NBA Miami Heat Predictions: Player Betting Props For 'Big Three'
by Trevor Whenham - 7/15/2010
The NBA has changed dramatically since July 1. Obviously. The biggest challenge of the changes for bettors - at least in the short term - is going to be adjusting the expectations of the big name players that moved to new teams. Some players are going to see their numbers jump as a result of their new surroundings and new teammates, while others will have to learn how to share the spotlight a bit. Bodog has helped make things interesting as we think about the possible changes by posting a variety of props for the big players. Here’s a look at some of the more interesting ones:
LeBron James points – ‘over/under’ 23.5 - This one is really interesting. James has only been ‘under’ this total once, and that was when he was a rookie. In fact, he hasn’t come within 3.7 points per game of that total since then. On the other hand, he’s never really played with another talented player who can carry a big offensive load, and who wants and needs the ball and the opportunities. Now he is playing with three on the Miami Heat. On one hand it makes sense that James is going to have to share the ball around more than he is used to, and his numbers will fall. He also won’t take as many late game shots because Wade will be looking for them as well. On the other hand, he’s going to play in an offense far more explosive and potent than he ever has before. The ‘over’ is favored here at -125, with the ‘under’ at -105. It’s not a direct comparison at all, but Kevin Garnett’s production fell by 3.6 points per game when he moved from Minnesota to Boston. James’ production may fall even more, but he’s coming off a 29.7 ppg season, so he would have to fall off a lot to go ‘under’ here. I lean towards the ‘over,’ but I’m not boldly confident in that suggestion.
Dwyane Wade points – ‘over/under’ 25.5 - This one is more straightforward than the last one. There’s a good chance that Wade will be the alpha dog on this team, so his point production may not fall off as far as James’ will. It only stands to reason, though, that he will score less. He was at 26.6 ppg last year, so falling ‘under’ this total wouldn’t be a long trip. The ‘under’ is favored at -120, and it makes sense that it is.
Chris Bosh points – ‘over/under’ 18 - I like the ‘over’ here. Bosh has been well over this level since he was in his second year. He’ll be the third option on this team, but given that there isn’t going to be another top-level player patrolling the paint there are going to be a lot of points for Bosh to vacuum up.
LeBron James assists – ‘over/under’ 9 - This one really requires an assessment of the chemistry that the team is going to have. If James can make a strong and fast connection with Bosh and Wade - something that should be likely given their existing relationship - then there’s a good chance that he’ll go ‘over’ this number. He had 8.6 assists per game last year, and he certainly didn’t have guys like Wade and Bosh to dish the ball to. If the Heat don’t land a competent point guard - and it’s increasingly unlikely that they will - then the chances of going ‘over’ increase.
Chris Bosh assists – ‘over/under’ 10 - This is the most straightforward one we have looked at yet in my eyes. Bosh has had 10 or more rebounds per game in three of his last four seasons. His role with his new team is going to be to dominate the paint, and he’s not going to have a whole lot of competition for the rebounds in there. The ‘over’ looks more than a little good to me at -115 - certainly better than the ‘under’ does at the same price.
David Lee points – ‘over/under’ 21.5 - It may not seem like it, but there actually is more than one team in the league, and more than three free agents. Lee joins the Warriors in a pretty aggressive sign-and-trade deal by Golden State. They obviously like him, and they are going to give every opportunity to succeed. You still have to take a big leap of faith if you are going to take the ‘over,’ though.
Lee is coming off a season when he scored 20.2 ppg, and that was a significant step forward from the 16 ppg the previous season or the 10.8 two years ago. Lee is improving, but you’ll have to assume that he quickly adjusts to the new surroundings and teammates and continues to improve this year. He’s joining a very aggressive, high-scoring offense, but the Knicks under Mike D’Antoni weren’t exactly scoring lightweights last year. Monta Ellis was the only Warrior to score more than 20 ppg last year, and the offense has been more based on the outside than on the inside where it would favor Lee. It’s not hard to imagine Lee exceeding this total, but the ‘over’ and the ‘under’ are at the same price (-115), and with that in mind I have to lean to the ‘under’.
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