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The final semi-final series of the NBA playoffs gets underway tonight as the No.3 seeded Miami Heat take on the No.2 seed Toronto Raptors. The Heat overcame a three game shooting slump to post a big Game Seven in eliminating Charlotte in their first round series. Toronto advanced to the second round for the first
time since 2001 by taking down the Indiana Pacers in seven games. Toronto has been installed as a -155 favorite in the series with the Miami +135 on the take back. Tonight’s game opened Toronto -4.5 with the total set at 191. Both number are unchanged as of this writing.

Miami shot a rock solid 46.6% from the field and 40% from behind arc in their seven games with the Hornets but those games were punctuated by either being white hot or ice cold from the floor. The Heat have been led by their veterans, primarily Dwayne Wade. Flash (19.0, 5.4, 5.0) and Luol Deng (19.0, 6.6, 2.2) have provided
most of the key scoring. Goran Dragic (14.1, 4.6, 4.3) has proven an able floor general. Hassan Whiteside (13.1, 11.1) has been a monster in the paint and rookie Justise Winslow has been a favctor on defense and igniting the break.

The Raptors somehow survived Indiana despite their back court tandem of DeMar DeRozan (17.9, 3.6, 2.6) and Kyle Lowry (13.9, 4.1, 7.6) shooting a combined 31% from the floor. The Barney’s best player vs. the Pacers was center Jonas Valaciunas (13.6, 11.9) who was especially effective on the offensive glass. The X-factor for Toronto might very well be 6’9″ 235 pound Patrick Patterson who is now in his fifth year out of Kentucky. His
numbers are somewhat pedestrian (8.7, 4.6) for 26 minutes of play but he hit several clutch three balls against the Pacers and his in-and-out game could be key here.

The home team has won seven of the last nine in the series. The Heat have lost their last three games in Canada by 8OT-1-20 so they have not played well recently on this floor. The under is 3-1 in the last four here. Miami has lost three of their last four roadies while the Pacers are just 1-3 ATS in their L4 at home. Both teams won Game Seven’s on Sunday so this is a quick turn around for both considering both are off win or go homes. The Heat have
played five straight Under game while Toronto is 7-1 to the Low in their L8. Both teams could be sluggish and or dull at the start so the under could be worth a look at the start and again during in game if both teams shoot poorly from the jump.

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