Posted: 6/21/2012 1:38:29 PM
Playoffs: 8-4 +$12,600
Game 5 OVER 193 TO WIN 4 DIMES
Regardless of who wins this game tonight, (Small lean to Miami but I can’t count out OKC) tonight’s game has all the tendencies for a high scoring affair.
Sure I’ve bantered about elimination games in the past and how they generally have a tendency to play under the total. I’ve also discussed how Miami has had a significant playoff defensive edge over the Thunder (which in all honesty hasn’t reared its head in this series given that OKC has still put up a lot of points). This game to me comes down to what I have seen in this series and how I can’t discount it.
Except for game 3, all of these games were at or above 193 points scored. In fact, the total has been for the most part, spot on. Game 3 easily went under and game 4 easily eclipsed the total. However, the tendency for this series has been for higher scoring games. Can that continue tonight? In my mind, yes it can.
These two teams are loaded with shooters. OKC has 3-4 guys that can score almost at will it seems. We all know that Miami has Bosh, Wade and James but Chalmers showed what he has last game and the Heat have the ability to hit the long balls with Battier proving to be an outside threat as well.
If we look back to game 4, the Thunder were able to roar out to an incredible first quarter lead not by playing slow tempo ball but by running. In fact, in most of the major spurts that the Thunder have had in this series they were playing an up-tempo fast running offence. If they are smart they will consider that point and try to dictate the pace of the game by running on the Heat. This strategy means that we should see more shots taken than normal and given the way these teams have been able to score in this series, if they maintain their shooting percentages, they should easily score enough to put this game over the total. We know that James has a questionable leg and the Thunder need to know that the best way to take him out or at least test that leg is to run, not giving the Heat time to get back at a walking pace.
The Thunder have now gone 5-1-1 “over” the total in their last 7 playoff games. The Heat have gone 7-2-1 “over” in their last 10 games overall. Right there we see an 80% tendency to the over just on current form.
This again goes to my argument that they (Thunder) must dictate their style of play if they want back in to this series. Playing slow-ball with the Heat is not their game and is not how they get back into it. Again, stressing Lebron James’ leg by forcing him to run will be how, in my view, they take him out of the game or at least test the extent of his injury.
Looking at some Thunder team trends, they have played over the total in 5 of their last 7 games off a straight up loss and have gone 6-2 “over” in their last 8 road games vs. Teams with a winning percentage of .600 or better. They also allowed 100 points in their last game and going back I note they are 5-2”over” in their next game after allowing 100 or more points.
The Heat are 8-1-1 “over” their last 10 playing with 1 day rest. The Thunder are 12-2 “over” in their last 14 with 1 day of rest. This is a 20-3 “over” tendency that I cannot ignore. (87% tendency).
The Heat are also 5-1 “over” following a SU win. They have gone over the total in 4 of their last 5 home games, 4-1 “over” following a SU win and 4-1 “over” their last 5 as a home favorite. The Heat are also have an “over” tendency as home playoff favorites going 8-3 “over” in their last 11 in that role. In this price range and in the playoffs, (favorites of .5 to 4.5)
These trends confirm my overall approach to handicapping this game. That is, for the Thunder to stand a chance, they can’t play slow-ball against this Heat team who is more than accustomed to playing a half court game. For the Thunder to try to claw back into this series they have to play like they did when they had their major blowout quarters. With speed and rapid ball movement. Given that Lebron’s leg is still uncertain (we aren’t being told the whole truth) I think the Thunder should test that leg and make him run. Don’t give the Heat time to set up. Do what they did when they took big leads. Run.
Tonight’s game in my view has the potential to see the most running by any of these two teams so far and perhaps it might also see the highest total score of the series yet. Oklahoma isn’t dead yet but in order for them to claw back, they need to play their style. Their style is what led to them winning game 1 (over the total) and their style got them out to a big lead in game 4 (over the total).
All we as bettors can do is anaylze the game before hand ..Now it's up to the players to make shots.
On a final note, the league is well aware of all the media talk of bad officiating ... Whatever your views on that, the refs either let them play tonight or call everything in sight. Should any of the big boys get into early foul trouble, this will help the over as will a steady flow to the free throw line.
Cheers and good luck
THUNDER VS HEAT OVER 193 -105 TO WIN 4 DIMES