami

Oklahoma City has lost back-to-back games against the Miami Heat in the 2012 NBA Finals, but the youthful roster isn’t going to panic because of it heading into Game 4.  The last time the Thunder dropped consecutive games in the 2012 NBA playoffs, they went on to win four straight in the Western Conference final to eliminate the San Antonio Spurs in six games.  “We were down 2-0 against San Antonio and everybody thought the series was over,” stated Thunder head coach Scott Brooks about the situation at hand.  Oklahoma City is 2-2 as a road underdog of 3.5 to 6 points this season, with the “under” going 3-1 in those contests.

The Thunder are being led offensively by their explosive duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, but many around the league are beginning to think that the team’s point guard is shooting too much.  Westbrook had more shots than Durant in the first two games, which needs to change on Tuesday night inside the American Airlines Arena.  Oklahoma City also needs to get back to shooting a high percentage at the free throw line, hitting just 15 of 24 attempts in Sunday’s 91-85 setback as four-point road underdogs in Game 3.

Miami has to be focused on trying to close out this series in five games, as it wrestled away home-court advantage with a Game 2 win in Oklahoma City.  The Heat own a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-seven series, and LeBron James has led the way offensively, averaging 30.7 points and 9.7 rebounds over the entire postseason.  The 2012 NBA MVP is shooting 46 percent in this particular series, but pales in comparison to Durant’s 57 percent clip at this stage of the game.  Miami is 3-1 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points this season.

The Heat continue to be puzzled by Dwyane Wade’s slow starts during the postseason, as he’s shooting less from 40 percent from the field in the opening 24 minutes of games.  Miami is 9-2 at home during the playoffs, and it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it happened to fall short in this affair.  The team hasn’t lost back-to-back home games this season, posting a 7-0 record in its next game in front of its fans following a defeat, winning those games by an average of 20.3 points.

Bettors will likely back the Heat due to their 12-4 ATS mark at home, while the Thunder are 1-5-1 ATS as an underdog of 4.5 or fewer points.

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