Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks NBA Finals Game 5 Free Tips, Lines, Odds, Props and Betting Markets – NBA Finals Betting 6/9/11: Another come from behind win by the Mavericks has this series knotted at 2-2 heading into Thursday night’s Game 5. This series has been remarkably evenly matched, and the last three games have each been decided by three points or less. All three contests have featured game-tying or game-winning shot attempts that have been missed at the buzzer. It is the first time since 1948 that three consecutive finals games have been decided by such a small margin, and if it happens again Thursday, it will be a new NBA record. The series has been so close, that neither team is favored in Thursday’s matchup.

If you break the series down minute by minute, the Miami Heat have been the superior team. However, a less than spectacular six-minute stretch in the fourth quarter of Game 2 and a nine-minute stretch in the fourth quarter Game 4 have proven to be very costly for Miami’s title hopes. Dallas almost seems comfortable playing from behind, and the Heat simply don’t have an answer for the late-game surges by the Mavericks. Essentially, the games are boiling down to whether or not Dallas has enough time to storm back or if the Heat are able to hang on. The contrast in styles has been equally effective for both teams thus far, and entering Game 5, neither team has been able to win back-to-back games.

In terms of pressure, the Mavericks probably need to win Game 5 more than the Heat do. The last thing the Mavericks want to do is leave their home court in a 3-2 hole because the chances of Dallas winning a Game 6 and Game 7 in Miami are slim. That being said, the Heat by no means want to head home down 3-2 either, but any team in the NBA would rather face two must win games at home than on the road.

The fourth quarter will likely decide things once again Thursday, and the play of LeBron James on both ends of he court will go a long way to determining which team emerges victorious. Through the first four games combined, James has tallied a lackluster 9 points on 3-12 shooting in the fourth quarter. Compare that to Dirk Nowitzki, who has poured in 44 points on 12-24 shooting, including a perfect 18-18 from the foul line, during fourth quarters if this series. Despite his lack of offensive contributions, the Heat have still been able to win the two games when James shut down Jason Terry in the final quarter. He doesn’t necessarily have to be the closer on offense, but the Heat need James to contribute on one end of the court if they are going to win.

Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade will continue to be the main scoring options for both sides, and it is safe to say that the finals MVP is going to Wade if Miami wins and Nowitzki if Dallas gets it done. The question at this point is whether either player will have an off game. Considering how great both have been thus far, there is always a chance it could happen. If Nowitzki sputters, Dallas is in serious trouble, while there is a chance that Miami’s other stars could overcome a rough night from Wade.

In the end, Game 5 is going to be decided by the play of James. He is either going to rebound from the worst playoff performance of his career with a statement game, or he is going to continue to be passive on both ends of the court. Unfortunately for Miami, the two-time MVP has shown few signs of having the confidence needed to live up to all the expectations on the biggest stage in the NBA. Look for Wade to continue to dominate, only to see another fourth quarter comeback by the Mavericks push the Heat to the brink of elimination.

Expert Free NBA Finals Tips and Prediction: Dallas Mavericks (PK) Win Game 5 and Cover -1 Odds

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GAME 5 NBA Finals Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks
Date: 6/9/2011
Time: 9:00 PM EST on ABC
2011 NBA Finals Championship Series: Series Tied 2-2
Vegas Odds -
Favorite: Dallas Mavericks -1(pointspread) Total: Over/Under 185
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