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October 30, 2014

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NBA Finals in Vegas: Spurs a small favorite over Heat in series and Game 4

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

San Antonio Spurs’ Danny Green, left, reacts with Gary Neal after scoring during the first half at Game 3 of the NBA Finals basketball series against the Miami Heat, Tuesday, June 11, 2013, in San Antonio.

Don’t make the same mistake some analysts made Tuesday night. Don’t pen the Miami Heat’s eulogy yet.

Despite an embarrassing 113-77 loss to San Antonio in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Miami is a victory Thursday night away from regaining its status as the favorite in the series, according to Las Vegas odds.

Even as it stands now, the Heat are only slight underdogs. Most sports books have the Spurs at a price of minus-130 (risking $1.30 to win $1) with the Heat coming back at plus-110 (risking $1 to win $1.10) heading into Game 4.

Miami is down to a 1-point underdog in Game 4. The Heat opened at plus-2 immediately following the Game 3 flogging, but were bet down to 1.5 in a hurry.

Concerns about San Antonio point guard Tony Parker, who is a game-time decision with a hamstring strain, pushed down the spread another half-point. If Parker doesn’t play, the line will swing to the other side and the Heat will be favored.

Parker’s absence may not matter if backup Gary Neal keeps at the pace he set in Game 3. Playing an extended role, Neal chipped in six 3-pointers and a total of 24 points.

Las Vegas sports books so far this series haven’t posted proposition wagers on Neal or Danny Green, who exploded with a game-high 27 points Tuesday, but might need to start.

Based on the past couple games, they also may want to consider lowering the marks set for Heat star LeBron James. James has gone under the total of 43 combined points, rebounds and assists set by the LVH Superbook in each of the past two games, with 32 in Game 2 and 31 in Game 3.

The lackluster efforts caused a televised frenzy. But, again, don’t fall for all of that.

Look for James to go over Thursday.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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