Two great NBA playoffs games highlight the Thursday sports calendar. In one game, the Oklahoma City Thunder look to take a 3-0 lead over the Dallas Mavericks in game three in Dallas. The Thunder has played like a veteran team in the first two games of the series. Russell Westbrook has been the dominating force for the Thunder. Westbrook scored 28 in game one and came back in game two to score 29. Dallas has had three players – Jason Terry, Delonte West and Jason Kidd – try to cover Westbrook defensively and none of the three have had any amount of success.
The Mavericks have been close in both games, losing by just one and three points in the first two games. Dallas has been able to control Kevin Durant, the league’s high scorer, thanks to tough defense by Shawn Marion. However, Dallas had not got on track offensively and needs it star player, Dirk Nowitzki to step it up a notch. The Mavericks will also look to Kidd and Jason Richardson to generate more on the offensive end.
The oddsmakers opened the line with Dallas as a home court favorite by 1 ½ points. That has opened to 3 ½ points currently. The total is at 194 ½. Smart money takes Dallas to win on their home court with the total to pay out to the UNDER bettors.
The second game highlighting the NBA playoff calendar tonight is game 3 of the series between the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks. The series had shifted to the Big Apple for this game. Miami has a 2-0 lead in the series and is looking to end the series in the next two games. The Knicks are shorthanded as they lost Iman Shumpert in game one with a ligament tear, Jeremy Lin is still out with an injured knee and Amare Stoudemire will miss at least tonight’s game after punching a fire extinguisher holder.
The Heat is 5-0 SU against the Knicks this season and home court advantage will not help them that much as both Dwayne Wade and LeBron James for the Heat love to pay in MSG. The Knicks lost the first game by 33 points and even though they lost by only 10 points in game two, they never seriously threatened the Heat the entire contest. Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks’ high scorer will be called upon to produce more and he might even play power forward to match up against a slower player so he can use his quickness to his advantage.
The line opened with the Heat as a 5-point favorite but that has been halved to 2 ½ points. The total is resting at 186 ½. The Heat will take advantage of the injuries of the Knicks to win game three, with the total ending OVER.