NBA Playoffs Betting: Heat vs. Pacers

NBA Playoffs Betting: Heat vs. Pacers

After a Game 5 loss to the Hawks in the Eastern Quarterfinals, the Indiana Pacers switched on the light and started playing like the team that won more regular season games than any other team in the conference. Since then they are 7-2 and find themselves with a 1-0 series lead over the two-time defending champions. All five Pacers’ starters scored in double-digits and they kept the Heat off the free-throw line. Needless to say, a 2-0 lead would be massive for Indiana’s chances of springing the upset. Of course LeBron and Co. will have something to say about that. Here’s a breakdown of the Game 2 action with the latest point spread.


LeBron and Dwyane Wade weren’t the problem in Game 1. Chris Bosh, on the other hand, was dominated in the paint once again by Roy Hibbert and David West. Miami’s small lineup was exploited and their defense was lacking. Head coach Erik Spoelstra doesn’t have many options to counter Indiana’s length advantage, so the onus is on Bosh and LeBron to crash the glass. Maybe more Chris Anderson is the answer; he totaled 14 points and 4 rebounds in only 19 minutes. Or maybe James needs to have one of those games where to completely takes over.

For all their success, Miami is now 0-3 in Game 1 playoff road games since LeBron’s arrival. The good news is they took Game 2 in each of those previous series, and more importantly went on to win both series, including the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals against Chicago. The Heat never panic in these spots and it helps having the greatest player on the planet at their disposal. Look for James to set the tone early at both ends of the floor.

Indiana was at their best in Game 1. Paul George and Roy Hibbert led the way with a combined 43 points and 13 rebounds. And the resurgence of forward David West turned another page; he has scored in double-digits in five straight and is playing smart, sound basketball. An inconsistent bench also provided solid production from the likes of C.J. Watson and Luis Scola. If that continues, the Pacers will push Miami to the limit, if not outright win the series.

Winning the free-throw attempt battle 37-15 was the key stat. Indiana was the more aggressive team and utilized the same brand of disciplined defense that earned them the top seed in the East. Paul George’s transformation into a superstar has been fun to witness. His Game 7 disappearing act in last year’s meeting with Miami seems to have motivated him to take his game to another level. Indiana needs him to maintain that level if they hope to advance.

The Heat are 1-4 ATS in their last five trips to Indianapolis. The Pacers are 5-14 ATS in their last 19 home tilts. No way Miami goes down 0-2.

Bet Miami -2.5