Basketball betting storylines for the first month of the season have led to Thursday night’s matchup between the Miami Heat (-4.5) and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Online sportsbook were projecting the Heat as nine-point favorites for this contest when the season began (with NBA Prospective lines), but given Miami’s current seven-game streak of losses against the spread (ATS), it’s a wonder they’re even favored at all.
Cleveland has posted a 4-4 ATS record the past while but they were underdogs in 7-of-8. The Cavs have an illustrious 5-0 record straight-up (SU) and ATS vs. Miami since March of 2009, but LeBron James was Cleveland’s leading scorer in four out of five games.
Ah yes, King James. Where would the Cleveland franchise be without their deserting leader? James averaged more than 28 points per game the past five years with Cleveland and so far this year with the Heat is netting just 23.7 points per contest.
James was good for 31.6 points in the past five meetings between these teams and this season through 17 games the King has crowned 32-plus points only three times.
Sportsbooks are giving bettors a chance to bet on nearly every aspect of this game, offering betting prop and Over/Under odds for how many points LeBron will score, does Chris Bosh remain an afterthought (O/U 19 points) and an exotic prop on whether or not James will do his patented powder move that became famous during his past seven seasons.
The routine involves filling his hands with white powdered rosin and tossing it above his head just before tip-off, creating a dust cloud that has become as much his signature as any powerful dunk.
All eyes in the basketball betting world will be on Cleveland Thursday night and the early public betting percentages show more than 70-percent of NBA picks lay with the favorite covering the spread.
As the betting action heats up and the shot clock to tip-off counts down, expect more betting options to come available.
Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has thrown gas on the fire, hiring a law firm to investigate whether the Heat violated NBA rules in their recruitment of LeBron James.
It has all the makings of a mid-week drama. Just what the league was hoping for.
Enjoy the game!