Heat at Pacers Picks and NBA Game 4 Odds
by Alan Matthews - 5/28/2013
I am starting to think these TV talking heads are just BSing everyone when they get all worked up about the Miami Heat and the actual chance they will lose a series. Remember when the Heat lost Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series against short-handed Chicago? Panic city. The Bulls wouldn't win another game. Are the Indiana Pacers better than the Bulls? Certainly, at least the non-Derrick Rose Bulls. But does anyone really think they can beat the Heat four times? I mean Miami has just four losses since Super Bowl Sunday. Well, some did after Indiana's Game 2 upset. But the Heat put really any doubts to rest with a very impressive 114-96 victory in Indianapolis on Sunday night in Game 3, the Pacers' first home loss of these playoffs. I'd say the series is all but over now barring an injury to LeBron James.
Heat at Pacers Betting Story Lines
The Pacers played the Heat very physically the first two games, and their defense looked like the NBA's best, which it was during the year. That's what made Game 3 so shocking. The Heat shot a fairly incredible 27-for-43 in the first half on the way to scoring a whopping 70 points, a franchise playoff record for a half. It was the most points Indiana allowed in any half this year and first time any playoff team scored at least 70 in the first half in six years. The Knicks had just 71 total in their first playoff game at Indiana in the last round.
The Heat had one turnover in that half and only five total, a playoff record low for the franchise. You know LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are going to get theirs. It's when a fourth guy steps up that makes Miami unbeatable. That guy was Udonis Haslem, who was 8-for-9 from the field for 17 points to go along with seven rebounds. He totaled three points and 10 boards in the first two games. And what the heck has gotten into Chris Andersen, who could have been signed by any team? He was 4-for-4 in Game 3 and has now made 16 straight shots. Chris Andersen! He's shooting 85.4 percent from the field in these playoffs; the previous record with a minimum of 40 attempts is 75 percent.
Indiana's Paul George might be the best perimeter defender in the NBA. So LeBron took him down low in Game 3. James was 5--for-7 for 12 points while posting George up. In the first two games, James had five total points on post ups of George. The Heat shot 70.3 percent from inside the paint in Game 3 because Haslem and Bosh were able to lure Pacers 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert out from it by hitting their mid-range jumpers. George also struggled offensively in Game 3, where he was just 3-for-10 from the field with five turnovers while going minus-18. He was mostly guarded by Wade instead of LeBron in Game 3.
Heat at Pacers Betting Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline, the Heat are two-point favorites with the total at 184.5. Miami is 2-2-1 “over/under” in the playoffs and 5-0 ATS. The Pacers are 5-2 O/U at home and 6-1 ATS.
The Heat are 9-4 ATS in their past 13 games following an ATS Wins. The Heat are 6-2 ATS in their past eight after scoring 100 points in their previous game. Indiana is 4-0 in its past four after a loss. The Pacers are 5-12-1 ATS in their past 18 games following a double-digit home loss. The over is 9-1-1 in Miami's past 11 playing on one day of rest. The over is 13-3 in Indiana's past 16 following a loss. The over is 5-0 in the past five meetings.
Heat at Pacers Picks and Game 4 Betting Predictions
Could Miami win yet another road playoff game by at least 10 points? It is the first team ever to do it in five straight. Why do I think this series is over? All-time in best-of-seven series, the Game 3 winner goes on to take the series 77 percent of the time.
I fully expect a different effort from Indiana in Game 4 as it has been dominant at home otherwise in these playoffs. Haslem won't be that good again -- it was his most points in a playoff game in seven years -- and I'm guessing that the Pacers will double-team James when he attempts to take George down low again. Thus, it will be up to guys like Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen and Shane Battier to hit their open three-pointers. The Pacers aren't a deep team and, thus, need all their starters to play well to win. Lance Stephenson definitely has not. He was 2-for-10 from the field in Game 3 and 8-for-32 in the series.
Indiana never trailed by more than five in the first two games. I expect something similar here, but Miami should be able to cover. Also take the under.
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