Heat (-370) vs. Pacers (+290)
These NBA Odds are courtesy of Bet365, and with the Heat as huge favorites, can we expect a short series or another seven-game series like last year’s Eastern Conference Finals? I’m pretty sure the results are going to be the former. With the way the Heat have been mowing down their opponents, and with the way the Pacers have been struggling, even with the chalk, the Heat look like the play.
These two split their season series against one another 2-2, but as we’ve seen already in just the last round, the regular season successes of a Miami opponent mean very literally nothing. The same should be said for the Pacers, and even though they bested Miami twice in the regular season, their chances of winning two or more games in this series look slim.
The Pacers showed some serious weakness in the first and second round, and if their defense had trouble against the Hawks and Wizards, what makes you think they will start to come alive against the two-time defending champs? It’s simply not realistic, and with how bad the Pacers’ defense played against Washington last round, the Heat should have no problem scoring the ball, even on the road.
The Pacers have too many issues with Miami, and with Roy Hibbert not playing well, the Heat should easily take him out of the game by going small, or forcing him to defend Chris Bosh out at the three-point line. Without Hibbert being close to the basket, or even in the game at all, the Heat should have no problem exploiting the Pacers. Without Hibbert, the Pacers don’t have a defensive anchor, and it’s a huge problem against the team with two of the best wing players in the league. Not only that, but Paul George will have to carry the team offensively, and he will have to defend Lebron James for most of the series. This is going to spell trouble for the Pacers on offense.
The Sharp Pick
It would not surprise me to see this become a short series. Maybe not a sweep, but I could easily see the Heat win in five games. I’m sure they will take at least one if not both of the games in Indianapolis, and considering the Pacers haven’t even won a Game 1 yet despite both being at home, I don’t think I’m going out on much of a limb with that statement.
Indiana’s offense is simply not good enough to keep up with the Heat, especially if the Heat are engaged defensively in this series. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will almost surely be the best two players for your NBA picks in this series, and unless the Pacers suddenly get their power back from the Mon-Stars before this series, it’s going to be a quick and ugly series, and the paper tiger that is Indy will fall miserably.
My Pick: Heat (-370) @ Bet365