2013 NBA Basketball Betting – Game 6 Turns Up The Pressure In East Finals

nba_g_james_b1_576Any Game 6 is automatically an elimination game for one team. A series that has already featured a great deal of emotion and passion will become even more spirited this Saturday.

Eastern Conference Finals, Game 6:

Miami Heat @ Indiana Pacers – Saturday, June 1

Betting line: no line

Why Miami Will Win

When people pursue a sports betting play, they slip up when getting locked into tunnel vision. Even football betting gurus who possess minimal knowledge of professional basketball could face up to the knowledge that while Indiana has controlled the style of play for most of the first four games of this series, the Pacers have not been able to take the lead in this best-of-seven clash. Miami does not look or feel like a team that’s on the run. The Heat punched and counterpunched in Game 4 of this series, trading blows in what was a very even contest. Miami led by three points, 89-86, inside the four-minute mark of regulation. The Heat simply didn’t make enough game-closing plays. LeBron James fouled out in the final minute of regulation, while Dwyane Wade was called for traveling in the final minute as well. A lot of bad breaks went against the Heat, and the odds are low that more misfortune will plague the defending champions in the closing stretch of this series. LeBron knows how to bring down the hammer, and Indiana – while admirably competitive – does not know what it feels like to drive the stake in Miami’s heart… or make the NBA Finals. No one on this Indiana roster has been a starter on an NBA Finals team. The Heat’s battle-tested identity is going to be a very important asset for them in this situation.

Why Indiana Will Win

No NCAA football betting expert would dismiss Indiana’s ability to win this game without giving the matter some thought. When you go over your next sportsbook review, you will see that the Pacers have generally carried the run of play in this series, largely because they have the right counters to the Heat’s smaller and quicker assemblage of players.

Indiana big man Roy Hibbert is a more developed and polished center compared to 2012. He has more low-post moves, and his level of belief has grown. Hibbert can dominate games more often at this stage of his career; he was a bit too hesitant in 2012, but as you saw in Game 4 of this series on Tuesday night, Hibbert is a force in the paint that Miami cannot consistently contain. Teammate David West also gives Indiana the kind of heft and savvy in the paint that can really bother Miami, a team that doesn’t always protect the backboard. Miami forward Chris Bosh, a vital part of the Heat’s roster, has been thoroughly outplayed by Hibbert and West all series long, a big reason the Pacers have dictated the terms on which this series has been contested through the first four games.

As you study up for this game, you will find other reasons to go with Indiana. Paul George has shown signs of becoming a genuine superstar in this series. Yes, it’s true that George does not yet deserve to be called a superstar – you have to establish yourself at a high level with great consistency in order to deserve such stature – but George is capable of playing extremely well for extended stretches of time, as shown in his Game 2 performance last Friday in Miami. As long as LeBron James doesn’t try to post him up, George can defend LeBron on the perimeter. Indiana is also getting more out of guard Lance Stephenson, while point guard George Hill has proved to be a steady (and steadying) influence for the Pacers as a whole.

Who Will Win?

This figures to be another down-to-the-wire game, since most installments of this series have been nail-biters. Only Game 3 was the exception. Look for Indiana to find solutions at the defensive end of the floor and take one more win on its home floor.

NBA Betting Pick: Indiana

Chicago and Los Angeles Prepare To Do Battle

dm_130530_nhl_melrose_westernconferencefinals_previewThe Los Angeles Kings are the defending Stanley Cup champions and the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup three years ago. For the past few seasons, the online sports book experts have considered these two teams to be the best in the Western Conference. As the Blackhawks and Kings get ready to do battle in the 2013 Western Conference finals, it is worth noting that this is essentially the same team that won the Cup for Los Angeles last season, while the Blackhawks have undergone some significant changes.

The biggest change in Chicago that the betting sites consider to be a factor in this series is the change from Antti Niemi to Corey Crawford in goal. Niemi was the cool and calm presence that rose to fame while backstopping Chicago to its Stanley Cup win. Crawford is the emotional youngster who is not afraid to show emotion at any point in the game. The Kings will work on Crawford and try to frustrate him and get him to react with emotion. The one thing Crawford has going for him is that he does not get flustered when he allows that first goal of the game. He has seen some easy floaters go by him in these playoffs, but he has also made the big saves when needed.

Los Angeles Kings

The sports betting sites are pointing to goaltender Jonathan Quick as being the deciding factor for the Kings once again. Quick was the deciding factor in last year’s playoffs and he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP for his efforts. This season, Quick is once again the difference for Los Angeles as he has been able to work miracles when the Los Angeles defense breaks down. Jonathan Quick will be the difference in this series and, if Los Angeles wins, it will be because of the play of its goaltender.

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks are all about attacking the other team’s net, which tends to leave Crawford on his own a lot. The betting sites are curious to see how well Quick will hold up to the endless onslaught of shots that the Blackhawks will pour in his direction. The Blackhawks are fast and aggressive, but lack the size to back that up all of the time. That is one area where the Kings will test the Blackhawks as Los Angeles has the size it needs to make its point.

The Bottom Line

The last time the Los Angeles Kings played the Chicago Blackhawks in the playoffs was the 1973-74 season. Chicago won that series but, needless to say, things are different now. These are the best teams in the Western Conference and this will be a great series to watch. But, in the end, the defense and size of the Los Angeles Kings will be what overpowers the finesse of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Read more about the NHL Western Conference finals.

Pick: Los Angeles in six

NHL Betting: Penguins Favored in Eastern Conference Final

Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston BruinsThe Pittsburgh Penguins have had the Boston Bruins number over the last two years and that’s part of why they are favored to beat them in the Eastern Conference Final. The NHL oddsmakers have posted the Penguins as a -200 favorite to win the series.

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The Bruins have lost all three meetings with the Penguins in the 2013 lockout-shortened regular season and also dropped the last three meetings to end last season. They seem to be getting closer to beating them though, as their last three losses were each by one goal.

This matchup will pit offense versus defense as the Penguins scored more goals than any other team in the NHL this season (165) while the Bruins allowed the second-fewest goals among any Eastern Conference team (109). The Pens offense has been even more potent in the playoffs as they are averaging 4.3 goals per game, which is nearly a goal more per game than the 3.4 per game they averaged in the regular season.

The good news for the Bruins is that they should have the edge in net with Tuukka Rask. He comes into the series playing fairly well after giving up just 10 goals in five games in the second round.

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A Quick Look Back At UFC 160 As Knockouts Reign Supreme

1369543650000-USP-MMA-UFC-160-Velasquez-vs-Silva-2-1305260049_4_3_rx404_c534x401When the official fight card for the UFC 160 was released, every MMA fan that was a member of a site listed on the sports betting understood that there was bound to be at least a couple of notable knockouts at the event. UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, former champion Junior Dos Santos and Mark Hunt, and Glover Texeira taking on James Te Huna all but guaranteed at last one knockout punch. Well, two of those three fights ending via knockout wasn’t bad at all, and with a first-round submission thrown in to the mix, UFC 160 was quite a show.

Teixeira earned that first-round submission win less than five minutes in to his fight with Te Huna, as he quickly took his opponent to the ground with a hard hook and pursued the ground and pound attack. It only took Teixeira a few punches before he had gained side control, and as a dazed Te-Huna tries to get to his feet, Teixeira locks in a guillotine choke and forced Te-Huna to submit. Teixeira improved to 3-0 in the UFC with the win and was already a legitimate contender in the light heavyweight division before he earned this bet on sports victory, so earning the submission win should move him one step closer to a title shot.

It was all knockouts from there, as the former champion Dos Santos looked to earn a measure of redemption and a title rematch as he clashed with Hunt. The two exchanged some massive blows in the first round and it appeared as though the first could end up going either way, but things really did slow down in the second round and by the time both fighters came out for the third round it was Dos Santos with the distinct advantage. Hunt looked tired and worn down, and while he kept on coming, he wasn’t connecting on his punches the way he had earlier in the fight. Dos Santos would connect with a spinning leg kick and then seal the online sports betting fight with a knockout punch as Hunt was down on the mat, earning the third-round knockout win and a title shot.

All that was left to do at this point was determine whom Dos Santos would fight for the title, as Velasquez looked for his second-career knockout win over Silva. It didn’t take long for this fight to end, as Velasquez couldn’t get the takedown despite two separate attempts, but then manages to land a big left and straight right to get Silva on all fours. Velasquez then punched until the referee stopped the fight, and while Silva complained that the live betting fight was ended prematurely, there is no doubt that Velasquez was the dominant fighter. The win set the stage for another rematch between Dos Santos and Velasquez, and it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if that was another event in which knockouts reigned supreme. For all of the latest UFC news and betting odds for upcoming events, be sure to check out the best sports betting sites.

2013 NBA Betting – Pacers Know That They Can Counter The Heat

130527173915-chris-bosh-miami-heat-indiana-pacers-eastern-conference-finals-2013-single-image-cutThe Indiana Pacers have the kind of roster that is built to make life difficult for the Miami Heat. Accordingly, Miami finds itself in a best-of-three deathmatch against a formidable opponent.

Eastern Conference Finals, Game 5

Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat – Thursday, May 30

Sport betting line: Miami -7.5

Why Indiana Will Win

Online football betting students who want to add a little intrigue to their week might be interested in making an upset play here, taking the Pacers to beat the Heat. The advantage Indiana must continue to pursue is connected to the X-factor for the Heat. Miami is at its best not necessarily when LeBron James is at his best, because LeBron is at his best almost all the time. LeBron usually needs help in order to win a series, and the man who must help him more than anyone else on the Heat’s roster is forward Chris Bosh. You will recall that in the 2012 NBA Playoffs, Bosh got injured in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Pacers. Miami struggled without Bosh in Games 2 and 3, but in Game 4, Dwyane Wade came up big to turn that series around.

Wade, though, is not as healthy as he was in Game 4 of the Pacers series last year. He is simply not as dynamic a scorer. Miami needs Bosh to deliver the goods in this series, not just as a jump shooter, but as a rebounder. He can’t be expected to out-rebound Hibbert and teammate David West, but he has to be competitive on the glass and get his fair share of defensive rebounds. West, though, has been enjoying a better series than Bosh by a considerable margin. If West dominates Bosh in Game 5, Indiana will have a very good chance of winning on the road in Miami.

Why Miami Will Win

With an online horse betting guru or a college football betting expert, the calculus of a given event can be boiled down to some simple realities.

Miami has a game plan that can and should work. James used a post-up game to great effect in Game 3 on Sunday, when Miami cruised to victory by an 18-point margin. James did not post up very much in Game 4 on Tuesday, however, and Indiana was able to knot the series at two games apiece. James should be able to post up more in this game, returning to his Game 3 formula. LeBron should be able to use his physical strength against a smaller and thinner defender, Pacer wing Paul George. This should give Miami a tactical advantage and open up more opportunities for the Heat’s role players, specifically Wade and reserve guard Ray Allen, who began to find his shooting stroke in Indianapolis over the past few days.

One thing that also has to be said about this game is that Miami is so good when coming off a loss. The Heat have gone multiple months without losing two games in a row. In fact, they haven’t lost two games in a row since the month of January. Those are tall odds for the Pacers to counter, especially since this game is in Miami. Yes, Miami lost Game 5 of a 2-2 East Finals series last year against the Boston Celtics, but the Heat should be able to respond on this occasion.

Who Will Win?

The sense here is that if Chris Bosh can play at a decent level – not spectacularly, but reasonably well – the Heat can space the floor on offense and limit Indiana’s rebounding. The Heat will win the game, but the Pacers will cover.

NBA Betting Pick: Indiana +7.5


NBA Thursday

49e4d72fc3a270ae34e6bbbb679734f0INDIANA PACERS at MIAMI HEAT

Sportsbook.ag Line: Miami -7.5 & 186

The Pacers look to go up 3-2 with another road win over the Heat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals at American Airlines Arena on Thursday night.

Indiana came out flat in Game 3 and was crushed 114-96, but in Game 4 the club gave Miami everything it had and prevailed by a score of 99-92. C Roy Hibbert led the way with 23 points and 12 boards, while LeBron James picked up a questionable sixth foul with under a minute remaining. So far in the playoffs, the Pacers are 11-5 ATS (69%), including 3-1 ATS in the East Finals. Although they won Game 2 on the road, they have not been a good road bet this season, going 24-24 ATS and 22-26 SU. However, the Heat are just 7-6 ATS this postseason and 24-24 ATS at home, despite a 42-6 SU mark. Miami has been resilient after losses this season though, going 15-3 SU and 12-6 ATS (67%) and outscoring these teams by 11.7 PPG. Indiana has struggled to string together win streaks, going 32-26 SU and 27-31 ATS (47%) following an SU win this season.

The Pacers’ offense continues to be a roller coaster. Although the team has scored between 96 and 102 points in all four games in this series, the team has shot 44.6% FG, 50.0% FG, 39.7% FG and 50.0% FG in the East Finals. But the defense was also superb on Tuesday, holding Miami to a series-low 39.0% shooting. C Roy Hibbert (22.8 PPG, 12.0 RPG in series) posted his third straight double-double by making 10-of-16 shots and grabbing six offensive rebounds. Hibbert is now averaging 16.2 PPG, 10.2 RPG and 2.1 BPG throughout the entire postseason. The second leading scorer for Indiana was SG Lance Stephenson (11.0 PPG, 6.5 RPG in series), who continued his breakout postseason with 20 points (9-of-15 FG) and five rebounds in 41 minutes. He has 15.0 PPG on 48% FG in two wins this series, but just 7.0 PPG on 20% FG (4-of-20) in the two defeats. Stephenson led all players with a +14 rating on Tuesday. PG George Hill (15.3 PPG, 4.5 APG, 3.8 RPG in series) also played a strong game on Tuesday, scoring 19 points (9-of-10 FT) for the second straight game, while also contributing six assists and five rebounds. Hill was doing a great job of getting into the lane where he was able to draw fouls at will. PF David West (18.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG in series) had his second straight double-double with 14 points (5-of-11 FG) and 12 rebounds in Game 4, but the Pacers could definitely afford to get him some more touches in the post. SF Paul George (18.5 PPG, 5.5 APG, 4.0 RPG in series) is going to need to find his shot in this series if the Pacers are really going to have a chance to pull this thing out. After making 3-of-10 shots in Game 3, George struggled again with just 12 points (4-of-10 FG, 0-for-4 threes) on Tuesday. He did have his best defensive game though, pulling down eight rebounds and two blocks, both of which were series highs.

After making at least 46% of their FG tries for seven straight contests, the Heat shot horribly in Game 4, making just 39.0% FG, which led to them getting crushed on the boards 49-30. They were also dominated in terms of points in the paint, where they were outscored 50-32. The one positive is that Miami made 24-of-27 free throws (89%) and committed just six turnovers, giving the team a total of 11 turnovers in the past two games combined. Despite the poor shooting, the Heat were in position to win Game 4 late. SF LeBron James (28.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 5.3 APG in series) led the Heat in scoring with 24 points (8-of-18 FG, 4-of-7 threes) while adding six rebounds, five assists and three blocks, but he also fouled out late in the game on a moving screen violation. It was just the second time in 128 career playoff games that he fouled out, but not before tallying his seventh straight 20-point game. PF Chris Bosh (14.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG in series) had his worst game of the playoff so far, scoring just seven points (1-of-6 FG, 1-of-3 threes) with three rebounds in 30 minutes. For the series, Bosh has more fouls (14) than total rebounds (13). SG Dwyane Wade (16.8 PPG, 6.0 APG, 4.8 RPG in series) also struggled from the field on his way to a 16-point (5-of-15 FG) and 6-assist night. He is still clearly bothered by a knee injury, as he was limping at parts during the game. Wade averaged 21.2 PPG on 52% FG in the regular season, but has just 14.3 PPG on 46% FG in the postseason, failing to score 20 points in each of the past 11 contests. One player who stepped up for Miami was PG Mario Chalmers (12.5 PPG, 3.0 APG in series), who finished the game with 20 points (6-of-14 FG) after hitting all eight of his free-throw attempts in the game. He also had his second turnover-free game, which is a big reason why he posted a team-best +11 rating on Tuesday. The Heat really could have used a big game from SG Ray Allen (6.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG in series) off the bench on a night where their starters struggled. Allen, however, was just as cold as the starters, as he finished the game with a very inefficient 11 points (4-of-13 FG, 2-of-7 threes) in 32 minutes. But he did lead the team in rebounding with seven boards. Reserve SF Chris Andersen (8.0 PPG, 4.8 RPG in series) still hasn’t missed a shot in five straight games (15-of-15 FG), but he also failed to attempt a shot in Game 4, grabbing a mere two rebounds and posting a game-worst rating of minus-11 in his 19 minutes.

Can the Pacers Really Beat the Heat?

130520132802-lebron-james-miami-heat-indiana-pacers-eastern-conference-finals-nba-playoffs-2013-single-image-cutThe online sports book experts gave the Indiana Pacers more than a slight chance to win the Eastern Conference finals over the Miami Heat and for good reason. There were two teams that the Miami Heat had problems with during the regular season; the Chicago Bulls and the Indiana Pacers. Miami shook the problems with Chicago by beating the Bulls 4-1 in the second round of the playoffs. But the Bulls were, once again, hobbled by injuries and the Heat did not look as dominating as it should have. Even though Miami won the series, doubts about the Heat’s chances of repeating were raised.

The betting sites expected a much different series between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers, mostly because the Pacers are completely healthy heading into the Eastern Conference finals. Whenever the playoffs get started, most people go back to Lebron James’ promise of several world titles for the Miami Heat now that the “big three” was in town. A lot of the NBA veterans dismissed James’ hype because, at that point, Lebron James had never won an NBA title. Now that the Heat and James have a title under their collective belts, it is time to see if the promise of multiple titles can come true.

There is a real concern among the best sports betting sites is that if the Heat loses these Eastern Conference finals, then the team could start a downward spiral. In this day and age of a salary cap in basketball, having three incredibly expensive players on a roster does not leave a lot of room for good role players. While the Heat has been dominating over the past few years, the holes in their roster has caused some problems as well.

Now here comes a team like the Indiana Pacers that is young and extremely talented. It is a team that has had the Heat’s number all season long when it comes to shutting down Miami’s defense. If there was any team who found a way to slow down and even stop the great Miami machine, it is the Indiana Pacers. But that was the regular season. The Pacers could never pull that off in the playoffs, right?

The sportsbook experts cannot help but notice that the Pacers have been able to maintain its defensive dominance over Miami in the playoffs. Yes, the Heat has been able to pull out two wins and score points. But that is to be expected in the playoffs when Miami has pushed its game to the next level.

But if the next level for Miami is still not enough to dominate the Pacers, then what happens in these playoffs? The NBA Eastern Conference finals should go at least six, if not seven, games. The only thing left to determine is whether Indiana can actually win this series. The answer to that question, as the Miami Heat will tell you, is yes.

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2013 NBA Basketball Betting – Heat Hold Home-Court Advantage In Their Hands

Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers - Game ThreeWhether this series will be 3-1 in favor of Miami or tied at 2-2, one can rest assured in saying that Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals is not going to be a cakewalk for either team.

Eastern Conference Finals, Game 5:

Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat – Wednesday, May 29

Why Indiana Will Win

No NCAA football betting expert would deny the contention that the Pacers have a very good chance in this contest. When you go over your next sportsbook review, you will be able to put two and two together and realize that if anyone can win in Miami, Indiana has the formula and the players to do the deed. The Pacers have the ingredients of a team that can win on the road. It’s hard for a crowd of 19,000 fans to disrupt a team that has size and power near the basket. Big man Roy Hibbert and forward David West enable Indiana to play a very physical style of ball near the rim, and this ability to crash the boards while altering LeBron James’ shots is what neutralized Miami’s home-court environment in Games 1 and 2. Sure, it won’t be easy for Indiana to win again in Miami, but the Pacers are built to pull off the feat.

One also has to realize that in Game 3 of this series, Paul George – who played like a legitimate superstar in Game 2 last Friday night in Miami – had an awful game, largely because he was caught off balance by a shift in tactics orchestrated by Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. The series changed when Spoelstra had LeBron James operate on offense in the low post. George’s length is able to contain LeBron on the perimeter, but handling LeBron on the blocks is a different challenge. George is not physical enough to deal with King James. This switch from Miami ambushed George, and it also took a lot of energy out of him at the offensive end of the floor. George should be able to bounce back from all this and play a much better game – close to his typically high standards – in Game 5. If George does indeed play well, Indiana should be in very good shape.

Why Miami Will Win

When people pursue a sports betting play, they have to realize that as much as one might talk about the need for poise and intangibles in athletic competitions, talent is very much a hammer, and Miami has the most talented player on the floor in this series. Even football betting gurus who possess minimal knowledge of professional basketball could tell you that while the Pacers might have the second- and third-best players on the floor in this series (Paul George and Roy Hibbert), Miami’s LeBron James is so transcendent at the moment that the Pacers’ balance in their starting five might not matter. James is playing at the peak of his powers. He is playing the game of basketball as well as it can realistically be played on a regular basis. James’ ability to operate in the low post represents a major headache for the Pacers, who must figure out how to double-team James without giving up really good looks to Miami’s wing shooters. The Heat should be able to arrange the pieces on their offensive chessboard in such a way that they can remain a step ahead of Indiana’s defensive rotations.

Who Will Win?

This figures to be a close game, but the Heat are now in possession of the knowledge that they can break down the Pacers’ rugged defense. Miami should be able to shoot the ball with confidence at home and prevail.

NBA Betting Pick: Miami

MLB Wagering: D-Backs Make Case as Contenders

2013-Arizona-Diamondbacks-Predictions-590x416The Arizona Diamondbacks have been a .500 or better team in four of the past six seasons, yet they haven’t exactly made a name for themselves as MLB betting favorites just yet. Would a successful 2013 campaign, anchored by breakout MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt, be enough to get them there?

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Currently first in the National League West Division, the D-Backs are anything but pushovers in a hotly contested race. Despite their advantage over the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers, however, they have just 28/1 odds of winning the World Series.

If Goldschmidt and company are to truly change the franchise’s fortunes, they’ll have to start from the ground up. A third-straight .500 season and a second postseason berth in three years seem to be as good a place as any.

The D-Backs have found themselves an All-Star of tomorrow in Goldschmidt (batting .324/.407/.595). He, along with youngsters Gerardo Parra (.307/.372/.460) and Didi Gregorious (.324/.385/.541), has re-ignited the organization.

Get a taste of what to expect out of Arizona in the long-run when they hit the road against the Chicago Cubs this weekend.

Get your MLB odds at Bovada today.

2013 NBA Betting – Pacers Have To Make Adjustments In Game 4 Versus Heat

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game OneThe Miami Heat were challenged entering Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. They answered that challenge the way champions are supposed to. Now, Indiana must respond.

Eastern Conference Finals, Game 4

Miami Heat @ Indiana Pacers – Tuesday, May 28

Sport betting line: Miami -2

Why Miami Will Win

Online football betting students who want to add a little intrigue to their week might be interested in making a play on the favorite in this game. Miami commands so much respect because it has lost just four times in the past 51 games. The Heat have set a high standard this season and showed in their 114-96 win in Game 3 that they are not to be distrusted in this postseason. Miami went the distance last season and banished the demons that emerged in the 2011 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. The Heat learned to acquire more poise in high-pressure, high-stress situations. They took better shots. They exhibited better communication on defense. They made relevant adjustments when an opponent punched back.

The NBA is a league in which teams generally need to lose at a high level before they take the next step and win a championship. The Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers before winning the world title in 1983. The Lakers lost to the Celtics in the 1984 NBA Finals before beating Boston in 1985. The Detroit Pistons lost to the Boston Celtics in the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals before beating the Celtics in 1988. The Chicago Bulls lost to the Pistons in the 1989 and 1990 playoffs before winning the NBA Finals in 1991 and then again in 1992 and 1993. Miami has undergone this same process. The confidence and belief the Heat possess are substantial. Winning Game 3 on the road by 18 points will enable the Heat to play with a liberated mentality in Game 4. It’s going to be hard for Indiana to deal with the Heat’s confidence… and with LeBron James’ post-up attack, which will make it difficult for the Pacers to double-team and rotate with effectiveness.

Why Indiana Will Win

With an online horse betting guru or a college football betting expert, the calculus of a given event should not be overrated due to one event. It has to be pointed out that while Miami leads this series, Indiana carried the play for each of the first two games. Miami changed the conversation in Game 3, but the Pacers have played the way they want to play for a majority of this series. Indiana’s big men, Roy Hibbert and David West, are too good to struggle for a second straight game, and even then, the two men were solid in Game 3. West had 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Hibbert added 20 points and 17 boards. The problem with West and Hibbert is that they collected a lot of their points and rebounds when Miami had already established a big lead, and were not able to do enough at either end of the floor when the Pacers had a chance to narrow a big Miami lead late in the third quarter. West and Hibbert should be able to play better in high-leverage situations in this contest. Moreover, wing player Paul George should be able to step forward and score more crunch-time baskets than he did in Game 3, when he was strangely silent. Indiana got caught off guard by Miami in so many ways in Game 3. Miami was also helped by an unusually strong game from forward Udonis Haslem, who hit 8 of 9 shots, many of them 18-foot jumpers. Don’t expect Haslem to hit nearly that many shots in this game. Don’t expect Miami to attain the same offensive flow it found in Game 3. The pendulum will swing back to the Pacers here.

Who Will Win?

The sense here is that this will be a seven-game series. Given that Miami is leading now, Indiana should be able to fight back and even this series at 2-2 heading into Game 5 on Thursday.

NBA Betting Pick: Indiana +2