NBA Picks: Heat vs. Pacers Game 1

Jordan Sharp

Friday, May 16, 2014 2:39 PM GMT

After some drama and a lot of doubters, we are once again sitting where we were this time last year in the Eastern Conference Finals. The NBA odds have the Heat as road favorites in Game 1, so can Indiana break out of their funk, or will the Heat dominate?

Spring revival
If the Pacers want any chance to best Miami in this series, they are obviously going to have to play a lot better than they did in the first two rounds. That should go without saying, and even though they showed signs of being back during the first two series, even their win against the Wizards in Game 6 is not enough to convince me they are ready to compete with Miami. They probably have absolutely no confidence heading into this series, and as we’ve seen before, when Miami smells fear, it’s normally a quick series. This could be why the NBA odds have the Heat as big favorites to win this series, and as road favorites of -2 in Game 1, with a total of 181. 

Even though I am tempted to lay the points with the Heat, I see a much safer and more valuable wager in the total of 181. Comparing it to totals from their four regular season matchups with one another, 181 is very low for Miami and Indiana. With the exception of their final meeting in April where the total settled at 181 ½, this is by far the lowest of the season. Other totals were around 190 and 185 earlier in the year. Yes, these are the playoffs, and scores are lower due to better defense, but so far Game 1’s have cashed the over very successfully this postseason.
 


The Sharp Pick
This postseason, the 'over' has cashed at an amazing 9-3 in all of the Game 1’s so far, and I expect this very low total to continue with that trend. Two of the last three times these two played in the regular season the total went 'over,' and even though both have the ability to play defense, only one of them will really be able to. 

The Pacers’ defense had trouble with the Washington Wizards, and while that’s no knock on Washington, if the Pacers had trouble with the Wizards, what makes you think they will suddenly start to defend against the two-time defending champs? It’s simply not realistic, and the NBA odds are giving us an opening to take advantage of such things.

Even at home, the Pacers probably won’t be able to keep Miami under 95 points, and if that’s the case, this total should be a great over value for tonight's MLB pick. So far this postseason, the over is cashing at 7-2 for the Miami Heat. They have basically run through everyone in their path so far, and there has been little resistance. The Heat are averaging just under 100 points per game this postseason, and as I mentioned above, they don’t even need to get to triple digits for this total to cash the over.

During this regular and postseason, the Pacers are 11-8-1 cashing the over when they have at least 2-3 days of rest. While I doubt their defense comes to play against the superior Heat, I do think they will be able to score in the 90s to cash the over for us.

Free MLB Pick: Bet 'Over' 181 

[gameodds]5/291352/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]