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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Sophisticated bettors were all eyes as they watched the first game in the National Basketball Association championship round between the Oklahoma City and the Miami Heat-and after the Thunder came from 13 points down to win going away, 105-94, many had to question whether the gentlemen from Florida had enough gas in the tank to go even five games.

As a handicapper, I seriously believe that. The younger Oklahoma City team was better coached, faster, quicker and deeper than the Heat, and the Thunder exhibited the chemistry it takes to win NBA championships-and they were relentless. Miami's 1-2 punch of LeBron James and Dwayne Wade were overwhelmed by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook when the money was on the line in the fourth period.

Complicating this for Miami is the obvious fact Wade is playing with a painful knee injury that is so severe there have been times recently the blood had to be drained off it. Despite this he scored 19 points and had eight assists in the opener. Miami belongs to James but it is Wade that makes it all work and without his explosiveness, exceptional ball smarts and leadership things tend to fall apart.

The timing is bad and the fact Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra went just six deep last night sends a giant message to bettors-there is no one to pick up the slack. For the record, the Thunder went nine deep last night, and had fresh players for the entire 48 minutes.

It is easy to say one cannot put too much significance on the first game of a best-of-seven series, but I am not blind. Oklahoma City is the better team and is playing at the top of its game-the very top, and at playoff time, to boot. The Thunder hit 51.9% from the field in the opener, recording their fourth straight game of 50.0% and up.

While Oklahoma City appears to have all the edges, that does not insure it can or will cover.

What The Numbers Are Saying

There is some additional insight into how linemakers and bookmakers look at this series and in that there is a message to bettors. Consider the following figures and make of them what you will.

  • Oklahoma City is 5-0 straight up (SU) and again the spread (ATS) in its last five playoff games and is 11-3 SU and 11-2-1 ATS in its last 14 games of the post season, indicating the Thunder are not getting much respect from those who make betting lines.

  • Miami is 2-4 SU in its last six playoff games and 2-5 ATS in its last seven.

Over-rated, under-rated-you decide.

Oklahoma City goes into tonight's game as a 5 ½-point favorite, with a total of 196 ½, after opening -4 ½ and 194 ½. After winning the first game, the Thunder is now the -280 favorite to win the NBA championship, while Miami is now +240. The series opened with O.C. -150 and with Miami +150.

I am releasing tonight's game as a 15-unit play and it is available on this site and toll free at 1-800-755-2255 for just $15, charged to your major credit card.

Thursday Betting Menu

Going For 8th Straight 50-Unit Baseball Winner Today
My Chairman's Baseball Club won its seventh straight 50-unit play last night as the Los Angeles Angels (-135) knocked off the Los Angeles Dodgers, 2-1, and that means the club is 9-0 with its last nine big game plays, including two additional 25-unit winners. Today's schedule is loaded with multiple opportunities to win and I intend to take down the money with my eighth straight 50-unit play and in the process get my 10th consecutive winner. This is another team that has a 90% chance to get the money. Get on the hottest bandwagon in all of sports and win tonight's 50-unit play for just $15, charged to your major credit card.

Current 9-0 Chairman's Club Record

6/13-50 Units...Angels (-135) 2, Dodgers 1 (W)
6/12-50 Units...Yankees (-155) 6, Braves 4 (W)
6/11-50 Units...Angels (+110) 3, Dodgers 2 (W)
6/10-50 Units...Diamondbacks (-145) 4, Athletics 3 (W)
6/9-50 Units...Angels (-132) 11, Rockies 5 (W)
6/8-50 Units...Brewers (-150) 9, Padres 5 (W)
6/7-50 Units...White Sox (-148) 4, Blue Jays 3 (W)
6/6-25 Units...Cardinals (-135) 4, Astros 3 (W)
6/5-25 Units...Pirates (+135) 8, Reds 4 (W)

Best Bets Club 8-3 With Last 11 Plays - Goes For Two More Today
My Best Bets Baseball Club went 2-0 last night, winning with two underdogs. It was a 15-unit winner on the Oakland Athletics (+105) with their come-from-behind 10-8 win over Colorado and a 10-unit winner on the New York Yankees (+100) with their 3-2 victory at Atlanta. I love today's card and am coming right back two more knockout winners. I am 8-3 with my last 11 Investment Best Bets Baseball Club plays (see current record below) and have found a team on today's schedule that grades out as a 15-unit play and another as a 10-unit bet. Both should win in dominating fashion and you can get these standout Best Bets Club games for just $10, charged to your major credit card.

Current Investment Best Bets Club 8-3 Record

6/13-15 Units...Athletics (+105) 10, Rockies 8 (W)
6/13-10 Units...Yankees (+100) 3, Braves 2 (W)
6/12-15 Units...Brewers (-145) 1, Royals 2 (L)
6/12-10 Units...Tigers (-125) 3, Cubs 4 (L)
6/11-15 Units...Yankees (-115) 3, Braves 0 (W)
6/10-15 Units...Pirates (-130) 3, Royals 2 (W)
6/10-10 Units...Dodgers (-110) 8, Mariners 2 (W)
6/9-15 Units...Twins (-120) 11, Cubs 3 (W)
6/9-10 Units...Blue Jays (+135) 2, Braves 5 (L)
6/8-15 Units...Angels (-145) 7, Rockies 2 (W)
6/7-15 Units...Giants (-135) 8, Padres 3 (W)

15-Unit Situation Play On Heat at Thunder Tonight
The Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder meet tonight in game two of their best-of-seven series to determine the NBA championship and one can expect both to again fire their best shots to get the win. Host Oklahoma City is 1-up and is favored to make it 2-0 but the cover is another question all together. The betting line makes this one dead-even but when one digs a little deeper the winner most certainly emerges. I am releasing this game as a 15-unit play and with the confidence I will get the money. Win this one for just $15, charged to your major credit card.

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