The Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies try to land knockout punches in their conference semifinals and advance to the next round of the NBA playoffs Wednesday. We talk to Aron Black at Bet365.com about the action coming in on these decisive Game 5 showdowns.
Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat – Open: -14, Move: -14.5, Move: -14
The Heat put a Game 1 loss in the past, reeling off three straight wins including back-to-back in Chitown. Now, the series swings to South Beach and bettors are split on whether Chicago will go down swinging.
Action on the spread has been even heading into Wednesday afternoon with money on Miami outnumbering Chicago at 1.5:1, according to Black. Moneyline bettors are tying the Heat into a lot of parlays, however, there are some believers taking a shot on Chicago +1,250 to win Game 5.
“Chicago is really struggling with the short bench and, though they have some valiant efforts, it’s going to be very hard to compete without more players,” Black told Covers. “They have the possibility of facing Miami without (Dwyane) Wade, who may have to sit, but that shouldn't impact Miami too much, given the Bulls look to be without (Luol) Deng and (Kirk) Hinrich again.”
The total for Game 5 opened at 182.5 points and took early action on the over, but has since dropped as low as 181. The Bulls and Heat have produced a 2-2 over/under mark in this series heading into Wednesday.
Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder – Open: -3.5, Move: -4.5
The Grizzlies have the Thunder wobbly at the knees, down 3-1 at home. Memphis has been the best bet in the playoffs so far, posting a 9-1 ATS record heading into Wednesday.
According to Black, bettors are siding with the Grizzlies at a 3:1 rate but OKC has seen its spread climb a full point at some markets. Moneyline action is also leaning toward Memphis, which is priced at +170.
“A lot of people see this game as a great opportunity to get plus money and points on Memphis,” says Black. “If the games continue as they have the last three, then it’s a tough task for Oklahoma City. But a good home crowd and possibly at least one more impressive game from (Kevin) Durant might get them across the line to extend the series.”
As for the total for Game 5, the number opened at 185 and hasn’t strayed far from that original total. According to Black, more money is coming in on the over. Memphis and OKC have gone 2-2 over/under in the first four games of this series.