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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Las Vegas sports bettors are in for what’s become a relatively rare treat when the NBA Championships bring us a SEVENTH game Thursday Night in Miami. I have to say that this particular collection of dynamics has created one of the toughest handicapping challenges I’ve seen in my many years living out here in the gambling capital of the world.

Let’s start where I always start, PLAYMAKERS and GAMEBREAKERS.

*There’s no secret at the end of a long series…that’s capping off a long season…who the go-to-guys are for each team. But, there are definitely big question marks about the condition they’ll be in Thursday. Everyone’s exhausted. A few are dealing with nagging injuries (particularly Dwyane Wade of Miami and Tony Parker of San Antonio). Imagine if a Super Bowl went into overtime…and then DOUBLE overtime…and you were only trying to handicap that second extra period after everyone was wiped out. That’s what this feels like. You’re not handicapping a game. You’re handicapping a gut check.

*Each team has role players who can step up and make shots. That’s why so many of the games have been one-sided in this series. If the Spurs role players are hitting treys, they win big. If Miami gets production from outside of the Big Three, they can run away and hide. Each side has players who can be “GameBreaker for a Day,” in a way that could easily trump what the exhausted superstars bring to the table.

*Each of the coaches, possibly more than in any other series I can recall, can be GameBreakers in terms of the decisions they make. This has been a series of adjustment and counter-adjustment. This is very likely to continue through a seventh game where the head coaches will be very attuned to the energy level of their main guys.

As a fan, I’m really looking forward to the game. As a handicapper, I have a lot to consider in terms of nuts and bolts analysis.

And, because we’re talking about the Miami Heat, we also have to mention the point I made last time…this team can’t stay hot! You bring THE MOTIVATION FACTOR into play, and you have to wonder if Miami will make the enormous mistake of relaxing after their dramatic comeback. They’ve started most games very slowly anyway. Will that just get worse after barely surviving Tuesday?

From the San Antonio perspective…are they devastated about blowing the game…or furious and ready to go to war one last time? If San Antonio at peak intensity lines up against flat-footed Miami, things could get out of hand very quickly. Yet, if the Spurs are unable to get off the mat after suffering that big blow Tuesday, things could blow up in Miami’s direction just as easily.

Chaos amidst the PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS, then extreme volatility from THE MOTIVATION FACTOR.

And, I haven’t even talked about the Over/Under yet. NBA history suggests you should look at the Under in a seventh game. But, both of these teams have been trying to push tempo to create better shots for themselves…both teams have shooters…both teams are capable of getting hot from behind the arc…and there’s always a chance for overtime, which turned a game that was 190 at the end of regulation into 203 back on Tuesday.

Hey, if you feel like you’re in over your head, it’s very understandable. You’re taking my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping course because you want to do a better job in the sportsbooks…but this game presents Graduate Level challenges. I advise you do-it-yourselfers to use caution in this tricky game. If you’d like some help, you can purchase my final decision (possibly a side and a total) Thursday in the hours leading up to tipoff here at the website with your major credit card. I will work through all the key factors to find the best approach for my clients.

Back with you again this weekend to talk about either baseball or early-bird football preparations. This will be the last basketball report because the season ends Thursday. We’ll have a mix of baseball and football through the rest of the summer so you can keep building your bankrolls on the diamonds to get ready for autumn on the gridirion. Thanks again for all the work and intensity you’ve been putting into the coursework, particularly during these recent NBA Playoffs.

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