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Heat vs Spurs: It all Comes Down to Game Seven

Game Seven of the NBA Finals is tonight in Miami between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs. Ahh, Game Seven. I can hear the conspiracy theorists now. You know, the ones who think the sports gambling sites control the outcomes of games. “Of course it was going to go seven, that’s so the gamblers can make more money.” You’ve heard it all before. But the truth is Game Sevens do not happen all that often. When’s is the last time we had one? Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers in 2010. In the ’00s decade, we had one, 2005 when the Spurs beat the Detroit Pistons. In the 90s, we had two, in the 80s there were two. There were three in the 70s, four in the 60s, in the 50s there were five.

The last time a road team won in Game Seven was in 1978 when the Washington Bullets beat the Seattle Supersonics. In all, only three road teams have won a Game Seven of the NBA Finals. That cannot make Spurs fans feel too comfortable.

Another thing that should not make the Spurs fans feel too cozy is the fact that their teams had the championship all but won in Game Six, but let it get away. Leading by five points with 28 seconds to go, the Spurs were about to pop open some champagne and celebrate their fifth NBA Championship in the last 15 years. But an offensive rebound by Chris Bosh off a missed three and a kick-out to Ray Allen and his three pointer from the corner with five seconds left sent the game into overtime.

In the OT, the Spurs again took the lead by four at 100-96, but the Heat ended the game on a 7-0 run to win it. Bosh had two big blocks in the last minute to thwart the Spurs. This was especially tough for the Spurs to swallow because they had earlier made a fairly miraculous rally to come so close to winning. San Antonio had blown a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, only to find themselves behind by three with just under 3:00 to play. Three points is not an insurmountable lead, but the fact that they had scored only nine points in nine minutes made it seem that way.

But Tony Parker drained a long, long three to tie the game and then made a spinning shot in the lane to take the lead. But two critical missed free throws, one by Manu Ginobli and one by Kawhi Leonard, stopped them from completely putting the Heat way in an 8-0 run. That left the door cracked open ever so slightly, and the Heat kicked it in.

So that brings us to tonight’s Game Seven.

Bovada has the Spurs +5.5 and the Heat -5.5 ATS. Moneyline is the Spurs +205 and Miami -245. Over/Under is 189.

The Heat is such a big favorite for two reasons. One, they are at home. Remember only three road teams have ever won a Game Seven. Two, it is going to be difficult for the Spurs to get over Game Six. If you recall the 1986 World Series, when the Boston Red Sox choked away Game Six to the New York Mets, the Mets went on to win Game Seven. It also happened in 1985 when the St. Louis Cardinals choked in Game Six to the Kansas City Royals. But Gregg Popovich can go to the 1975 World Series when the Boston Red Sox pulled off a miracle rally to beat the Cincinnati Reds in Game Six. The Reds won the series that year by winning Game Seven on the road.

We are going to pick the Spurs to win. No team has won two games in a row in this series. The Spurs are a veteran team. They can shake off Game Six. So take the Spurs +5.5 and put a small wager on the +205 as well. Also take the over.

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