The Miami Heat are looking for a championship repeat. They were solid favorites to pull it off, but someone forgot to tell bettors that San Antonio dominates as an underdog.
Now they'll have to play from behind after losing Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night at home to the San Antonio Spurs, 92-88.
In a way, the straight-up loss was predictable. The Spurs are now 7-1 SU and ATS in eight games as an underdog of six or fewer points. And as of Friday, the NBA point spread was six points again (although bet down to -5.5 at Bovada).
The Heat led most of the way Thursday night, by as much as nine points in the second quarter. But those crafty, veteran Spurs stayed close, took the lead mid-way through the fourth, and held on from there for the victory.
San Antonio limited Miami to just seven points over the first nine minutes of the final frame.
The key wound of the game was a Tony Parker dagger from the right wing with less than 10 seconds to go that just beat the shot clock, and bumped San Antonio's lead from two points to four.
That shot continued a great postseason for Parker, who tossed in 37 points in the Spurs' most recent outing, the Game 4 sweeper against Memphis in the Western Conference Finals.
Miami lost outright as five-point favorites on the NBA Championship Game 1 betting odds, and the game played UNDER its total of 190, as the teams combined to shoot less than 43 percent from the floor.
Also, bettors who back the Heat on the Game 1 money line took a hit at a price of -215, while those wise enough to take the Spurs straight-up cashed in at upwards of +185.
Heat forward LeBron James posted a Game 1 triple-double, with 18 points, 18 boards and 10 assists, but needed a little more help from a supporting cast that shot just 27-for-62 from the field.
San Antonio began this series getting +200 to win it; but after Thursday night's victory the Spurs have been bet all the way down to the -120 range.
Game 2 of this NBA Championship series will be played Sunday night also in Miami (8 p.m. ET, ABC). The early NBA consensus betting on the game was favoring the Spurs again at roughly 61 percent of the action.
More from SB Nation: