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September 20, 2014

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NBA Finals in Vegas: Odds give Thunder more than 70 percent chance to win series

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Christopher DeVargas

A view of the Caesars Palace sports book, March 13, 2012.

Thursday's Game Two

  • Spread: — Miami +5.5 @ Oklahoma City
  • Moneyline: — Miami +210 @ Oklahoma City -250
  • Total: — o/u 195.5
  • Talking Points' Pick: — Heat 99, Thunder 97
  • Numbers from Cantor Gaming

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra wasn’t the only one who watched in horror as Kevin Durant scored 17 fourth-quarter points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 105-94 victory in Game One of the NBA Finals.

Local bookmakers were also displeased by the way Durant made a 13-point Heat lead as forgettable as the 2007-2008 NBA season for these two franchises. Durant’s 36-point performance ensured Oklahoma City covered the 5.5-point spread and put the game narrowly over the 196 total.

That was a losing result for the majority of books in town, as most of the action was on the Thunder and the over.

Oklahoma City’s victory would typically forecast more money coming in on Miami in tonight's Game 2. Many bettors — consciously or not — follow the zig-zag theory when it comes to the NBA playoffs and wager on the team that lost the last game.

But that hadn’t happened as of Wednesday night. Several books opened Oklahoma City as 5-point favorites for Game 2, but it was bet up to 5.5 immediately.

To win Game 2, Miami is available at plus 210 (risking $1 to win $2.10) on the money line. The Heat closed 15 points lower at plus 195 to win Game 1.

Oklahoma City’s money line is posted at minus 250 (risking $2.50 to win $1) for Game 2.

A victory would give the Heat control of the series, with the next three games taking place in Miami at American Airlines Arena. Anyone who likes the Heat in Game 2 could take a look at getting extra value by taking them to win the series at plus 235.

The Thunder are now listed at minus 270 to win the series, which means they have a better than 70 percent chance.

Gamblers love the Thunder and hate the Heat. At least that’s the way they’re betting.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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