The NBA Finals continue on Thursday night in Game 5 between the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat. The NBA Finals odds for the game have the home town Heat favored by a spread of 3 points. The game is scheduled for an 9:00 pm start time and it will be televised live on ABC. The spread shows that bookmakers have a prediction of a close win at home for the Heat, winning the first championship for LeBron James.
Picks: So here we are. Everyone has talked about LeBron James and what he did to the city of Cleveland, leaving for South Beach and a better chance at winning an NBA title. Let's face it, he really wasn't going to win anything while playing in Cleveland. Now, James is on the brink of winning his first of what could be many NBA championships with the Miami Heat. It's obviously some uncharted territory for James, who played in the Finals last season but saw the Dallas Mavericks spoil the party. Miami is just 48 minutes away. James has won scoring titles, MVP awards and been to the Finals before, but now that all goes away with a win on Thursday night. "I have a job to do," James said at practice on Wednesday. "And my job is not done." We all saw James cramp up at the end of Game 4, but the rest of the team did what was needed to secure their lead late in the game. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joined James just a few years ago on this quest, but many thought the young Thunder could and would put up a major fight in the Finals. For the most part, that's been the case as each of the games have been fun to watch and very competitive. Oklahoma City can't exactly look or point to a specific point and say they messed up. The team has played extremely well. Russell Westbrook scored 43 points for the Thunder in Game 4 but it went for nothing, obviously, as the team didn't win. Kevin Durant has averaged just under 30 points per game as well in the Finals and their team-first attitude definitely seems to be working, but it just isn't working enough it appears. But then again, maybe all of the pressure will be on James and the Heat in this game. How much of it will mount, knowing they only have to win one more game in order to be crowned champions? I'm sure some of it will come into play. Wade has done a pretty extraordinary job of taking that back seat to James in the series so far, but he's going to have to come up big with his experience in clinching an NBA Finals prior to this year.
Predictions: The point spread is kind of low for a close-out potential game, which is a bit confusing. Are oddsmakers expecting us to take the Heat in this game? They are at home and only have to win one of the next three games in the series, but shouldn't they just win now and get it over with? I think they will tonight. It would be a great time for Wade to have a big game for his club, even though we expect James to try and bring a massive effort as well. The three points isn't a lot, obviously, so it looks like it should be a close game. I'm expecting nothing less from the Thunder, but I think they fall short in their first Finals appearance and James finally gets a ring. Heat 103, Thunder 96
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NBA Free Picks: Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat Game 5
What NBA bettors need to know about Thunders at Heat Game 5 (Thursday) - with Pregame.com's Bryan Leonard and Marco D'Angelo.