Finally the playoffs are here and we will take a shot at this first round match up between the great NBA promise from Philadelphia and the good old Miami Heat.
There are few odd things about the line that right away jump out for those who are used to check the lines and the odds daily on each and every NBA game.
The first and most extra ordinary line is the totals line. It opened at 205 and is now as high as 214.5. Why? I ask myself? None of the four games played between the teams this season have even come close to that number.
|DATE||HOME / AWAY||LINE||ATS MAR||O/U||HOME FG||AWAY FG||REB H-A|
|03/08/18||MIA 108 - PHI 99||MIA -1||8.0||U 210.5||42/89||34/86||49-46|
|02/27/18||MIA 102 - PHI 101||Push -1||8.0||U 205.0||36/82||35/84||37-44|
|02/14/18||PHI 104 - MIA 102||MIA 4.0||2.0||O 202.0||39/92||35/77||60-29|
|02/02/18||PHI 103 - MIA 97||PHI -4||2.0||U 203.0||42/85||34/87||39-49|
There were 200, 206, 203 and 207 points scored in the games during the regular season while the line has never been higher than 210.5.
My answer to that is that in each of those games at one stage one or the other team simply stopped scoring. Not because they couldn't. Just like that. If you did watch those games - you do remember the tremendous comebacks that the other side of it always is a tremendous freeze up.
But, at this stage, let's leave the totals line alone and examine ATS line.
The Sixers won only once by 6 points and the Heat by 8. The other two were "close" affairs thanks to the teams "efforts".
So, now the Sixers are 6 points favorites with the line opening at -7.5 which already was high compared to anything during the regular season. Why is that? Is not a playoff game considered as more intense and a way better fought in trenches affair than the regular season?
Ok. Once I let you pick my brains regarding the first loos at the lines of this game - now let's proceed with what we are expected to have in the game match up wise:
The Heat have a great advantage on the boards with Whiteside and Adebayo (especially Adebayo who will rule the rebound effort in absence of the Sixers designated answer to Adebayo - an all star Joel Embiid who might return later on in the playoffs..
So, Spoelstra's take on this game is very clear relying on inside game while the Sixers will have to provide the answers from outside the arc and Ben Simmons heroics.
First half - however - will be the home teams as the Sixers will come out of the locker room looking to fire on all cylinders.