The Miami Heat came through a tough seven-game Eastern Conference Finals series last year and then flourished in the NBA Finals. They hope history repeats itself this year.
2013 NBA Finals, Game 1:
San Antonio Spurs @ Miami Heat – Thursday, June 6
Betting line: Miami -5.5
Why San Antonio Will Win
No NCAA football betting expert should deny the opening the Spurs have here in Game 1 of what shapes up as an immensely intriguing series. When you go over your next sportsbook review, you can put two and two together and realize that San Antonio’s veterans will be in a position to play with youthful vigor.
Why does San Antonio have such a good chance to win Game 1 of this series? The rationale is a simple and convincing one: The Spurs will be rested and have the point guard who is in position to benefit a lot from an extended break.
Tony Parker has been San Antonio’s best player this season. Tim Duncan has enjoyed the superior career as a whole, but Parker has been the Spurs’ top force in 2013. Parker got injured a few weeks after the All-Star break, and that’s when San Antonio lost hold of the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs. The Spurs struggled for a month and a half and stood on uncertain footing as the playoffs began. However, Parker looked good in the first round against the Los Angeles Lakers and improved in the second round against the Golden State Warriors. His health and movement improved, and even though he got banged up in the Western Conference Finals against Memphis, he persevered and remained the best player on the floor in Games 3 and 4 of the series. He is the matchup problem that Miami will have to solve. It could be that Miami will have LeBron James on Parker in the final minutes of regulation. That will leave inferior defenders on San Antonio’s other players. If Parker can create passing lanes and distribute the ball, he should be able to make plays. Miami, meanwhile, will have very little rest after its seven-game war against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. San Antonio is in better position to win the fourth quarter in this game.
Why Miami Will Win
When people pursue a sports betting play, they can’t look too far ahead in a series and should remain focused on the specific game in front of them. Even football betting gurus would probably say that in this game, not Game 2 or any other game over the next two weeks, San Antonio will be rusty. The Spurs will have had a week and a half off, and while this aging team will welcome the time off, it also has to be said that a week and a half is too long a time for top athletes to rest. Athletes want at least some rhythm and flow to their routines, some constancy they can use to generate a seamless quality to their actions as competitors. San Antonio probably wanted a six-day break between games, but a week and a half could really throw the Spurs out of whack. Miami, on the other hand, will be playing with a familiar rhythm and will have the added benefit of having come through a stiff test to survive. A year ago, Miami fended off the Boston Celtics in a seven-game Eastern Conference Finals showdown. Once Miami got through that series, in which it was feeling a great deal of pressure, the Heat relaxed and then maxed out against Oklahoma City in the Finals. Miami might be in danger in Game 2, but it looks good in Game 1.
Who Will Win?
San Antonio will have a very hard time dealing with almost two full weeks of relative in-game inactivity. That’s a more imposing obstacle than Miami’s bumps and bruises. The Heat should take Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
NBA Betting Pick: Miami -5.5