NBA Picks: Pacers vs. Heat Game 2

Jeff Grant

Thursday, May 23, 2013 2:16 PM GMT

Thursday, May. 23, 2013 2:16 PM GMT

The Indiana Pacers were unable to close the deal against the Miami Heat in the opening game of their best-of-seven series, but they’ll likely put together another major effort Friday night.

Let’s take a closer look at the NBA odds for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals at AmericanAirlines Arena, with the opening tip scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT. 

Disappointment 

In a game that featured 18 times and 17 lead changes, Indiana was unable to close things out against the Miami Wednesday night, as it suffered a disappointing 103-102 overtime loss as 8.5-point road underdogs.

The Pacers are 5-3 straight up (SU) and 4-4 against the spread (ATS) when revenging a close loss of three points or less this season, with the OVER going 5-3 in that situation. 

Feeling lucky 

Miami may have been sluggish in Game 1 due to not playing since capturing a 94-91 victory over Chicago to close out its Eastern Conference semifinal series in five games on May 15, but it certainly knows it must play better to advance past its current opponent. 

Over the last two-plus seasons, the Heat are 8-2 SU and 6-4 ATS in the second game of a playoff series, with no advantage in terms of the betting total (5-5 Over/Under). 

Defending the perimeter

The Pacers are dangerous underdogs in this series due to leading the NBA in three-point field goal percentage defense during the regular season, as their forwards and guards are able to play the perimeter due to center Roy Hibbert controlling the lane. 

Miami is capable of delivering a knockout punch against any team, but it’s going to struggle to create separation due to Ray Allen, Shane Battier and Mario Chalmbers being limited beyond the arc. 

King James

Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James entered this series averaging 24.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists, but he upped the ante in leading the Heat to a one-point victory in the series opener. 

James tallied his ninth career triple-double in the playoffs in Game 1—finishing with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

[gameodds]5/236641/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Pacers with their NBA picks Friday, as they’ll continue to defend the three-point line, while Heat guard Dwyane Wade continues to be limited in terms of explosiveness with a knee injury.

NBA Pick:  Indiana Pacers +7 at Bet365

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