Heat favored by 3.5 for Game 4 vs. OKC

Published on June 19 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

Miami will try to take a 3-1 advantage in the NBA Finals tonight when it hosts Oklahoma City in Game 4. The Heat captured a 91-85 win in Game 3 as a 4 ½-point home favorite.

With 13 seconds remaining, Dwyane Wade buried a pair of free throws to put his team ahead of the number. Then when Russell Westbrook missed a clean look at a trey from the left wing, LeBron James pulled down the rebound and OKC elected not to foul, giving Heat backers a winner.

The 176 combined points was the lowest output by far in the series, resulting in the first ‘under’ (192). Totals are now an overall wash (1-1-1) through three games.

Game 3 turned late in the third quarter after Russell Westbrook was benched for poor play and Kevin Durant was forced to the sidelines with his fourth foul at the 5:41 mark of the stanza. Durant was in a great rhythm offensively and the Thunder led by six when foul trouble reared its ugly head.

James had another monster game, producing a double-double with 29 points and 14 rebounds. Wade had his best game of the series with 25 points, seven boards and seven assists. Chris Bosh had a poor shooting night, making just 3-of-12 shots from the field, but he did finish with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Durant had a team-high 25 points in the losing effort.

For Game 4, most books are listing Miami as a 3 ½-point favorite with a total of 192 ½. Gamblers can take the Thunder to win outright for a plus-140 return (risk $100 to win $140).

Sportsbook.com has updated the series price to the Heat minus-200, while OKC is plus-170 (risk $100 to win $170).

Also, the website has adjusted its odds for whom will win MVP. James is the minus-200 ‘chalk’ and Durant has the second-shortest odds at plus-150. Westbrook and Wade both own 10/1 odds.

The ‘over/under’ for James’s points tonight is 31 ‘over’ (minus-130). This means ‘under’ backers get even-money with the 30-cent line. Durant’s total points is 29 ½ ‘over’ (minus-145, +115 for ‘under’ wagers).

I like OKC to win outright and also like the game to go ‘over’ the total.

Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ABC.

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