NBA Playoffs Betting Preview: Can road teams cover spread again?

Mike Ehrmann

Miami won but lost against the spread in Game 1 against Indiana. The NBA odds menu favors the Heat again as NBA playoff wagering heats up this weekend.

Miami won but lost against the spread in Game 1 against Indiana. The NBA odds menu favors the Heat again as NBA playoff wagering heats up this weekend.

The home teams have held their ground so far in the two NBA conference finals series, although both road teams had their chances.

But while they lost on the scoreboard, they were winning at the sportsbook window with a 2-1 ATS mark in early conference finals betting.

The action continues this weekend as the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers play Games 2 and 3 of their Eastern Conference finals, while the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies play Game 3 of their Western Conference series. The NBA playoffs odds menu favors the hosts again.

The Heat avoided losing the opener of their series with the Pacers Wednesday night, getting a driving bucket from LeBron James at the overtime buzzer for a 103-102 victory. Indiana had forced OT on a Paul George three-pointer at the regulation buzzer, and led by a point with two seconds to go in the overtime, leading up to James' game-winner.

The Pacers covered the spread Wednesday as eight-point underdogs in a game neither team led by more than seven points. Also, that game played OVER its total of 182 when George hit that three-pointer before the overtime period.

In the early betting for Friday's Game 2 (8:30 pm ET, TNT), Bovada was listing Miami at -7.5 points over Indiana and the early NBA betting consensus was sitting at nearly 61 per cent favoring the Pacers.

The teams then head to Indianapolis for Games 3 and 4 Sunday (8:30 pm ET, TNT) and Tuesday.

The Pacers took the season series from the Heat this year two games to one.

Out in the West the Spurs bombed the Grizzlies in Game 1, but needed overtime to take Game 2 Tuesday night 93-89. San Antonio led Game 2 by 18 points late in the third quarter, but Memphis ended regulation with a 15-2 run to send the game to OT.

The Spurs easily covered the Game 1 spread as 4.5-point favorites, but the Grizz rallied to cover Game 2 as 5.5-point dogs.

In the early betting for Saturday's Game 3 (9 pm ET, ESPN), Bovada was chalking Memphis at -5.5 points over San Antonio.

The Spurs and Grizzlies split four games during the regular season; the home teams won each game, but two of them went into overtime. So three of the six meetings this season between these two teams have needed extra minutes to be decided.

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