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Thunder vs. Heat Game 4

Betting Odds

Prediction and Analysis

6/19/12

The Miami Heat are up 2 games to 1 in their best of 7 NBA finals series with the Thunder and have a chance to widen that gap to 3-1 tonight in what will be the 2nd of 3 consecutive home games for the Heat. After dropping game 1 at Oklahoma City 105-94, the Heat took games 2 and 3, 100-96 and 91-85. The current odds have the Heat favored by -3.5 with a total of 192.5.

We frequently mention how rare it is in sports for a team to find themselves in an identical situation to a year ago. To have a 2nd chance to accomplish what they failed to do the previous year. The Heat were in this very same spot a year ago, up 2 games to 1 in the NBA finals only to lose games 4, 5 and 6 to the Mavs. The difference being, game 4 last year was on the road.

The current odds to win the series favor the Heat at a price of -190 at 5 Dimes Sportsbook. While we don't advocate laying odds of almost 2 to 1 on any sports betting proposition, we must admit it's tempting to back the Heat right now to win it all. It's hard to imagine Lebron James and company coming so close, with a 2nd chance, and not taking advantage of the opportunity. James has the opportunity to be known as either a Champion forever, or a guy who just couldn't get it done.

We're going to go against our own numbers here with a game 4 prediction. We use a complex formula to predict a final score of every NBA game, very similar to our college hoops approach.  We use season to date as well as last 5 and last 7 game data. All 3 of those predictions come back under the -3.5 pointspread, with two sets of data predicting a 3 point Heat win and one predicting the Thunder to win game 4 outright. Two of the predictions say under the total of 192.5, one says over.

We're going to go against those numbers and take the Heat to win game 4 in what we think will be a statement game for them. Heat -3.5

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