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Heat Not Ready to Go Quietly in NBA Finals

Lakers vs Heat October 9, 2020 LeBron James drives to the basket against Tyler Herro

The Miami Heat can only lament how they would have fared in the NBA Finals had they been completely healthy. Instead, they find themselves still short-handed and on the brink of elimination as 7-point underdogs for Friday’s Game 5 against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Heat did get one of their injured players back, but the return of Bam Adebayo wasn’t enough to prevent a 102-96 Lakers victory in Game 4.

Miami Heat vs Los Angeles Lakers
  • Date/Time: October 9, 9 p.m. ET
  • Arena: AdventHealth Arena
  • TV Coverage: ABC
  • Opening Odds: Lakers -5.5 | O/U 217.5 (Line History)
  • Heat vs Lakers Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Lakers kicked off the betting cycle for Game 5 as 5.5-point favorites, but you’ll find that line at -7 at the majority of books. The total of 217.5 has shrunk to 216, with the teams having cashed the UNDER in three of the first four NBA Finals games.

Miami News & Notes

The Heat had to make do without guard Goran Dragic and center Bam Adebayo in Games 2 and 3 but managed to come away with a split of those games. And they hung tough with the favored Lakers for most of Game 4 before ultimately falling short. Adebayo was terrific in his return from a strained neck, scoring 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting while adding seven rebounds over 33 minutes.

His presence will help keep Miami competitive, as will Jimmy Butler’s continued dominance. Butler is nearly averaging a triple-double over the past three games and will need to be at his best Friday night if the Heat hope to extend the series by another game. If you’re interested in playing any Butler props, your best bets are the OVER on his rebound and assist numbers.

Los Angeles News & Notes

The teams played at a decidedly slower pace in Game 4, and that suits the Lakers just fine. They held the Heat below 43 percent shooting in Tuesday’s victory, once again masking their struggles from deep (35.9 percent on 39 attempts) and allowing 19 points on 15 turnovers. LeBron James had six more turnovers in the Game 4 win and has 14 in the past two contests.

The Lakers would love to make this one a little easier on themselves, and that places the focus squarely on Anthony Davis. He was held to 22 points in Game 4 after foul trouble limited him to just 15 in Game 3. Adebayo is a worthy foil for Davis, but the Lakers’ big man erupted for 34 points in Game 1 when Adebayo was healthy for the first part of the game.

Betting Pick: Miami +7 (-110)

The Heat have been able to match the Lakers for the better part of the last two games and should be able to keep this one close as long as everyone stays healthy.

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Shark Bites
  • The Lakers are 11-2 SU in their last 13 games.
  • Miami is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games.
  • The UNDER is 7-2 in the Lakers’ last 9 games vs Miami.