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NBA Finals 2012: Odds Favor Miami Heat

On Thursday night the Miami Heat will attempt to close out the 2012 NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder at home at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Fla. The Heat now have a 3-1 lead in the series, and while the Thunder certainly have the talent on their roster to pull the unlikely come back, according to Neil Paine of in a guest spot for ESPN, the odds just aren't in their favor because of the NBA's 2-3-2 format.

Historically, teams facing a 3-1 hole on the road have forced a sixth game just 29 times in 125 chances (23 percent). The simple knowledge that they must play Game 5 away from home implies just a 5-6 percent chance that both teams' seasons survive another night.

As Paine notes, the Heat wouldn't only have to lose three games in a row to falter, but they'd also have to give up a game on their home court.

Stick with this StoryStream for all your news throughout the 2012 NBA Finals. For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier. For the opponent's perspective throughout the series, visit Welcome To Loud City and SB Nation Kansas City. For all your Finals analysis, visit SB Nation's NBA hub.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.