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December 3, 2018

NBA Finals: Games 3 and 4

Miami’s odds were within a couple minutes of improving dramatically, as they were en route to taking a 2-0 series lead back to Dallas. However, Dirk Nowitzki took over down the stretch for the Mavericks, while the Heat reverted back to their fourth-quarter struggles and it led to the two teams going to Dallas tied at one game apiece. They’ll be in “Big D” for three games as the NBA Finals goes to a 2-3-2 format, and here is a look at how the next two games will play out.

Heat Mavericks Betting – Sunday, 8:00 PM ET

Look for the Mavericks to be favored at home for this crucial Game 3, and the early line has Dallas as a 3-point favorite at American Airlines Center. The Mavericks are 9-1 SU and 5-5 ATS in their last 10 games at home against the Heat, with six games falling under the posted total, and they’ve been brilliant at home in the playoffs for NBA betting players, going 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 in Dallas. However, the Heat have been pretty good on the road as well, going 7-3 SU and ATS in their last 10 away from home, so there isn’t a lot between these two teams.

This game will be a test of mental strength as the Heat have to come back from that devastating collapse at the end of Game 2. Miami had this game wrapped up, but they may have angered the Mavericks with 7:15 left as Dwyane Wade hit a three-pointer to put them up by 15 points, and he and LeBron James started clowning around in front of the Dallas bench. After that, the Mavericks outscored the Heat 22-5. It probably will get overstated in the media, but it definitely fired up the Mavericks. It’s too bad that there are three days between games, because Game 3 would be even better. But for now, we’re taking Dallas on Sunday night.

Betting Edge: Dallas Mavericks

Heat Mavericks Betting – Tuesday, 9:00 PM ET

The Mavericks will likely be favored again at home on Tuesday night, but the bet is on Miami to bounce back in Game 4 to knot the series up at two games apiece. One of Miami’s stars are going to have a big night, and that could be James, who was relatively quiet by his standards for the first two games of the series, and the Heat are more dangerous when he is the one who is dominating the offense, instead of Wade. When he is going offensively, James’ defense also raises a level, and he’s one of the best players in the game on that end of the floor.

If you didn’t see a lot of it in Game 3, Game 4 could also be the best time to see James guarding Nowitzki, something that the Heat haven’t done a lot of over the first two games of the series. James spent most of his time guarding Jason Terry, and the Heat seem to be subscribing to the theory that they’ll let Nowitzki get his points, but they won’t let Terry or anyone else go off. Look for James to pick up Nowitzki late in the game and if the Mavericks can’t make the necessary adjustments, the Heat will be able to steal a game in Dallas to make it a best-of-three series. Miami’s defense is still spectacular and is capable of winning the series for them, so we’re going to take the Heat on Tuesday in our book.

Betting Edge: Miami Heat

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