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NBA Championship Betting Tips - The Heat Play The Thunder In "Weather Channel" Finals

Posted by Craig Parsons on 6/11/2012 4:19:46 PM

Basketball junkies are giddy at the prospect of seeing several of the NBA's foremost star players in this year's edition of the league's championship series. A high-grade show awaits the NBA.

NBA Finals: Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – Series Overview
Sports betting line: N/A

Why Miami Will Win

When you do your homework and try to engage in sports betting online, especially in the NBA postseason, you will want to remember what happened in the 2011 NBA Finals – no, not the fact that the Miami Heat lost, but the fact that Dwyane Wade played an excellent series. It's true: After a very tough and demanding Eastern Conference playoff run, a period of five to six weeks in which highly-prepared and well-coached defenses managed to contain him, Wade flourished last June against the Dallas Mavericks and enjoyed a terrific Finals series.

Last year's NBA Finals showcased Wade, not LeBron James, as Miami's best and most consistent player. Yes, it's true that LeBron has to be the Heat's best player in order for the Eastern Conference champions to win this series, but the larger and more important point is that if Wade has the kind of series he enjoyed in the 2011 NBA Finals, the Heat will have a tremendous chance to win this competition and claim their second NBA title, the first in the LeBron era.

One note to add about Miami's chances is this: Chris Bosh, back in the lineup after an abdominal strain knocked him out for just over three weeks, has fresher legs because of his absence. Bosh looked very energetic and vigorous in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics this past Saturday. If he can perform at an elite level, the Heat become a substantially better squad.

Why Oklahoma City Will Win

The first point to emphasize in this series is that Oklahoma City simply grew up in the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. Through the first two games of that series, it seemed as though the young Thunder were out of their depth against an older, wiser crew that had already won multiple NBA championships in the past. Oklahoma City was not playing well at all on defense. It seemed to flinch in the face of a big moment. The team that was lucky to beat Dallas in Game 1 of the first round (star player Kevin Durant watched a last-second shot hit the front rim, kangaroo off the backboard, and then drop through the basket for a game-winner that changed the tone of the series) was looking very wobbly and vulnerable.

Then it proceeded to win four straight games against San Antonio. The Thunder cranked up their level of defensive intensity, but more than that, they really committed themselves to every aspect of winning basketball. They didn't stand around as much in their offensive sets; they ran crisp plays. They didn't get sidetracked by their emotions. They didn't buckle in Game 5 on the road in San Antonio when they had every chance to do so. A new emotional armor was formed in this team's inner circle. It now looks at itself differently. That's the biggest ingredient in a championship season: developing the toughness and professionalism needed to finish the job.

Who Will Win?

The Heat are improving with a relatively healthy version of Chris Bosh, but the Thunder are excelling at a rate which makes Miami look pedestrian by comparison. Oklahoma City is on a major-league roll, while Miami has done well to merely survive the Eastern Conference. This is the Thunder's series to lose; OKC will not fail over the next two weeks. Kevin Durant will win his first NBA championship.

Click here for more content on the latest odds and angles for the NBA playoffs.

NBA Playoff Betting Pick: Oklahoma City in 6 games

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