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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, June 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Whenever sharps unite on a proposition that goes against the flow the early results in a series, it’s important that you pay attention. Such an occasion has arisen with the Over/Under in Game Three of the NBA Championship series matching the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat.

The Vegas totals in the first two games were 195 and 196

The actual scoreboard results in those games were 199 and 196, an Over and a push

Average Line: 195.5

Average Game: 197.5

Oddsmakers opened the Game Three total at 194.5…which was lower than what we had seen. Then, sharps bet the UNDER! We’re now seeing 193 in most places as we go to press early Sunday afternoon Eastern time (mid-morning Las Vegas time). Apparently oddsmakers anticipated the sharps’ intentions, but weren’t able to nail the exact number they had in mind.

Why would the sharps like the Under in a series that’s averaging 197.5 points per game? We asked around to see what respected contacts in Vegas and offshore were saying.

*First, sharps expect the level of defense to intensify. It’s going to be tougher for the main scoring threats to get shots off in their view. And, they’re not optimistic that role players are going to shoot lights out if the ball comes to them from out of a double team. \\\\

*Second, they expect the game to slow down a bit. This has already been a relatively slow series with possession totals landing on 89 and 90 in the first two games. Both teams are afraid of the other’s fast break, and both will continue to take measures to avoid giving up easy buckets. The last two games in the Boston-Miami series landed on 86 possessions. Sharps are telling us they expect tonight’s game to drift in that direction.

*Third, nobody thinks Shane Battier is going to keep making all of those treys! Not only is he due to cool off. But, Oklahoma City’s defense has learned they can’t just ignore him while focusing on LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Both teams are working hard to make adjustments thus far…and the bulk of those adjustments moving forward are likely to improve defense rather than offense.

It’s not like the line has dropped to 191 or 189. Sharps aren’t expecting a drastic collapse in scoring. But, they recognize that the possibility for that does exist in these circumstances, and they believe that 193 makes more sense than the opener. They’re happy with their positions at Under 194.5, Under 194, and Under 193.5.

Now, be forewarned that this hasn’t been a great postseason for Under bettors. Other line moves like this didn’t work out the way sharps had hoped. One hot shooter can make a difference in a game like this, as can officiating styles. There no sure things, even for sharps!

The sharpest minds in handicapping have posted their Game Three selections here at the website. Check out the display ads on the home page as well as the “buy picks” pulldown to find complete details regarding what’s available.

Of note:

*Jim Hurley is 3-0 so far in the championship series, winning with Oklahoma City and the Over in Game One, then coming back with an upset call on the Heat in Game Two. You definitely don’t want to make a move in Game Three until you hear what his NETWORK has come up with for Sunday Night’s 20-STAR. Take care of business early to get two bonus baseball winners on the $20 report.

*Tony Salinas is 5-1 his last six playoff releases. The man who virtually invented NBA Playoff handicapping has been hot all through the postseason. Bonus baseball is included on Sunday’s $15 report.

*Kelso Sturgeon, the dean of handicappers, has a 25-unit situational Power Play that you can purchase right up until game time for $15.

We’ll continue to monitor market developments for you throughout the NBA Finals. Perceptions are changing on a daily basis for many significant investors. We’ll post special reports at this website as needed. If you’re going to beat the market, you need to THINK LIKE A SHARP and BET LIKE A SHARP! There’s no better place to develop those skills than VegasSportsMasters!

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