NBA Picks: Pacers vs. Heat Game 1

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 11:33 AM GMT

Wednesday, May. 22, 2013 11:33 AM GMT

The Miami Heat are making their third consecutive trip to the conference finals with the Big Three, as they open up a best-of-seven series against the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night. 


Let’s take a closer look at the NBA odds for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals at AmericanAirlines Arena, with the opening tip scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT.

Eastern Conference Finals Series Price Odds & Predictions

Balanced

Indiana has reached the third round of 2013 NBA playoffs by advancing past the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks, with each member of its starting lineup averaging 9.8 or more points per game. 

The Pacers are 2-0 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) in the first game of their two previous series, with the OVER cashing in both of those contests. 

Easy street

Miami has won seven of its eight postseason games by a double-digit margin—advancing past the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks.  Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are averaging a combined 50.2 points per game. 

The Miami Heat have gone 8-4 SU and 7-5 ATS in the conference finals the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 8-4 in that situation. 

Keep an eye on the halftime score

Live bettors will want to keep an eye on the halftime score, as the Pacers are undefeated during the postseason when leading at the break, while dropping all four games when trailing. 

There’s certainly the chance that the Heat may be rusty offensively from the outset, as they haven’t played since eliminating the Bulls in five games on May 15.  

Miami dropped a 93-86 decision to Chicago in Game 1 of that semifinal series on May 6, which was attributed to not playing for a full seven days after sweeping the Milwaukee Bucks in the opening round.

Home-court advantage

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has led the franchise to a dominating 27-7 SU record at home in postseason play, which can’t be ignored when predicting the winner of this best-of-seven series. 

Miami is 13-2 SU and 10-5 ATS as home favorites of 6.5 to 9 points since the start of the regular season.

[gameodds]5/236640/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as their NBA picks Wednesday night, as the OVER is 5-1 in the last six overall meetings in this series, while the Pacers have gone above the number in both of their series openers to this point. 

NBA Pick:  Over 182 at Bet365

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