NBA Betting Odds: Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers Game 3
- Updated: May 26, 2013
NBA Playoff Betting – Heat Favored on Road in Pivotal Game 3 With Pacers
by Charles Jay, Exclusive to BangTheBook.com
The Indiana Pacers have certainly surprised a few BetAnySports customers with the way they have been battling the Miami Heat, and now, if they can “hold serve” at home, they have a chance to take a commanding lead in their Eastern Conference finals series. First they will have to win Game 3, which is slated for Sunday night at 8:35 PM ET at the Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers
East Finals – Game 3 (Series tied 1-1)
Sunday, May 26 – 8:35 PM ET
Banker’s Life Fieldhouse – Indianapolis
The Heat had the best record in the NBA this season, but that does not mean this team is going to automatically rebound from Friday night’s 97-93 loss. Indiana has plenty of balance in the lineup, and the Pacers have proven to be pretty tough to stop in the paint.
Miami gets respect, however. In the NBA playoff betting odds that have been posted at BetAnySports, they are the favorites on the road:
Over 181.5 Points -110
Under 181.5 Points -110
Heat wins game -123
Pacers win game +103
There is a sort of fake humility about LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the other Heat players about “taking one game at a time,” etc. But there is enough real arrogance there to suggest that they really didn’t expect any team, much less the Pacers, would be putting them in position where they could actually be in a hole in this series. Yet there has to be the realization that they are in with a team that could be their equal on any given night.
What makes Indiana (+255 to win the series in NBA playoff betting at BetAnySports) tough is the fact that they can defend. The Pacers have been the NBA’s most efficient defensive team for much of the year; they have allowed an average of one point per possession, with “effective” field goal percentage of 42% against. The heat, by comparison, has allowed 1.04 points a possession, translating to 104 points per 100 possessions, and 44% from the field in terms of the effective percentage.
Also, Indiana permitted less than 26 points per game from close range, compared to over 29 for Miami. But the Heat had 60 points in the paint in Game 1, so they were able to make many of the easy baskets they wanted. Miami was held to 40 points in the paint in Game 2, but that is still more than Indiana feels comfortable yielding. The fact that they could easily be up 2-0 despite all this may be a good sign for them; if they can seal the lane for the most part, they will force Miami (the -310 series favorite at BetAnySports) to do what they have not done all that well in the first two contests, which is shoot from beyond the three-point arc. The Heat is just 30% from downtown, although we know they are capable of quite a bit more.
Roy Hibbert was the center of a lot of discussion after Game1, if you pardon the pun, as coach Frank Vogel left him out of the game at critical times, including the final play when LeBron James drove for the winning score. But Hibbert certainly got enough time on the floor in Game 2, dominating the Heat inside to score 29 points and pull down ten rebounds. If Miami doesn’t figure a way to curtail his explosions in the middle, the Heat, which had designs on winning many titles in a row, could go home very disappointed.
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