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The fourth game of NBA Finals betting action takes place on Thursday night at TD Banknorth Garden, and here at Cappers Info, we're dissecting the odds and picking out your free picks for the game.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Boston Celtics (-3.5)
Thursday, June 10th, 2010
9:00 ET, TD Banknorth Garden
Los Angeles Notes: Game 3 probably wasn't the most impressive game that the Lakers have played all season, but it certainly was an effective one that moved them to within two steps of becoming NBA champions for the second straight season. G Kobe Bryant probably took far too many shots for his own good (29 to be exact), but scoring 29 points was really a huge difference maker in the triumph. The rebounding battle swung back to the way it was in Game 1 for Los Angeles, as it won the bash on the boards 43-35. To no one's surprise, the team that has had the more rebounds in each game in this series is both 3-0 SU and ATS. C Andrew Bynum had his second straight quality start in this series, scoring nine points and bringing in ten rebounds. Even though many would expect him to be a bigger point producer, grabbing five offensive rebounds setup a number of opportunities that otherwise wouldn't have happened, which makes him as valuable of an asset as there was on the court in purple and gold.
Boston Notes: For all of the right reasons, G Ray Allen was the man that was highly discussed following Game 2 of the NBA Finals, as he was coming off of a game in which he nailed an NBA Finals record eight three pointers and pretty much single handedly carried the team to victory in Tinseltown. However, Ray Allen gives, and Ray Allen takes away. Allen shot 0/13 from the floor, including a woeful 0/8 from beyond the arc in the Game 3 loss, proving that he can be just as deadly to his own team as he can to his opponents. F Paul Pierce really needs to get his act in gear and take over as a leader of this team in order for it to survive. He has only averaged 16.3 points per game in this series, and though those numbers are respectable, he has yet to look like the superstar that the Celtics so desperately need on the court. G Rajon Rondo had an off night on Tuesday as well, scoring just 11 points. The best game in weeks by F Kevin Garnett was wasted. KG put up 25 points, and at times, he was the only offensive threat that was keeping Boston alive in the game.
Trends of Note: Since starting up the 2-3-2 format in the NBA Finals, there have been ten teams take a 2-1 series lead in Game 3. That team that took the 2-1 series edge is a perfect 10-0 in terms of winning the NBA Championship. Obviously, the Celtics are still staring in the face the prospects of that 47-0 mark by HC Phil Jackson in series in which his team took a 1-0 series lead. Still, Boston backers must rest assured that their team is a solid 10-4-1 ATS in their L/15 NBA betting battles with these Lakers. However, since Game 6 of the NBA Finals two years ago, LA is a perfect 3-0 SU and ATS at the Garden.
The Final Word: We knew that Allen wasn't going to have the game of his life once again in Game 3, but going 0/13 is a tad bit ridiculous. If the former Connecticut Huskies guard even remotely looked halfway decent on Tuesday, the story would've been significantly different than the seven point defeat. Motivation and desperation should be the keys to victory for HC Doc Rivers' crew on Thursday night, as the Celtics should storm back and level this series for the second time.
Prediction: Boston 96 – Los Angeles 88