The 2013 NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat tips off tonight and it should be nothing short of thrilling for both casual fans and hardcore basketball addicts.
Perhaps the only way to ratchet up the intensity of the viewing experience would be to place a wager down on the action, whether it’s friendly or for big bucks at a sportsbook.
Either way you’re going to want to come out a winner, and I have you covered. Keep reading to find out when to catch the game, see the result of the regular season series, get an updated look at the game line and point total, check out predictions on the outcome and more.
When: Thursday, June 6, at 9 p.m. ET
Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Fla.
Regular-season series: Heat swept 2-0.
Spread: Heat -5 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
Take the points and even consider placing a bet on the Spurs to win on the money line.
At +175, it’s a solid value for a team that is coming off 10 days of rest and has the discipline to open up the Finals with a road victory.
In 2012, the Oklahoma City Thunder hosted the Heat in Game 1 and ran away in the fourth quarter. OKC wound up covering the five-point spread and winning 105-94. One likely reason for that was the grueling seven-game series that Miami had to go through against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals.
The eventual champions were clearly exhausted and needed a wake-up call in the form of a double-digit loss to get motivated and sweep through the next four games.
With the Indiana Pacers extending the Heat to seven games in the 2013 ECF, expect more of the same in this series.
The Spurs observed as Indy pinpointed the weak areas of the defending champs and constantly attacked. Although the South Beach-based club eventually won out, its faults have been exposed.
Don’t be surprised when San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich has his players executing a spotless offensive game plan from the inside out and pulling away with a huge underdog upset in Game 1.
Over/Under: 188.5 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
Lean towards the over here, as both teams are primed to score a ton of points.
The Heat and Spurs both utilize an extremely similar offensive attack that relies on a copious amount of screens, quick and unselfish ball movement, deadly three-point shooting from the corners and highly efficient shots at the rim.
These clubs both executed variations of this system against the two best defenses in the league in the conference finals, as the Spurs swept past the Memphis Grizzlies and the Heat found a way to get it done against the Pacers.
Which team will win Game 1?
While San Antonio and Miami are both stout defensive teams, they lack the personnel and have other flaws that do not allow them to perform as well as the Griz and Pacers do on that end.
Given that they’ve just gone up against the best and succeeded, these offenses are clearly firing on all cylinders and should be near impossible to stop on Thursday night.
Expect this to be a barnburner that goes well over the total, with my prediction for the final score being Spurs 101 – Heat 98.