SPORTS

A (prop) betting guide to Game 7 between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs

TAGs: basketball, Miami Heat, nba finals, San Antonio Spurs, sports

finals-heat-spursBy now, everybody has probably had ample time to gather back their senses after arguably one of the most epic NBA Finals games in recent history. We’ve all replayed the dying seconds of that game in our heads countless of times. We’ve all had discussions with our mates on what should and shouldn’t have happened. And we’ve all had some sleep, or at least some of us.

Make no mistake: the aftermath of that game and the potential legacy-altering repercussions should the Heat take down the Spurs in Game 7 after being in the brink themselves in the final seconds of Game 6 isn’t lost in the minds of players and coaches from both sides and fans from both teams.

But even if our collective hearts are all on strings right now, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the sheer spectacle of a Game 7, let alone one that decides who wins the NBA championship. An NBA Finals Game 7 is basketball’s equivalent of the SuperBowl. One game. One winner. One loser. Win or go home, as TNT endlessly tells us.

And just like the SuperBowl, the game itself wouldn’t be as fun without having some money on the line, which is why if there was ever a basketball game where lines and prop bets are going to be bet on heavily, it’s this one.

Heading into Game 7, most of Las Vegas books opened with Miami as 7-point favorites, not too surprising considering the last Finals Game 7 in 2010 between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers saw LA, playing on their home court, opened at the same number. The money line for both teams have also been set with Miami a -280 favorite and San Antonio at +240. Early action on San Antonio has since pushed the spread down to 6 but I’m expecting Heat backers to come in late and push it back to its starting number.

The over/under for the game has been a little more erratic, opening at 190 and swinging the numbers half-points in both directions. Incidentally, Game 6 was the only game in the entire series where that 190 number was breached with Game 3 hitting the exact number.

Now that we’ve gotten the main lines out of the way, there are still a plethora of prop bets that could find prove pretty enticing for bettors everywhere. The LVH SuperBook has posted 20 props for bettor’s consumption, including team totals, stat totals for players from both teams, and largest leads for either team. Nothing better than to bet on a game within a game, or in some cases, a game within a game within a game.

Diving into the Heat’s player totals, LeBron James’ point total (29.5) will probably get most of the action, especially considering that despite his 32-point Game 6, he’s still averaging just a shade over 23 for the entire series. Meanwhile, LeBron’s rebounds+assists total have been set at 16 while his free throws made for the game is at 6.5.

As for the other two members of Miami’s Big Three, Dwyane Wade’s point total for the game is at 18 with free throws made posted at a curiously low 4 given the stakes involved in this game. Not being left out on the action is Chris Bosh, who finds his points+rebounds total pegged at 22.

Over on the other side, the San Antonio Spurs also have their fair share of prop bets, none more interesting than Tim Duncan’s points+rebounds total at just 28. Granted, he just came off of a vintage 30-point, 17-rebound masterpiece but 29.5 in a deciding game with a title on the line again seems a little low. Tony Parker also has a few props attached to his name, including a points+assists total of 28 and free throws made at 4.5. Finally, Manu Ginobili, a man who needs to have a big game for San Antonio to have a shot at winning, has a points total of just 12.5.

Moving to team props, Miami’s total score for the game has been posted at 97.5 with San Antonio at 91.5. 15 points have been posted as the largest lead of the game for either team while 16 has been set as the total number of 3-point field goals for both teams.

And finally, the always tricky “who scores X points first” prop has Miami at -125 to score 10 points first, -135 to score 15 points first, and -160 to score 25 points first. Conversely, San Antonio is +105, +115, and +140, respectively, to do the same.

So wrap these numbers around your heads, people, especially if you’re thinking about laying down some wood to make your Game 7 viewing that much more exciting.

The countdown is most definitely on.

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