NBA Picks for Pacers vs. Heat

David Lawrence

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 1:16 PM GMT

The two top teams in the Eastern Conference go head to head tonight. The Miami Heat host the Indiana Pacers in a rematch from last week that ended with the Pacers notching another victory. Let's take a look at the odds and see if Lebron and the gang can walk away with the "W".

Although the Eastern Conference was supposed to be crowded at the top, the Chicago Bulls have fallen off, the Brooklyn Nets have been awful and the New York Knicks have proven to be one of the worst teams in the NBA. That leaves the Pacers and Heat to fight for the top spot. Home-court advantage will be crucial as it looks like these two teams are on a collision course for a rematch in the Eastern Conference final, which mean contests like Wednesday are quite important. 

The Indiana Pacers can win because…

The Heat are banged up. Before you make your NBA picks for this game, it’s important you know that LeBron James is questionable for Wednesday night’s game with a sprained left ankle. Even if he does play, it’s likely to affect him. The Pacers beat the Heat 90-84 a week ago in Indiana and they held James to just 17 points in that contest. If he’s unable to be better than that, the Heat are in trouble.

The Miami Heat can win because…

They are at home for this one, which makes all of the difference. Just look at the home-away splits for these two teams. The Pacers are 11-1 at home but 9-3 on the road. As for Miami, they are 11-2 at home and just 7-4 on the road.

The Heat will be focused for this one after Lance Stephenson got a cheap dunk at the end of the game last week just to rub it in. That rankled the Heat and they’ll be fired up to make sure the game isn’t even that close down the stretch. If LeBron plays, take the Heat with your NBA picks.

Outlook & Pick

James is a tank and although there are no NBA odds up for this game, it’s a good bet to assume he’ll play. After he rolled his ankle on Monday, he eventually came back in the game, so that’s a good sign.

This game is all about revenge. The Heat lost last week in Indiana and they’ll get them back on Wednesday night. The Pacers have cooled off after their 16-1 start as they are just 4-3 in their last seven. Miami has won four of five and should make it five of six after Wednesday.

Pick: Heat at BetOnline

[gameodds]5/250531/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]