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Heat Thunder Betting Predictions – Rested OKC Squad Cool Off Heat

Posted by Craig Parsons on 6/11/2012 4:14:09 PM

Online betting players have been waiting for Miami and Oklahoma City to lock horns in the NBA Finals all season, and after a few obstacles, the two kick off their series on Tuesday in what should be a highly entertaining series. The Thunder have had a couple more days off than the Heat, who went the distance in their last series, and that’ll be the difference in a Game 1 for OKC.

What: NBA Betting
When: Tuesday, June 12th, 9:00 PM ET
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder

Why Bet On Miami Heat

The Heat are now officially LeBron James’ team after what he did to Boston in the Eastern Conference finals, and if you weren’t impressed by a 45-point, 15-rebound night in Game 6 against the Celtics when the Heat were facing elimination, then you don’t know basketball. But the Heat also got a huge boost from Chris Bosh in the Game 7 win over Boston, and his presence just makes the game easier for James and Dwyane Wade as Bosh can drag the opposing power forward out to the perimeter, which frees up the lane for the slashers and of course, he can play in the post. James has had to move into the post with Bosh out of the lineup for nine games, but Bosh appears to be 100% healthy now and that bodes well for Miami’s NBA betting odds because without him, the Heat may not have even defeated the Celtics.

That is the problem with the Heat; they have no depth and they’re basically a three-man offense with James, Wade and Bosh. Mario Chalmers is probably the most consistent of the supporting cast and he has never afraid to take a big shot (remember he hit a massive three-pointer to send the national title game to overtime with Kansas and the Jayhawks went on to beat Derrick Rose’s Memphis Tigers). But Mike Miller and Shane Battier can’t be counted on and Udonis Haslem isn’t a scorer. The Heat are going to need their top trio to have an absolutely monster series and Chalmers to win at least one game with huge shots, or else they’re headed for a second consecutive loss in the Finals.

Why Bet On Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder are also powered by a top three of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, while Serge Ibaka chips in down low, and Derek Fisher and Thabo Sefolosha can hit shots if need be. Sefolosha may have been the most important key in Oklahoma City’s win over San Antonio as Westbrook couldn’t handle Tony Parker, but Sefolosha stepped in to lock down the French guard and turn the momentum back towards the Thunder. Durant had a brilliant series against the Spurs and even though he got off to a slow start, he turned up the heat when the Thunder got back to Oklahoma City and never let his foot off the gas. Durant also hit the boards and played better defense than many expected him to, which shows that he is turning into a more rounded player. Westbrook is getting better at learning when to be aggressive and when to turn into a facilitator as he struggled with his shot against the Spurs, but found others ways to contribute. Harden, the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year, helps the Thunder control the second-unit scoring and that is going to be huge in this series as the Heat don’t really have a second unit to speak of.

It’s tough to even nail down a weakness for the Thunder, although they can get a little loose defensively, choosing instead to depend on Ibaka and Perkins in the post. They’re a young team, but they showed plenty of maturity against the Spurs in coming back from an 0-2 deficit in the series, and they were getting blown out in Game 6 before turning the screws and sending San Antonio home. Not only does this team look like they can win Game 1 and the rest of the series; if they can keep everyone together, Oklahoma City will challenge for multiple NBA titles over the next few years.

How It Will Play Out

The Thunder are the NBA betting favorites by five points at Chesapeake Energy Arena, where they have yet to lose a game in the postseason, while the Heat are 4-4 on the road. The Heat also lost their lone trip to Oklahoma City by a score of 103-87 back in March, and you would have to say that the atmosphere at Chesapeake is the best in the league; it’s almost like a college game, which makes sense with a young team.

The Heat may have used up too much energy to beat the Celtics and could suffer from a hangover as the East finals ended on Saturday, while the Thunder have been off since last Wednesday. The Thunder really don’t need more rest, but it’s good to have and they’ll pounce on the Heat early to cover the sports betting spread on Tuesday.

Heat Thunder Betting – Oklahoma City Thunder

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