We have expert betting predictions for the two NBA Finals games on Thursday.
The Thunder and Rockets do battle to see which team progresses to the second round, where they will face the Clippers.
Game 2 of the Bucks vs. Heat series is also on the menu, which should be another classic NBA contest.
NBA Playoffs Betting Tips
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat Game 2
The Bucks came into the series as firm favourites to beat the Miami Heat, but after losing Game 1 on Tuesday, bookmakers are taking notice.
Milwaukee is still the favourite to win Game 2 on Thursday, but they were far from impressive earlier this week. The 115-104 loss to the Heat was a shock for most, given that the Bucks were the top seed in the eastern conference.
They were also paying $1.40 to win the game and led by 11 points in the first quarter. However, Miami matched up well and they didn’t get Giannis into the paint.
Miami turned the game around with their defense, and they simply wouldn’t let The Greak Freak get any momentum. He was forced to pass up his opportunities and take shots from behind the three-point line.
That isn’t his forte and if he can’t get easy buckets, the Bucks could be on their way to an 0-2 deficit on Thursday.
Another reason why the Bucks lost Game 1 was Khris Middleton. He was electric in the first quarter, but you would have been hard-pressed to find him in the second half.
He went missing, and for a player with his contract, that shouldn’t happen. More is needed from both Middleton and Giannis if the Bucks are to win this game.
The Heat are a well-coached team and given that Milwaukee likes to leave three-point shooters open, it could be open season for the likes of Herro and Robinson.
Bookmakers have the line at $1.50 for the Bucks, which is only a fraction higher than their Game 1 line. There is value with Miami and they are getting +4.5 points in spread markets.
Milwaukee will need to refocus and they can easily do that, but Miami is full of confidence and ready to cause another upset.
Tip: Miami Heat +4.5 @ $1.90 – Bet Now
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets Game 7
The Houston Rockets can’t seem to put away the Thunder and it could come back to bite them in Game 7 on Thursday.
Houston led comfortably in the second half on Tuesday but costly turnovers from Russell Westbrook put them on the backfoot.
We expected James Harden to be the primary ball handler in the closing stages of the game, but it was Westbrook, who is playing injured, that was given the task. It was a strange coaching decision and one we expect to change for the winner-takes-all Game 7.
Houston are known for their capitulations in recent playoff series, so punters are starting to believe another choke could be on the cards.
Hoping to make that happen are the Oklahoma City Thunder, who rallied back to score a 104-100 win in Game 6. It showed their fortitude and it also showed how clutch Chris Paul is down the stretch.
There is no doubting that the Thunder play better as a unit than the Rockets. Houston relies mostly on the brilliance of James Harden, whereas, the Thunder need a team effort.
It is the team effort which has seen them extend this series and they could come out the other side with the win.
Bookmakers have Houston as the short $1.44 favourites but there is no value in those odds. It should be another closely-fought contest and the value is with the Thunder.
They are $2.70 in head-to-head markets and although we favour them to win, take the points available. Bookmakers are giving the Thunder a +5.5-point head start, which is more than enough.
Tip: Oklahoma City Thunder +5.5 @ $1.90 – Bet Now