NBA Finals Picks: Mavericks at Heat Game 2 Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 6/2/2011
All that positive karma that the Dallas Mavericks had going for them heading into Tuesday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals – a five-game road postseason winning streak, a regular-season sweep of the Heat and one more day of rest than Miami – is now totally gone after the Heat’s 92-84 victory. It kept Miami unbeaten at home in the playoffs and was its fifth straight win overall as well as No. 5 in a row against Dirk Nowitzki’s Mavs in the Finals – of course the Heat of Dwayne Wade and Shaquille O’Neal won the final four games of the 2006 Finals against Dirk and Co. Only Jason Terry is also left on Dallas; only Wade and Udonis Haslem are back on the Heat.
Mavericks at Heat Betting Story Lines
The last thing Dallas could afford was an injury to Nowitzki. But Nowitzki tore a tendon in his left middle finger while stripping the ball from Chris Bosh in the fourth quarter. Nowitzki said following the game the he couldn’t straighten the finger. X-rays were negative and he will wear a splint on it. There’s no chance he misses any time, but that could certainly have an impact on his shooting (that’s his guide hand) and rebounding.
Nowitzki was one-man wrecking crew against the Thunder, but had a quiet 27 points on 7-for-18 shooting in Game 1 against Miami. He hit just two shots outside of 15 feet and was only 3-for-8 on jumpers. Pretty much every Heat player over 6-foot-3 guarded Dirk at one point, but for the most part it was Haslem and Chris Bosh. The Mavericks shot just 37 percent from the field, by far their worst of the playoffs. The Mavs’ two perceived advantages were perimeter shooting and bench depth. Entering the Finals the Mavs’ bench, led by Terry, had averaged 39.4 points per game in the playoffs on 45.8 percent shooting. In Game 1, that group had 17 points and shot 18 percent from the field (the worst in the postseason as well), including just one bucket that wasn’t a three-pointer. Dallas is no match for Miami athletically or defensively so if the Mavs don’t shoot a high percentage and dominate the bench play, this could be a sweep.
The Heat, meanwhile, weren’t exactly tearing it up by shooting 39 percent. But they have proven they can win that way. Plus, the Heat outrebounded Dallas by 10 – the Bulls were able to outrebound Miami in every game but one. And Miami has shown it is a good come-from behind team. It trailed by as many as eight points in the second half of Game 1. The Heat have won eight games this postseason when trailing by as many as eight points at any time and five of them when down by at least eight in the second half (most of any playoff team).
There was one injury for the Heat in Game 1. Forward Mike Miller aggravated a left shoulder injury late in the game. He was to be re-evaluated Wednesday but claims he won’t miss any game action, although he did leave the arena in a protective sling. Miller had six points and five boards in 20 minutes of Game 1, his third straight game with at least 20 minutes after being a forgotten man for the first two rounds of the postseason.
Mavericks at Heat Betting Odds and Key Trends
Miami has opened as a 4.5-point betting favorite with the total at 186, according to NBA odds.
Dallas has covered seven of its past nine on the road and six of past eight as a dog.
The Mavericks tied the Heat for the most road wins in the NBA during the regular season.
Miami is 7-0 ATS in its past seven as a favorite. It is 10-1 ATS in its past 11 playing on just a day’s rest.
The ‘under’ is 6-2 in Dallas’ past eight as a dog.
The ‘over’ is 6-1 in Miami’s past seven at home (Game 1 of Finals being the exception)
NBA Picks: Mavericks at Heat Predictions
Dallas did do a solid job on Miami’s Big 3 of LeBron James, Wade and Bosh in holding them to 65 points, so that potentially bodes well. The Magic number for those three is 75 as Miami is 31-3 this year when they combine for that much. And I happen to think the Mavs bench bounces back – the Heat bench only has outscored the opposition eight times all season, including Game 1. Plus the rebounding edge should be much more even in Game 2. So Dallas covers. And take the ‘over’ as both teams will know each other better now and won’t shoot as poorly.
Vegas Sports Informer has been dominating the NBA odds long term and his NBA picks have scored 16 of 25 winning nights and he is on a current 7-3 run. His NBA handicapping has uncovered a very strong selection for Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.
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