Things are not looking for the Miami Heat. Some would even say the Heat had no fire in game four of the NBA Finals. They had plenty of advantages going in, with star forward LeBron James looking to rebound from a sub par performance in game three, and a home crowd at the American Airlines Arena to cheer him on. The fault for their dismal performance in a 107-86 loss is not strictly his. He’s still the post-season team leader at 27.2 points per game, and he was the MVP on the floor in Miami with 28 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists. The bottom line is that the Heat were outscored and outplayed in every almost every quarter, falling behind 81-57 at the start of the fourth, leaving them virtually no chance to erase the deficit and come out on top. For the San Antonio Spurs the depth of their bench proved to be the difference as EVERY player contributed – even Aron Baynes and Corey Joseph notched field goals. The strongest contributor off the bench was point guard Patty Mills with 14 points, outscoring three of the game’s starting players. That also goes to show that the Spurs weren’t afraid to spread the wealth around, not relying strictly on Kawhi Leonard (20 points) and Tony Parker (19 points) to get the job done. The Spurs distribute the ball well, have a balanced attack on the floor, and play so cohesively as a team it’s no surprise they’re now up 3-1 on the Spurs. The crushing 107-86 Spurs win leaves the Heat fighting for survival tonight in game five at 8 PM ET on ABC, and the lines for the game are fairly heavy as a result. The Spurs are now -1550 in the series price for best of seven. The Heat have dug themselves in deep and the +1025 line reflects that. They’re heading back to San Antonio for this potential series clincher and that does them no favors on the money line either. As of this writing the Spurs are a -240 favorite and the Heat are the +200 dog. The Heat only played one series that went to six games in the NBA Playoffs, but somehow they seem to have completely run out of gas. Meanwhile the Spurs went to seven games in the opening round and six in the semi-finals, and they still seem to be the fresher of the two. From a sports betting perspective it’s almost mystifying. At this point the smart money is on the Spurs, because time is running out for King James and company, and if the Heat couldn’t tie up the series on their home court they’re not going to steal one in San Antonio. In MMA they say “never leave it to the judges” though, so in basketball I’ll say never leave it to the so-called experts. The Heat feel to me like a punch drunk boxer on the ropes, but this could be a case of the old rope-a-dope. If you’re brave enough to wager on the Heat against all odds tonight, the fact they’re a dog could pay big dividends to you in the end. Please remember all previews are for entertainment purposes and to only wager what you can afford. Thank you and enjoy game five!
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