Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals moves back to Massachusetts on Thursday night as the Miami Heat look to stave off elimination vs the Boston Celtics. The game is scheduled for an 8:30 pm start time and it will be televised live on ESPN. Currently the odds have Miami favored by 1.5 points with the total sitting at 179 points for the contest.
Free Analysis: The Celtics have taken control of the Eastern Conference Finals with three straight wins, and will look to finish off the Heat in tonight's Game 6 in Boston. Despite Miami All-Star PF Chris Bosh returning to the floor after a nine-game absence on Thursday night, Boston was able to win Game 5 at AmericanAirlines Arena, 94-90. The Heat dynamic duo of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined for 57 points on 21-of-47 FG (45%), but the rest of the team made just 11-of-35 shots (31%). Bosh logged only 14 minutes, but still managed nine points and seven rebounds. James has been unguardable all series, scoring 29+ points in each of the five games (31.8 PPG), while chalking up 10.0 RPG with 4.0 APG. The one knock on James in his past three contests is his inability to cash in at the free-throw line. After making 18-of-24 freebies in Game 2, James is a dreadful 11-for-21 from the foul line during his team’s three-game skid. Wade is also having a great offensive series with 18+ points in each game (22.0 PPG). PF Udonis Haslem scored just three points in 33 minutes on Tuesday, but he grabbed double-digit rebounds (14) for the third time in four games. PG Mario Chalmers has seen his points decline in each of the past three games, averaging just 11.7 PPG (41.9% FG, 2-of-10 threes), while Shane Battier has also had a rough three games with a paltry 11 points (4-of-14 FG) and five rebounds in 112 minutes of action. The Heat are averaging 96.0 PPG on 45% FG (29% threes), while the Celtics have 95.6 PPG on 44% FG (33% threes). Although Rondo has had a fantastic East Finals series (20.6 PPG, 11.0 APG, 6.8 RPG), he appeared to have tired legs in Game 5 with his 3-for-15 shooting night. He has played 46.2 minutes per game in this series after logging 40.3 MPG in the seven-game series versus Philadelphia in the East semifinals. The rims have been kind Rondo at TD Garden though, as he’s making 47.2% of his shots at home in the playoffs. Garnett has 19.9 PPG and 10.8 RPG in the 2012 playoffs, including double-digit rebounds in 14 of 18 games. Pierce has been putting up bricks all series (35.8% FG), but has still managed 19.6 PPG, thanks to 22-of-24 FT. His other stats in the East Finals haven’t been stellar either with just 4.4 RPG, 14 assists and 12 turnovers. But he did make the biggest shot of Game 5, burying a three-pointer with 52 seconds left to extend his team’s lead to four points. SG Ray Allen has also been ice-cold from the floor in this series (35% FG), but he was clutch from the foul line on Tuesday (8-for-8) and hit the boards hard with seven rebounds. The Heat have gone 3-4 both SU & ATS on the road in the playoffs this year, while Boston is 8-1 SU at home in the playoffs and have covered each of their last 4 at the Garden.
Free Pick: Well I have been so wrong my last 3 plays in this series as I have take the Heat in each one. I expected a tired Boston bunch to wilt vs the younger Heat, but Boston's heart has shone through and it cost me. Tonight I will not touch the side at all, but I will look to the Total. The first game put up just 172 points, but since then 184 points or more have been scored in each game. Both teams have been playing a more of an uptempo game and it has resulted in more points. Yes we have had 2 OT's, but who's to say that this one won't go the same rout. No matter who wins I do expect a tight game and that does lead to a potential OT game. Also, Miami is facing elimination so you can expect them to throw everything at the Celtics, plus if they are down late you can expect a ton of fouls and that means late points from FT's. Now Boston doesn't want to go back to Miami for a game 7, so if they are just as desperate in this one as well and if they are down you can expect a lot of fouling from them as well. This should be a tight game with at least 184 points scored once again.
25 of picks FREE! No Obligation - Becoming a member is Fast and Free!
Betting Strategies: Handicapping NBA PlayoffsHost Marco D'Angelo and Pregame Pro Vegas Runner discuss their strategies about betting the NBA Playoffs and being successful.