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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Things are looking very bad for the Miami Heat, as you know. It’s not just that they’re trailing the 2014 NBA Finals by a three-games-to-one margin. They couldn’t even manage to be competitive in blowout losses as home favorites!


Game Three: Miami (-4) lost to San Antonio 111-92 (missed expectations by 23 points)

Game Four: Miami (-5.5) lost to San Antonio 107-86 (missed expectations by 26.5 points)


That’s almost 50 points away from where they were supposed to be over two games! And, that most recent debacle came in a game where they were supposed to peak…LeBron James playing at home after a loss. That’s why Miami was laying -5.5 points. They were barely even in the game.

The market has finally accepted that San Antonio is the better team based on the price we’re seeing as we write this.


Las Vegas Line: San Antonio by 6, total of 195.5

That’s probably four points for home court advantage, and another two for being superior in the Power Ratings. If recent form is any indication, that line is still off by a mile. That wouldn’t even make a good halftime line based on the fast starts that San Antonio was getting.

Are the Miami Heat toast? Or, can they come back in a way that covers that number…or even extends the series with what would be the fourth pointspread upset in the first five games?

The keys:

*Find some BALANCE! You can’t beat San Antonio playing 2 on 10 basketball. LeBron James is still heroic. Dwayne Wade looks to be wearing down. Chris Bosh disappeared for Game Three and wasn’t much more present in Game Four. Everyone else? Spectators! If LeBron doesn’t get any help, this game may not even be worth watching.

*Start QUICK! San Antonio could conceivably be flat here, having a couple of days to think about how they’re going to celebrate their championship. Miami just take the initiative out of the gate and take any free points that are being given. It’s not like Miami is showing “come back” capabilities in this series. They need to score an early uppercut and then maintain intensity for 48 minutes.

*Deny OPEN LOOKS on three pointers! San Antonio is just under 50% for the series from long range. That should be impossible under championship pressure against teams who should be playing with peak defensive intensity. Miami hasn’t been able to do that, which means a lot of open looks for the Spurs. San Antonio has shooters who will hit their open looks. Defenses just can’t sit back and cross their fingers. 

JIM HURLEY believes the key to handicapping this particular game is the Miami mindset. If they’ve thrown in the towel already, then we’re going to see another 110-90 type victory. Remember…Miami’s bench is much worse…so even if the Spurs take out their starters the bench isn’t likely to below a lead. A Miami malaise means you load up on San Antonio and leave the total alone. But, if Miami is refocused, particularly on defense…then a Miami and Under combo might make a lot of sense.

On-site sources have been reporting back to JIM HURLEY all through the weekend. And, his “friends behind the line” offshore and in Las Vegas have also been clueing him into Wise Guy developments. You’ll be able to purchase the final word for what might be the final game of the NBA Finals Sunday morning and afternoon right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about summer baseball packages or early-bird football, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155.

If there is a Game Six, we’ll be back to preview that on Tuesday. Here’s the NOTEBOOK schedule for the next few days…

Monday: MLB Series Preview: Kansas City at Detroit

Tuesday: NBA Finals Game 6 (if necessary) or SF/CWS MLB series preview

Wednesday: MLB prime TV preview for LA Angels/Cleveland

Thursday: NBA Finals Game 7 (unlikely!) or MLB Series Preview: Atlanta at Washington (huge 4-game set!)

Have a great FATHER’S DAY! …and don’t you every forget that when championships are on the line, YOU NEED WORLD CHAMPION HANDICAPPER JIM HURLEY!

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