NBA Bet Lines

With Game 4, and perhaps the merciful end of a short and far-from-thrilling NBA Betting Finals on tap for Thursday



2007-06-14

With Game 4, and perhaps the merciful end of a short and far-from-thrilling NBA Betting Finals on tap for Thursday, the question begs to be answered…Have we hit bottom? In reality, the question has to be analyzed tri-fold. Have the well-publicized lagging TV ratings gone as low as they're going to go? Is this among the least competitive basketball betting finals' series in league history? And last but not least where bettors are concerned…is 176 as low as oddmakers are willing to go with the posted totals?

You have to give oddsmakers credit, as after watching Games 1 & 3, by all rights, the totals should have dropped at least 5 points the next time out. It shows a strong discipline to stick to your principles in the face of adversity. On the other hand, it could be just plain discipline that prevents those setting these totals to go so low as 160?! In any case, if you can foresee anything other than another UNDER coming on Thursday night, speak or forever hold your peace. If I recall, it was StatFox Doug who boldly predicted last week that he would be "shocked" if more than one game surpassed the total.

If there are any profound trends to take from Thursday's Game 4 FoxSheet, it could be these:

CLEVELAND is 11-1 UNDER (+9.9 Units) revenging a loss where team scored less than 75 points over the last 3 seasons.

And

CLEVELAND is 14-5 UNDER (+8.5 Units) in home games revenging a loss vs opponent this NBA betting season.

Do yourself a favor. Take advantage of oddsmaker stubbornness and start getting' while the getting' is good.

If indeed We Are All Witnesses, or so it goes for Lebron, Tuesday's Game 3 in Cleveland was one of the least compelling down-to-the-wire contests that I've ever been "witness" to. Did anyone really believe that the Cavaliers had more than a miniscule chance to make the tying three-pointer in the closing seconds? I mean, come on, were they really going to score seven points in the final minute after averaging just 1.4 points per minute for the first 47? Cleveland shot just 36.7% from the floor for the game. Simply not good.

Now for Game 4, the Cavs will try to stave off elimination. The deck is firmly stacked against them however, since the Spurs, a 3-point road favorite, undoubtedly smell blood. They will be trying to finish off their fourth title in nine seasons, a dynasty-like effort. Can the hosts bounce back? This trend would seem to indicate not:

CLEVELAND is 47-76 ATS (-36.6 Units) after scoring 80 points or less since 1996.

Either way you look at this finals series, Cleveland has still taken a step forward as a franchise. Admit it, at some point last night, you thought back to last year's finals series when Dwyane Wade took over in Game 3 and eventually brought his team all the way to the top, hoping in some way that James could do the same. It just wasn't meant to be, although it would be nice to see him put up a better effort on Thursday.

Enough is enough however. This blog-like finals wrap-up piece has to end sometime. Tune in tonight on ABC for what most figure to be the last of the NBA betting for a few months…


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