I post free analysis almost every day during basketball season on anywhere from 1 to 5 games and those opinions have been profitable over the years.
My Saturday opinion on the Under won. My Basketball Best Bets have won 12 of the last 16 weeks, which is what’s really important to me, and I’m 25-18-1 on my Free Best Bets. However, it’s been a strange losing season with the opinions, which are just 65-78-5 this season.
I was 49-38-1 on my Free Best Bets and 548-487-19 on my free opinions the previous 5 seasons.
San Antonio (+5 ½) over MIAMI
In my opinion, the only reason Miami needed 7 games to beat Indiana was due to the Pacers randomly high 3 point shooting percentage of 41.4% as opposed to the 33.3% that was expected of them against the heat defense. I don’t think there was anything wrong with Miami this week — the Pacers just shot the ball extraordinarily well.
Moving forward, I don’t believe the Heat are better than a healthy Spurs team. We cannot accurately gauge the Spurs’ future playoff performance against the Heat based on their regular season meetings because during the regular season the Spurs were plagued with injury and needed to rest their aging starters more often. San Antonio’s average game rating with Tony Parker and Tim Duncan playing is ½ a point better than Miami’s rating in games in which LeBron James played (nobody else on that team really made a difference in their performance). Miami does get a boost with LeBron James playing more minutes in the playoffs than he did in the regular season and my ratings have these teams even heading into this series based on playoff rotations of each team. Home court advantage in the playoffs is 4 ½ points and I have Miami by 4 ½ points in this game. However, using playoff games only would favor Miami by just 2 points and I get Heat by 3 points even if I exclude the Spurs’ first round series against the injury depleted Lakers (although I did adjust for that in my ratings).
The home teams in game 1 of the NBA Finals has covered 8 years in a row (14-8 ATS the last 22 years) but Miami applies to a 4-19 ATS game 1 situation that is 0-2 ATS in game 1 of the Finals. Some people are arguing that the extra time off that San Antonio has had since their last game could result in the Spurs being rusty but my database reveals no such evidence. I’ll lean with San Antonio at +5 or more and I’d consider the Spurs a Strong Opinion at +6 or more.
The total is a bit difficult to calculate for this game because the total (188 ½ points) appears to be too low, as I get 191 ½ points as my prediction, adjusted for playoff tempo. However, the first game of the finals has gone Under 8 of the last 9 games and is 15-7 under the last 22 years, so I have no opinion on the total.
The value favors San Antonio a bit in this series but Miami has been very good after a loss so I expect their level of play to rise if they find themselves down, which takes away some of the value favoring the Spurs. Thus, I have no opinion on the series.
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