2012 NBA Finals Betting Odds
The 2012 NBA Finals will be a spectical of talent and excitement. Oklahoma City and Miami fans alike will be wild, the action on the floor will inspire young and old alike. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect this series.
How Oklahoma City views this series:
Let’s start with the fans in Oklahoma; they can be compared to an arena full of college fans, in the best way possible. Every night in Oklahoma City will be, quite literally, filled with Thunder. No doubt it will be very difficult to silence this crowd.
From the player’s perspective this is a perfect chance to showcase how well the Thunder can play as a team. Kevin Durant has been quite clear that he expects each game to be a not a one man show but a concerted effort by the Thunder. It has been pointed out that the Thunder possess one of the lowest assist rates in the NBA but that doesn’t mean only one guys is doing all the work. Oklahoma City has consistently spread the scoring around the team, even though they do not pass much. Miami can’t depend on LeBron James to win this series for them.
And Thunder head coach Scott Brooks is not concerned about who the Heat put on the floor. When asked about Miami’s changing lineup Brooks said it was basically inconsequential who the Heat bring, he is prepared to run his guys against theirs. Brooks likewise confident going with a big or small lineup, putting an extra ball-handler on the floor or not.
Essentially the Oklahoma City Thunder are confident in themselves and each other. Expect a fine coaching battle aimed at exploiting matches and mismatches. Durant can handle himself in an isolated one-on-one, while Westbrook stays outside the paint to take most of his shots and Harden will dribble around screens and split defenders.
How Miami views this series:
Experience is the best way to express Miami’s confidence coming into the NBA Finals. LeBron James has been here twice before, he will not be dazzled by the glamour but he will be hungry; he has yet to earn the title of NBA champion. LeBron has said that on and off the court his life is better and he is far more comfortable with Miami than he was last year. This ease has been showing up big time in previous playoff series this year and we can expect he has more great games in him yet.
The Heat have been a better defensive team through this season, relying on one or two players each game to put up huge points. Thus the correct matchups will be essential to a Heat victory. Early in the series the play of Chris Bosh will matter a lot. Bosh is OK with being a bench player or a starter. As he has explained he knows he needs to add to the teams scoring and help carry the weight on offense. It will therefore be critical that Miami is able to re-adjust to incorporating Bosh into their game and make sure too much time is not spent standing around watching the LeBron and Wade go to work.
Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra has acknowledged his teams experience will be an assist but is not ready to discount the experience the Thunder have built. Spoelstra recognizes his team’s need to protect against the Thunder’s ability to run the court on a turnover but is intent on staying aggressive despite this risk because he believes his teams nature is to be aggressive.
When these two teams met back on March 25th of this year Oklahoma City Thunder beat Miami a big 103-87. When a team has home court advantage in the NBA Finals that team has won the series 20 out of 27 times since the NBA began this Finals format (2-3-2). The Oklahoma City Thunder have been given slightly better odds of winning the series with a 1.5 spread. The odds heavily favor the series to go over five games, makes sense given the explosive scoring potential of each team; this will be a shoot out. If the Miami Heat can get more players scoring points they increase their chances of an upset, having addressed their standout weakness. Otherwise experience and aggression won’t stop Oklahoma City from making this championship theirs.
NBA Finals MVP Odds
It should not come as a surprise that with one exception the NBA Finals MVP has always come from the team who took the championship. Thus with the Oklahoma City Thunder favored to win one expects the MVP to come from OKC. Again no surprise then that Kevin Durant and LeBron James are the top two contenders going into this series. A bet on Durant is listed at 5/6 odds and James is at 3/2. LeBron does have a good chance of leading his Heat to a series win as he is playing the best basketball he has played in a while. Next in line are Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook, both at 15/2 odds. Neither is a bad choice, perhaps LeBron and Durant can shut each other down. In that case Westbrook is a great choice given OKC is favored to win and OKC’s play style is more congruent to spreading the ball around.
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