Dallas Mavericks at Miami Heat NBA Finals Game 1 Expert Picks, Odds and Predictions – NBA Playoffs Betting Preview 5/31/11: Big high scoring forward Dirk Nowitzki will lead the Dallas Mavericks on the road to the American Airlines Arena to take on a hungry 2 time MVP LeBron James and the Miami Heat on Tuesday night at 9:00 PM ET on ABC Sports for game 1 of the NBA Finals. This is a rematch of the 2006 NBA Finals won by Miami who fell behind 2-0 but came back with 4 consecutive victories for their first NBA Championship but only two players from each team remain. Miami still has shooting guard Dwayne Wade and Udonis Haslem while the Mavs bring back Nowitzki and Jason Terry from the 2006 teams. The odds makers at Bodog have the Miami Heat a -4 1/2 point favorite at home against the Dallas Mavericks.

Dallas and Miami have the same playoff record of 12-3 but neither has been an easy road to the playoffs. Dallas ousted the Portland Trailblazers 4-2, and then swept the two time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in 4 to eliminate the dream series of Miami/LA in the finals. The Mavs then sent home the young and talented Oklahoma City Thunder to get back to the Finals and take on the Miami Heat. Since 1999 only 3 teams have come out of the West to make the Finals, LA 7 times, San Antonio 4 times and now the Mavs for the second. Nowitzki has been outstanding averaging 28.4 points per game second in the NBA Playoffs to go along with 7.5 rebounds per game and showing seasoned leadership for them down the stretch. Vegas odds makers have the over/under for the total score at 187 points combined of the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.

The Heat are also at 12-3 in the playoffs and just 4 games away from another NBA Championship and the first since the Heatles came together last summer with this goal in mind. The Heat was focused with a 4-1 series victory over Philadelphia to get to the defending Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics. The Heat out played Boston physically and showed a resolve they didn’t seem to have during the regular season resulting in another 4-1 series win. The Eastern Conference finals brought a different test that the Heat and especially LeBron James stepped up on conquered with another 4-1 series triumph to get back to the finals. LeBron leads the Heat with a 26 point average for the playoffs but the big three have all had success at one point or another. Vegas odds makers have the Miami Heat -175 to win the 2010-2011 NBA Championship.

I predict a Heat Victory in Game 1 at home and win the series in 5 overall!

Free Pickk: Miami Heat -4.5

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GAME 1 NBA Finals Dallas Mavericks at Miami Heat
Date: 5/31/2011
Time: 9:00 PM EST on ABC
2011 NBA Finals Championship Series: Series 0-0
Vegas Odds -
Favorite: Miami Heat -4.5(pointspread) Total: Over/Under 188
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