NBA Finals Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Miami Heat Game 5 (Friday, Oct. 9)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: LeBron James and Jimmy Butler.
- In a do-or-die Game 5, the Miami Heat will look to extend the series and keep the Los Angeles Lakers away from the title on Friday.
- Will the Heat find a way to keep it close, or has Frank Vogel cooked up another counter for whatever Miami throws at his team?
- Reed Wallach breaks down what could be the last game of the NBA season and shares a betting pick with updated odds.
Heat vs. Lakers Odds
|Heat Odds||+7 [BET NOW]|
|Lakers Odds||-7 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+250/-320 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||216 [BET NOW]|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
Following Tuesday’s 102-96 win over the Heat, the Lakers have taken a commanding 3-1 lead over Miami — one win away from the franchise’s 17th NBA title.
Miami enters Game 5 as seven-point underdogs, and it has its work cut out for it. With two days off instead of one ahead of the potential championship clincher, the talk has been about how the Lakers are about to be crowned champions on Friday night.
However, the Heat may not go away quietly, as they have shown to be a resilient bunch throughout their stay in the bubble. Will Jimmy Butler and the Heat respond despite having the odds stacked against them?
Miami was in lockstep with the Lakers for much of Game 4, but the Heat passed on a few too many good looks at the rim in preference of perimeter shots and the Lakers made winning plays down the stretch, namely Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s mini-run in the final minutes.
The Heat got back Bam Adebayo in Game 4, and he was solid. But the team is going to need more from him to force a Game 6. Rookie Tyler Herro has taken on a lot of playmaking duties during the absences of Adebayo and Goran Dragic in a series he may not be ready for.
Herro has struggled this series, posting nearly a 1:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, and his shooting splits have slipped to .37/.32/.78, down from his season average of .32/.38/.87.
The hope for Miami is going to be that Adebayo, who played 33 minutes on Tuesday, can shoulder more of the load in Game 5 and take some of Herro’s extra responsibilities, making the rook more of a secondary creator once again.
Following his iconic performance in Game 3, Jimmy Butler came back to Earth a bit with his still-gaudy 22-point, 10-rebound, nine-assist Game 4. However, as Matt Moore pointed out in his Thursday piece, the Lakers found an adjustment for Butler, putting Anthony Davis on him and daring him to shoot on top of him.
Butler has turned down 3-point shots this season but may need to take a few in this one to keep the Lakers’ defense honest. I imagine Erik Spoelstra will have a counter for this and Butler will dial up the aggression once again with the Heat’s back against the wall, but this was the key adjustment from LA in Game 4. What do the Heat do to counter in Game 5?
Los Angeles Lakers
One thing that has stuck out to me — and it may not stick out in the box score — is that LA has done a stellar job of keeping possessions alive and winning the 50/50 balls.
Alex Caruso and Rajon Rondo have feasted on long rebound attempts by tapping the ball out to the perimeter and getting the Lakers another look. It’s the little things like that which can tip the scales in one direction. When you have the two best players on the floor in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, those little things mean even more.
James is in full control of this series. He diced up the Miami zone and is now seeking out switches in the half-court to try and put the weaker Heat wings in harm’s way.
James has found a counter for every Heat defensive coverage, which has predominately been finding the opposite corner man for a triple with the Heat converging on the lane.
LA has adjusted to everything its opponents have thrown its way throughout the postseason, and it seems it’s in the process of doing so again by beating Miami at its own 3-point barrage. Through four games, both teams are shooting 35% from deep, yet the Lakers are taking nine more 3s. The Heat are trying to get the Lakers out of the paint to mitigate their size, but they are feasting on it.
Now, just one game away from a title, the Lakers need James and Davis to string together one more impressive performance to put a stamp on the year. With their size advantage and the ability for the two to score at will and get their teammates open shots, the Heat may not be able to stop them as the game reaches the latter stages, as seen Tuesday night.
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Betting Analysis & Pick
I do think the title is going to end up with LA — maybe even on Friday night — but I also think pundits have forgotten about this gritty Heat team. On top of that, we just saw a short-handed Heat club beat the Lakers down 0-2 behind a massive performance from Butler. Now, with Adebayo back in an elimination game, I expect the Heat to show up.
I am on Miami in the first half in hopes that the Heat show up with some intensity early on. I’m not sure if they can stop LeBron from grabbing ring No. 4 by night’s end, but I do think we see some fight from Miami. Based on how the first half goes, I may buy back in on the Lakers in the second half if I can get a number better than -3.
Pick: Heat 1H +4