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December 12, 2017

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NBA Finals in Vegas: Odds shifting toward Miami



Miami Heat power forward Chris Bosh, left, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (0) and Heat small forward LeBron James (6) lose the rebound as small forward James Jones (22) looks on during the first half at Game 3 of the NBA Finals basketball series, Sunday, June 17, 2012, in Miami.

Tuesday's Game Four

  • Spread: — Oklahoma City +3.5 @ Miami
  • Moneyline: — Oklahoma City +140 @ Miami -160
  • Total: — o/u 192
  • Talking Points' Pick: — Thunder 98, Heat 96
  • Numbers from Cantor Gaming

The NBA Finals series price carousel keeps turning violently, throwing the two teams from one side to the other in rapid succession.

In the last four days, the odds to win the NBA Finals have shifted an astounding 435 points. The Miami Heat’s two-game surge has left them as a minus 200 (risking $2 to win $1) favorite to bring the Larry O’Brien Trophy to South Florida for the first time since 2006.

The Oklahoma City Thunder come back at plus 170 at Cantor Gaming properties.

With the way analysts are harping on Oklahoma City’s issues and emphasizing the two straight games left in Miami, the price may sound short.

But oddsmakers have a way of drowning out the babble and not over-reacting to what’s popularly referred to as “the momentum” of the series.

The championship is far from decided headed into Tuesday’s Game Four, in which the Heat are favored by 3.5 points over the Thunder. Miami, after all, found itself in this same position a year ago.

The Heat led the Dallas Mavericks two games to one and were more than minus 200 favorites in the 2011 NBA Finals. But Miami, with LeBron James averaging a mere 15 points in the final three games, infamously collapsed from there.

The Mavericks, however, were able to take advantage of the Heat’s worst performances, something the Thunder failed to do in Game Three.

Miami is highly unlikely to give Oklahoma City as many opportunities Tuesday as it did Sunday. The Heat shot a dreadful 5-for-31 outside of the paint, the worst mark in an NBA Finals game in the last 15 years.

Neither Dwyane Wade nor Chris Bosh made a single shot from more than 10 feet from the basket, going a combined 11-for-34 from the field.

But the Thunder had trouble guarding James, who had 29 points and 14 rebounds, throughout the game and couldn’t make free-throws when it mattered. Kevin Durant, an 87 percent free-throw shooter, missed six of his final 14 from the charity stripe.

According to R.J. Bell of, the odds against Durant shooting that poorly were 240-to-1.

Oklahoma City is plus 140 on the money line in Game Four. If the Thunder prevail, the series price will swing back in their favor.

Then it will come time to explain why Miami’s not out.

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

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