The San Antonio Spurs moved within a game of claiming the NBA championship as they rolled over the Miami Heat in Game 5 on Sunday night. Now they have a chance to finish off the Heat on the road where they won Game 1. Can the Spurs really stop the Heat’s quest at a repeat? It would sure put a dent in LeBron James’ legacy and add a notch for Tim Duncan. Here’s a look at the NBA odds for Game 6.
San Antonio Spurs @ Miami Heat
Odds: Heat -7
Basketball betting fans saw the Spurs shoot a blistering 60% from the field in a 114-104 win over the Heat in Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead in the NBA Finals. Manu Ginobili, who was inserted into the starting lineup for the first time this season, had – by far – his best game of the series with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Danny Green also scored 24, nailing six three-pointers while brearkin the Finals record for threes in a series (previously held, ironically, by Miami’s Ray Allen). Tony Parker had 26 for the Spurs, who jumped out to a 13-point lead after the first quarter and led the entire game. It was a marvelous offensive performance by the Spurs, but Ginobili’s effort was what put them over the edge. He kept Miami off-balance all night long and that made them forget about Green, who is looking like the favorite for an unlikely Finals MVP if the Spurs can pull it off.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade both netted 25 points, but it was a quiet combined 50 points as the Miami stars never hit that extra gear that we’re used to seeing. The Heat shot just 43% from the field and never really recovered from their slow start, and while they had their spurts, Miami couldn’t fully close the gap on the Spurs and by the end of the game, they looked like they just wanted to get out of San Antonio. The Heat, when things are going well, have as much swagger as anyone we’ve ever seen, but when the going gets rough, they tend to go into a shell.
The Heat are a seven-point favorite at home in Miami to send the series to a seventh and deciding game, but that is a dangerous line. The Spurs are a veteran team that has been through it all and on the road since the 2002-03 season, they have had the chance to clinch away from home 16 times; they have won 14 of those games. They are not going to be intimidated to go into a building where they have already won, and they know they can’t afford to give Miami any breathing room.
However, the Heat usually rebound well after a loss and they’re going to play better defense at home. Offensively, they have been playing pretty well, but they can’t let Green go off as he has been in the Finals, and now that they know Ginobili (as Wade proved) still has a little left in the tank, they’ll lock him down, which means the Spurs need a big game from Parker and Tim Duncan. The Heat should win and send it to Game 7, but it’ll be close and that means San Antonio should be your pick to cover.
Pick: Spurs +7