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June 8th 2014 - Posted at 11:00 AM Eastern Time

Take San Antonio Spurs at -4 spread (buy half a point) against Miami Heat risking 2%

It’s Game 2 between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat tonight. Game 1 was a lot like what we expected it to be. It was a fairly closely contested game but the Spurs ultimately wore down the Heat and pulled away to win by 15 points. Game 1 had a lot of interesting aspects to it from the uncharacteristic amount of turnovers by both teams to the fact that the air conditioning system in the arena went out and caused dehydration. Despite all of that, it was still an exciting game to watch and the same should be the case tonight.

The Spurs are one of the few truly elite teams in the league. There’s no question that the Western Conference was a much tougher conference than the East this season. The Spurs had a much tougher road to get to the Finals having to go through highly efficient and offensive minded teams such as the Dallas Mavericks, Portland Blazers and the Oklahoma City Thunder! They are battle-tested and ready for Miami. The Heat however had to play the Charlotte Bobcats, Brooklyn Nets and the Indiana Pacers to get back to the Finals. Neither of the aforementioned teams provided much resistance. While the Pacers took the Heat to 6 games, it really wasn’t a competitive series and the Heat weren't properly challenged. Now that Miami have to play a team like the Spurs, they have taken a huge step up in competition. Being battle tested at this point in the playoffs make a huge difference and paid dividends for San Antonio in Game 1.

San Antonio is the type of team that can hurt opponents in a number of different ways. From Tony Parker driving into the lane, to distributing the ball to any one of the sharpshooters hanging out on the perimeter, or to Hall of Famer Tim Duncan on the inside, the Spurs are dangerous no matter where they are on the court! They are also one of the most efficient teams with the basketball. They hit the highest percentage of shots from the 3 point line in the NBA (40%) and also succeed on the inside. They play fundamental basketball extremely well and you can see it in the player’s body language that they will do absolutely anything to win this series. Everyone on the Spurs team seems to step up in big games, from Manu Ginobili and the veteran core to younger players like Kwahi Leonard and backups like Boris Diaw and Patty Mills. The Brazilian Tiago Splitter has also played a key role and is a force to be reckoned with.

The depth of the Spurs is tough to contend with. Gregg Popovich is consistently rotating players in and out keeping fresh legs on the floor. Each rotation of players makes the Heat change their defensive game plan. Heat coach Eric Spoelstra is one we admire but he cannot game plan to defend Paty Mills the same way he guards Tony Parker and you can’t guard Boris Diaw the same way that you guard Tim Duncan. The starting 5 players on the Spurs have been together for a long time and know each other extremely well while the bench players are young, aggressive and play a different style of basketball. This allows the Spurs to keep teams off balance and has been a big reason behind their success this year. Just like the first game, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole and the rest of the Heat should have a hard time adjusting to the Spurs ball movement.

Not taking anything away from the Miami Heat, they are the 2-time defending champions for a reason. This is their 4th straight NBA Finals so they are a quality, championship team. Players like LeBron James and Dwayne Wade are “winners”. They are veteran players and will make an impact in any game. The Heat are also a threat because they have shown they are capable of putting points on the board in a hurry. They have the capability of turning any game into a closely contested battle. When all is said and done however, this game is being played in San Antonio. The Spurs did not play at their best in game 1 and yet they still won by double digits. Popovich will expect them to take much better care of the ball and cut down on the uncharacteristic amount of turnovers they had in game 1. There is also still a question of if the cramping of LeBron James will have any lingering effect on his performance tonight. With the AC back on and game conditions back to normal, we expect Spurs to send this series to South Beach with a 2-0 series lead. While this game may be close in the early stages, Gregg Popovich's team should execute better and pull away in the second half. They are likely to win this game by 5+ points in our opinion.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Spurs are 9-3 ATS as home favorites of 3.5 to 6 points.
  • Spurs are 4-2 ATS against Miami is game played in San Antonio over the last 3 seasons.
  • Heat are 0-4 ATS as road underdogs of 3.5 to 6 points.
  • Heat are just 3-6 ATS as underdogs this season.

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