Pacers’ Balance Takes Down Heat
Indiana got really good scoring production from all five of their starters, and it was one of the main reasons the Pacers were so successful on Sunday afternoon. The Pacers had six guys finish with double figures scoring in their best scoring game of the playoffs, and all five starters had at least 15 points or more. This kind of balance is hard for any team to stop, even the Heat who normally play pretty solid defense.
However for some reason, be it their layoff, or lack of adversity in the first two rounds, the Heat came out flat on the defensive end in Game 1. Indiana got pretty much whatever they wanted all game, and even when Miami tried to force the Pacers to go small, Indiana stayed big with David West chasing around Ray Allen off screens. Indiana’s defense shouldn’t get a whole lot of credit for this game, but it was good enough down the stretch to fend off a Heat run in the 4th quarter.
However as we’ve seen in these playoffs, the Pacers can change their tune just like that. We could see bad Pacers show up again in Game 2, but either way, the NBA Odds have the Pacers as home underdogs again, even after their win. The NBA Odds have the Heat as -2 ½ road favorites, with a total of 184.
We easily cashed the over in Game 1 with the Pacers’ offensive explosion, and I’m inclined to go back to it after the win. Even though the total has risen three full points since Sunday’s game, I still think there may be over value. Miami’s strategy of forcing Indy to go small blew up in their face, and with it went their defensive strategy as well. If Indiana can keep their mismatches with Miami, it might be another big scoring game from the Pacers.
The Sharp Pick
Indiana has now won and covered in three of their last five meetings with the Heat this regular and postseason, and the total has gone over in three of their last four meetings this season including Game 1 of this series. Miami has now cashed the over in their last four playoff games dating back to the Nets series, and overall these playoffs, the Heat are an incredible 8-2 cashing the over for NBA Bettors.
Miami’s defense will probably turn up some for this game, but either way it goes, I still think we might be in tune for an offensive Game 2. As this series goes on, the final totals will get lower, but for now, I don’t think we’ve reached the point yet where we are going to see a game that finishes 86-82.
The over is now 12-6 in the last 18 times these two have played one another overall, whether it be in the playoffs or in the regular season, and for the Heat, it’s cashed in five of their last six road games dating back to the regular season. Add it to your NBA Picks once again.
My Pick: OVER 184