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Bobcats vs. Heat NBA Playoff Series Gambling Prediction & Lines

Charlotte vs Miami Odds

The Eastern Conference Quarterfinals matchup between the Miami Heat and Charlotte Bobcats is one that comprises two different narratives for two very different franchises.[ad-4468020]

Odds to win the 2014 NBA championship

  • Miami: 2 to 1
  • Charlotte: 200 to 1

Odds to win the Western Conference

  • Miami: 2 to 3
  • Charlotte: 100 to 1

Miami enters this series looking more vulnerable than years past. This is an organization that has been to three straight championships, and it’s looking to win its third straight title. Expectations are championship or bust, but the team hasn’t been as good on either end of the floor late in the year.

For Charlotte, this is about returning to relevance. The Bobcats haven’t been to the playoffs since 2010—the team’s only postseason appearance—and this is arguably the best basketball they’ve played since their introduction to league back in 2004.

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They’re surprisingly a great defensive team this year, and while that has a lot to do with the competition out East, it also has to do with the roster moves this team made last summer and the growth and development of its young core pieces.

As well as the Bobcats have played this season, the Heat are a different animal when it comes to a seven-game series. They’re averaging 102.2 points per game while giving up just 97.4, which is a positive 4.8 point differential. Charlotte, on the other hand, has a negative point differential of 0.2, but it is a fantastic defensive squad.
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The Bobcats scored just 96.9 points per game this year, but it also gave up just 97.1 points—the fourth-best mark in the league.

If Charlotte is going to stand a chance, it’s going to be based on the play of Al Jefferson. Despite adding players throughout the years like Greg Oden and Chris Andersen, the Heat are still using Chris Bosh primarily at the center position, leaving them exposed on the block.

Jefferson averaged 21.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks this season—not to mention a PER of 22.75—and his play on the block will be what keeps the Bobcats from fizzling away.

If you’re looking for X-factors, look the way of Gary Neal and Ray Allen.

The two shooting guards have a knack for knocking down long-range shots, and while neither will be a prominent part of the offense, we saw what Allen can do last season in the finals when he gets hot.

Both players can have that kind of impact in this series, especially if the defenses pick up and games end up as low-scoring affairs.

NBA Playoffs Series Betting Prediction

Out of respect for what the Bobcats did this season, we’re going to give them a game in this series. Talk about the watered-down Eastern Conference all you want, but this team exceeded expectations and has returned to the postseason when no one thought that was even possible.

That said, we’re still talking about a matchup with the Heat, and even though Miami isn’t playing its best basketball, it would take a colossal collapse to drop this series.

Miami will advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and it will do it in five games.

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