Heat, Spurs heavily favored in Game 1’s tonight

Published on Monday, 5/6/13, at 5:08 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

Chicago advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals by going into Brooklyn and drilling the Nets 99-93 as a seven-point road underdog in Game 7 at Barclays Center.

Joakim Noah was the catalyst, playing through pain with heart and toughness to produce 24 points, 14 rebounds and six blocked shots. Noah logged 41 minutes of playing time and made 12-of-17 shots from the field.

Marco Belinelli added 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the floor. Carlos Boozer and Nate Robinson added 17 and 12 points, respectively.

The Bulls played most of the series without Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich. Rose and Deng remain ‘out’ for tonight’s Game 1 at Miami, while Hinrich (bruised calf) is considered ‘doubtful’ but will be a game-time decision.

Most books are listing the Heat as an enormous 11.5-point home favorite with a total of 188.5. Gamblers can take the Bulls on the money line for a generous +800 payout (risk $100 to win $800). For first-half wagers, Miami is favored by seven and the total is 94 or 94.5.

The series price at Sportsbook.ag is Miami -3500, Chicago +1500 (risk $100 to win $1,500).

TNT will have tonight’s telecast at 7:05 p.m. Eastern.

San Antonio swept through the Lakers in Round 1 and will finally return to the court tonight vs. Golden St. Most books have the Spurs favored by nine with a total of 202.5.

The Warriors are +450 on the money line (risk $100 to win $450) at most spots, but there is a +600 price at William Hill. The Spurs are five-point ‘chalk’ for first-half bets with the total at 102.

The series price at Sportsbook is San Antonio -750, Golden St. +525.

Tip-off on TNT is scheduled for 9:35 p.m. Eastern.

If there’s a future bet on the road that’s worth a shot, I think it is Memphis at 18/1 odds. Despite Sunday’s nail-biting loss at Oklahoma City in Game 1, I still believe the Grizzlies will win this series to advance to the West finals.

If Memphis can get to the NBA Finals, I think it poses the biggest threat to the Heat. Why, you ask? Because Miami’s only weakness is interior defense and it occasionally has problems on the boards.

With Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies would have two offensive weapons that would give Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem fits. Also, they have a nasty defensive stopper in Tony Allen who can present challenges for LeBron James and/or Dwyane Wade.

To be clear, nobody can stop James, but Allen can make him work and he’ll have Gasol and Randolph behind him protecting the rim.

Finally, Allen and Tayshaun Price have both won rings and offer a wealth of experience.

My NBA picks have been on fire recently. There are 26 handicappers on VegasInsider.com and I am now ranked #1 in winning percentage (59.5%), #1 in guaranteed money (+26.8 units), #1 in money over the last seven days (+9.8 units) and #3 in overall money (+28.46 units) for the season.

Since April 25, I have compiled a 21-6 record (78%, +14.42 units!). I have two picks for tonight and you can sign up for the rest of the playoffs by clicking here.

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