A lot of trends must be derailed for the Oklahoma City Thunder to win Game 5 of the NBA finals tonight.
And if they don’t win, the odds are against them covering the spread as well, according to OddsShark.com.
Those trends and the Thunder-Heat odds (-3.5 at some shops, -3 at others) are stacked high against Kevin Durant and his teammates in Miami.
First, Miami has been dynamite at home and ride a 13-4-1 ATS streak into Game 5. They have also won three straight against OKC.
As favorites of six points or fewer, the Heat have dominated lately with a 9-2 ATS streak. Oklahoma City, on the other hand, has struggled in the underdog role at just 2-7 straight up in their past nine games in that position.
The team trailing the series in Game 5 seldom wins to force a Game 6 (only once on the past 44 years). It hasn’t happened since the Utah Jazz won Game 5 in Chicago on June 12, 1988, winning 83-81 behind a monster game from Karl Malone.
And the infamous 2-3-2 format of the NBA Finals adds tremendous incentive to the home team here. Miami does not want to go back to Oklahoma City, and it wants very much for LeBron and D-Wade to celebrate on their home court.
"And say what you want about the setting – the young Thunder have been ‘stuck’ in South Beach for a whole week, trying to focus on basketball instead of the hot weather and hotter girls," said Mike Pickett of OddsShark.com.
"You get the feeling they are content with their successful season and are already plotting for next season, instead of the task at hand."
That task – rallying from a 3-1 hole in the Finals – has never been accomplished.