Free NBA Finals Picks: Dallas Mavericks @ Miami Heat Game 1 Picks

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The 2011 NBA Finals are ready to rock and roll here at Cappers Info, and we have our NBA picks for the first duel between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat.

NBA Playoffs Preview: Dallas Mavericks @ Miami Heat Game 1
Date: Tuesday, May 31st, 9:00 ET
Location: American Airlines Arena, Miami , FL
Game Line: Miami -4.5
Over/Under 187

Mavericks Notes: After several days off, the Mavericks are going to be back in action in South Beach on Tuesday night. They really did play well this year against the Heat, winning both games, including the one here at the American Airlines Arena. In fact, Dallas really has played well against Miami over the course of the last several seasons. The Mavs haven’t lost a game to the Heat outside of the 2006 NBA Finals since 2004, and they have gone 3-1 ATS in those games as well. The road team is 19-7 over the course of the last 26 meetings between these two teams, which also has to help out the confidence of this bunch going forward. Dirk Nowitzki has been fantastic this year, but he has especially been outstanding in the playoffs. He has averaged 28.4 points per game on the postseason, and he has really taken over some games late on that are incredibly close. He was probably on pace to be the MVP of the NBA Finals in 2006 after two games against Miami, both of which ended in victory, but when push came to shove, he wasn’t able to close the deal, and the Mavericks lost the last four games. Do keep a close eye on Tyson Chandler in this game. Play on the inside is going to be crucial, and Chandler has double-double potential every single night on the court. If he can get the best of the likes of Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Udonis Haslem, Chandler could become the most unheralded star in this series.

Heat Notes: This is the game in which LeBron James really needs to step up. The man they simply call “The King,” isn’t brand new to the NBA Finals, but he still hasn’t broken his maiden in terms of winning a game. The Cleveland Cavaliers were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in James’ first visit to the NBA’s version of the Promised Land, and he came to Miami to prove that he can win it all with the right pieces in place. Giving up home court advantage would be horrible for the Heat, as they haven’t lost a game in the playoffs at the American Airlines Arena, and they have only won one game in Dallas since 2002, that being Game 6 of the NBA Finals. James has averaged 26.0 points per game in the playoffs this year, and he is also the team’s top rebounder with 8.9 boards per game. Chris Bosh is going to have to be the man that has to get the job done in the paint as well. He is right there with James at 8.9 rebounds per game, but he is obviously not quite the same scorer at 18.6 points per game. Bosh knows that he has the ability to have some absolutely remarkable games in these playoffs, as he did against the tremendously athletic Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals. And of course, there is the one man that has not only won a title, but has an MVP of the NBA Finals to boot, Dwyane Wade. Wade has come up with 23.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game here in the playoffs, but he needs to do better from beyond the arc, where he is shooting just 24.1 percent.

The Final Word: Dallas just doesn’t feel like a team that is going to win it all this year, and we really don’t see how things are going to look that great in South Beach for it either. The Heat are just playing too well on their home court, and they are covering spreads left and right to show for it. The Mavericks will keep this series competitive, but with as hot as Miami is right now, we don’t see it getting the job done in Game 1.

Free NBA Playoffs Picks: Miami Heat -4.5
Chicago Bulls vs. Dallas Mavericks Prediction: Miami 95 – Dallas 88

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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