NBA Finals Las Vegas Odds: Oklahoma City Thunder vs Miami Heat
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
by Bovada Sportsbook
The winner of Game 3 of the NBA Finals when the series was tied at one game apiece wins the championship nearly 85 percent of the time, so that bodes extremely well for the Miami Heat heading into Tuesday night's Game 4 against Oklahoma City Thunder in south Florida. The Heat are 3.5-point favorites on Bovada Sportsbook's NBA basketball odds.
This series changed in Game 2 when Miami went to a small starting lineup – Chris Bosh has moved to center and there is now only one player taller than 6-foot-8 (Bosh) in Miami's rotation. Udonis Haslem is the only "big" who now plays off the bench. Despite being significantly outsized, the Heat again won the rebounding battle in Sunday's 91-85 Game 3 win – thanks largely to LeBron James' 14 boards -- as well as scoring more points in the paint than the Thunder.
OKC got a relatively quiet 25 points from Kevin Durant in Game 3, while Russell Westbrook again struggled from the field by shooting 8-for-18. The Thunder were 4-for-18 from 3-point range (including a late wide-open miss by Westbrook that would have tied it) and 15-for-24 from the free-throw line. James Harden has been a major disappointment in two of the three games in this series, with the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year having just nine points on 2-for-10 shooting in Game 3.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks appeared to make a big error on Sunday. In the third quarter, Westbrook and Durant spent the final 5:01 of the quarter on the bench together -- Durant had four fouls but Westbrook wasn't in foul trouble. The Thunder led 60-54 when Westbrook joined Durant on the bench. When they returned at the start of the fourth quarter, the Heat led 69-67. LeBron was the primary defender on Durant in Game 3 after Shane Battier filled the role the first two games. James held Durant to 1-of-5 shooting in the fourth quarter after Durant had totaled 33 points in the previous two games in the fourth quarter.
OKC has covered just once in its past seven games as an underdog of less than 4.5 points, but the Heat have covered just once in their past nine Tuesday games.
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