NBA Playoffs Betting: Heat at Pacers

NBA Playoffs Betting: Heat at Pacers

For all the strides the 2013-14 Indiana Pacers have made in the last calendar year, they find themselves on the verge of NBA playoff elimination at the hands of the same team that ended their run a season ago. The two-time defending champion Miami Heat have been nothing short of dominant since dropping Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Meanwhile, Indiana has been in steady decline, unable to match the Heat’s intensity and confidence. Perhaps the anxious home crowd can breathe life into the listless Pacers for tonight’s crucial Game 5. If not, it’s curtains for the team that finished the regular season with the best record in the East. Here’s a breakdown of the Wednesday action.


Chris Bosh must’ve heard his critics leading up to Game 4, because he turned in easily his best outing of the playoffs with 25 points and 6 rebounds. LeBron and Wade drive the Miami engine, but a well-oiled Bosh makes the Heat virtually unbeatable. The often reviled Heat big man completely outclassed Roy Hibbert and will need to bring a similar game to prevent the Pacers from extending the series. Bosh’s ability to pull Hibbert onto the perimeter is giving Indiana’s normally stout defense fits. Head coach Frank Vogel has to prepare a better game plan to counter an obvious mismatch. Turnovers and a propensity to commit sloppy fouls isn’t helping Indiana, either.

Lance Stephenson had little trouble attacking James in the media, but on the court he has been missing in action for the last two games, especially on offense. Both he and Hibbert have to provide production to aid Paul George. There is some good news for Indiana’s chances on Wednesday: Ray Allen and Chris Anderson are both nursing injuries and will be game-time decisions. Allen has been inconsistent, but his four three-pointers secured a Game 3 victory. Anderson’s work on the glass and defense in the paint will be missed if he can’t play.

All signs point toward Miami wrapping this one up. They are a perfect 8-0 when leading 3-1 in playoff series and 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. That said, the injuries to Allen and Anderson shouldn’t be ignored. The Heat are at their best when the bench is contributing. The “Big Three” are certainly capable of carrying the load by themselves, but it’s rare that all three are on the same page in a given night. Trusting which Pacers team shows up isn’t easy considering how unpredictable they have been in the postseason. However, they should have enough left in the tank to extend the series one more game. Miami is 0-4 ATS in their last four Wednesday tilts.

Bet Indiana +2