NBA Betting News and Notes Saturday, May 24

NBA Betting News and Notes Saturday, May 24

Game 3 - Pacers at Heat
By Sportsbook.ag

INDIANA PACERS (65-32) at MIAMI HEAT (63-30)

Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Miami -7 & 183.5

The Heat look to build on Tuesday's victory over the Pacers when the Eastern Conference Finals shifts to South Beach for a pivotal Game 3 on Saturday night.

Miami was able to take Game 2 by shooting 51% FG and 40% threes (8-of-20), while producing seven steals and six blocks, which was much more than Indiana's six steals and two blocks. The Pacers stayed in the game with excellent long-range shooting (47.4%) which dwarfed what they shot from inside the arc (37.7%). But Indiana did have the edge in rebounding (41-38), including a significant 16-6 advantage on the offensive glass.

With Tuesday's outcome, the Heat hold a 15-11 SU advantage in the past three seasons in this series with the teams an even 13-13 ATS in those contests. But this series has been very lopsided in South Beach, as the Pacers are just 3-15 SU (7-11 ATS) in their past 18 visits to AmericanAirlines Arena.

Indiana was a completely different team in Game 2 than it was in Game 1, as the club was not getting the same efficient production and balance from its starting unit with a virtually non-existent bench that scored only nine points on 3-of-13 shooting. SG Lance Stephenson (21.0 PPG, 7.5 APG, 5.0 RPG in series) has been the best player for the Pacers in this series while serving as the team’s primary playmaker, finding his teammates for easy buckets when he’s not knocking down his jumpers. Stephenson has also played some very solid defense for his team.

SF Paul George (19.0 PPG, 5.5 APG, 4.5 RPG in series) really struggled in Game 2, scoring just 14 points (4-of-16 FG) in 43 minutes. George took a knee to the back of his head in the fourth quarter of the loss, and suffered a concussion, leaving him questionable for Game 3. If the All-Star is unable to play on Saturday, it will be a huge loss for a Pacers team that really struggles to score, even at full strength.

C Roy Hibbert (15.5 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 1.0 BPG in series) continues to be a major presence for Indiana, while Miami does not have the size to bang with Hibbert down low. The big man finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds in Game 2. The Pacers would be wise to establish their All-Star center early in Game 3 in order to dictate the pace of the game.

PF David West (14.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 3.5 APG in series) has been the rock of consistency throughout these playoffs, but played poorly in Game 2 with just 10 points (5-of-16 FG) and six rebounds, and his team will need him to get back on track early in Game 3.

The Heat picked up a huge road win in Game 2 and have now taken back home-court advantage in the series. SF LeBron James (23.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 5.5 APG, 2.5 SPG in series) had his fingerprints all over the Game 2 win, finishing with 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists. James was also ferocious on defense, ending up with three blocks and two steals in his 42 minutes of play. James will need to continue to make plays going to the rim in Game 3 if the Heat are going to take the lead in the series.

James, however, was not out there alone, as SG Dwyane Wade (25.0 PPG, 4.5 APG in series) has looked like his former self for the Heat. Wade had 23 points (10-of-16 FG), five assists and five rebounds in just 34 minutes of play in the Game 2 victory, and Miami will look to keep feeding Wade while he is scoring this efficiently. PF Chris Bosh (9.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG in series) has been a no-show for Miami in this series and that absolutely must change if the Heat are going to advance to the NBA Finals. Bosh had just nine points and six rebounds in 35 minutes of Game 2. He is shooting horribly from the outside this series (1-of-9 threes) and should look to establish himself around the basket in Game 3 in order to gain some confidence.

PG Norris Cole (5.5 PPG in series) played some huge minutes off the bench for the Heat in Game 2, finishing the game with 11 points (3-of-4 FG, 2-of-2 threes) and two assists in just 27 minutes of play. Miami desperately needed somebody to provide some offense off the bench in that game and Cole delivered. He should get a bump in minutes in Game 3 after his performance, especially considering how poorly starting PG Mario Chalmers has played this series. He has just 6.0 PPG on 31% FG with 4.0 APG and 2.5 TOPG.


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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Saturday, May 24

NBA: Streaks, Tips, Notes
Sportspic.com

Indiana at Miami

After being taken behind the woodshed spanked 107-96 as a 1 1/2-point road favorite in the opener the 'Three Amigos' nipped Pacers 87-83 Tuesday as two-point favorites to even the series. Now the series shifts to Miami for Game 3 on Saturday. Home-court advantage in the playoffs has served Miami well since Wade, James, Bosh joined forces posting a smart 35-7 (26-16 ATS) record including 5-0 (3-2 ATS) this year. Miami's record at home is impressive, but basketball handicapping demands digging a little deeper to get a better take on the situation. To that end, those number pale compared to the what Indiana brings to the table. The Pacers, a resilient group have reeled off an 11-1 (10-2 ATS) streak following a post season loss including 3-0 SU/ATS running the hardwood vs Heat.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Saturday, May 24

Game of the Day: Pacers at Heat
By Covers.com

Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat (-6.5, 183)

Series tied 1-1.

The Indiana Pacers have enough to worry about against the Miami Heat without trying to figure out how to replace an All-Star. The Pacers hope to have forward Paul George available when they visit the Heat for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday. George was diagnosed with a concussion after taking a knee to the head on Tuesday and will need to pass NBA-mandated tests before he is eligible to return to action.

George is off to a rough start offensively in the series after being held to 14 points on 4-of-16 shooting in Game 2 but is a key part of the defensive effort against LeBron James. George remained in the game after catching Dwyane Wade’s knee on the back of his head but later said he “blacked out” following the hit and was diagnosed with  the concussion on Wednesday morning due to the brief loss of consciousness. Any deterioration in the skills of George is a bad sign for the Pacers, who allowed James and Wade to combine for 22 points in the fourth quarter as the Heat came from behind to take Game 2 and even the series.

LINE HISTORY: Miami opened -6.5 and jumped as high as -7.5 with news that Pacers forward George Paul could sit out with a concussion. The line is being dealt -7 at most books. The total opened 182.5 and has climbed to 183.

INJURY REPORT: Pacers - P. George (Ques/Concussion), D. West (Prob/Eye)

WHAT BOOKS SAY: "We are guessing that Paul George will start when we opened Miami -7. If George doesn’t get clearance to play, expect the line to go up to Heat -9 or -9.5." - Mike Perry, Sportsbook.ag.

WHAT SHARPS SAY: "In Game 2, Miami broke a trend that had seen the home team win 13 of the previous 15 matchups between the two teams. Oddsmakers expect the Heat to hold serve on home court in Game 3, but are they not giving the Pacers enough respect?" - Covers Experts' Brian Powers

ABOUT THE PACERS: Indiana put together its best offensive performance of the postseason in dominating Game 1, leading wire-to-wire en route to a 107-96 victory. The Pacers led for most of the contest in Game 2 but had a much more difficult time scoring and ended up dropping an 87-83 decision. “It’s a split,” coach Frank Vogel told reporters. “We’ll respond. We’ll look at the tape, make our adjustments and come back for Game 3.” George has three full days off to go through the concussion protocol, which includes physical exertion on a stationary bike, jogging, agility work and non-contact team drills, each of which must be completed symptom-free before moving onto the next.

ABOUT THE HEAT: James and Wade put their stamp on the series in the fourth quarter of Game 2, scoring or assisting on every point scored and never panicking when Miami got down. After allowing the Pacers to go off at 51.5 percent from the field in Game 1, the Heat pushed that number down to 40 percent in Game 2. That defense gave James and Wade enough time to find their groove when the fourth quarter rolled around. “However the game presents itself, I just try to take advantage,” James told reporters. “I needed to do something in the fourth. I was able to get some good looks for guys in the third quarter but I needed to make a few buckets in the fourth quarter and I was able to come through for us."

TRENDS:

* Over is 6-2 in the last eight meetings in Miami.
* Home team is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
* Pacers are 5-0 ATS in their last five road games.
* Over is 4-1 in Heat's last five home games

COVERS CONSENSUS: 55 percent of bets are on Pacers +6.5 while 70 percent of total wagers are on Over 183

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Pacers-Heat Game 3 – Strong play on the total
By: Marcus DiNitto 
Sportingnews.com

There’s just something different about the Indiana Pacers right now, and it’s the Miami Heat that has brought it out of them.

While there have been conflicts within the Indiana locker room for much of the season, “there’s one common theme” among the players, according to The Linemakers on Sporting News’ Kenny White. “They hate the Miami Heat, and that’s why they’re playing so well. … They’ve looked so much better against Miami than they did against those other two weaker teams (the Hawks and Wizards).”

A +310 underdog coming into the East Finals, Indiana won the first game of the series – convincingly – and was beaten narrowly, 87-83, in Game 2.

The series shifts to Miami for Game 3 on Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), when the Pacers may be without the concussed Paul George. When the LVH SuperBook hung its opening line of Heat -6.5 for Saturday night’s tilt, it did so assuming about 80 percent probability that George would play, the LVH’s Ed Salmons told The Linemakers on Sporting News.

The Heat are making the same assumption.

"Why wouldn't he (play)?," LeBron James asked rhetorically of George.

The line had been bet up to -7 at most Vegas shops, and if George is ruled out, watch for it to be bumped to about -8.5, Salmons said.

The Pacers are a nifty 5-1 SU and ATS on the road in these playoffs. That record, of course, was built against the likes of Atlanta and Washington.

The Heat have yet to lose at home this postseason, but is just 3-2 ATS. They’ve won those five games by an average of 10 points and have shot nearly 50 percent from the floor. Going back to last season, Miami has won eight straight playoff games at American Airlines Arena, and they’re 35-7 at home in the playoffs since the formation of the Big Three; two of those losses have come against Indiana.

They won both home games against Indiana in the regular season, going 1-1 ATS. In last year’s conference finals vs. Indiana, they were 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS.

''Both teams can win on each other's floor,” said James. “We've proven that the last couple years. We have to protect our home, but we can't go out there saying that just because we're back home we get automatic wins. We've got to play."

The total opened 182.5 at the LVH, was bet as low as 181.5 and as high as 183. As of Friday evening, it sat between 182.5 and 183.

The Linemakers’ lean: Game 2 was contested at an extremely slow pace, as patient offenses tried to work their way through great defenses. It didn’t come close to going OVER the 184-point total. Game 3, Kenny White believes, will more closely resemble Game 2 than Game 1, and there’s value on the UNDER even with a total as low as 180. Kenny’s strong lean toward the UNDER becomes even stronger if Paul George doesn’t suit up.

Also, the betting market is giving too much weight to Miami’s home court. If George is in the lineup, we’ll make a play on the Pacers.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Saturday, May 24

Inside the Paint - Saturday
By Chris David
VegasInsider.com

After a three-day break, the Eastern Conference Finals will resume on Saturday as Miami and Indiana will meet in Game 3 from American Airlines Arena.

On Tuesday, the Heat rallied for an 87-83 victory in Game 2 to even the best-of-seven series at 1-1. The Pacers led by four points (73-69) with seven minutes to play in the final quarter before Miami closed the game on an 18-11 run and posted another familiar comeback. Indiana actually had a shot to backdoor the point-spread as a 2½-point home underdog but a failed 3-point attempt came up short.

These late-game rallies for Miami have been going on since this group came together four years ago and betting against them can be very frustrating.

For Game 3, oddsmakers opened the Heat as seven-point favorites and the number has slightly dipped to 6½ points as of Saturday morning.

From a handicapping perspective, I believe you can make strong cases for both teams on Saturday.

Indiana is perfect off a loss in this year’s postseason, going 5-0.

Most shops have Miami listed as a 1/3 favorite (Bet $100 to win $300) on the money-line, while Indiana is a 5/2 underdog (Bet $100 to win $250).
   
Would you be surprised if the Pacers won on Saturday? We asked that question to VegasInsider.com handicapper Kevin Rogers. He answered, “The Pacers have struggled in South Florida since the 2012 playoffs, losing seven of the last eight meetings, including two defeats this season. It’s hard to deny Indiana’s success as an underdog in this postseason, but in two victories at Washington, the Pacers trailed in the fourth quarter. Plus, the Heat have been solid at home in the playoffs.”

The Heat have won eight straight postseason games at home, which includes a 5-0 straight up and 3-2 against the spread mark this year. Since LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh formed their alliance in 2010, the Heat have gone 35-7 at home in the playoffs. To be fair, this Indiana squad does own two of those victories (2012, 2013).

Indiana’s Paul George was diagnosed with a concussion after Game 2 but he is now listed as ‘probable’ for the third installment. I doubt it will have any major importance but the Heat could suit up center Greg Oden for Game 3.

Bettors looking to wager on the adjusted series price can back Miami as a 1/4 favorite (Bet $100 to win $25) or take a shot with Indiana at a plus-320 (Bet $100 to win $320) price.

According to Rogers, total players could be scratching their heads for Game 3. He explained, “The big question is whether this game will go ‘over’ or ‘under’ depending on strong trends each way. The Pacers have stayed ‘under’ the total in five of six playoff games away from the Hoosier State, while the Heat has gone ‘over’ the total in four of five home contests.”

Most books sent out 182 ½ for Game 3 and the number has been pushed up to 183.

I asked Paul Bovi, arguably the best total handicapper on VI, his ‘over/under’ analysis for Game 3 and the series.

He said, “Based on the head-to-head meetings between the pair this season, I would lean ‘under’ for Game 3 and the rest of the series. We’ve now seen six encounters and the three ‘under’ winners were never in doubt. Two of the three ‘over’ tickets that cashed were very fortunate to do so and then you had the aberration in Game 1 of this series when they combined for 203 points.”

Aberration might be an understatement too! In the last 20 meetings, only three times have these teams combined to score more than 200 points, with Game 1 in this best-of-seven being one of the results.

Totals are all about pace and Miami has slowed the game down more than anybody in the playoffs. The Heat are averaging 72.6 attempts per game but they have the ability to score because they’re also averaging 23.2 attempts from 3-point land and 23.1 attempts from the free-throw stripe.

For those bettors that like to use betting angles and trends in their handicapping approach, make a note that VI handicapper Marc Lawrence has identified a solid lean for Saturday’s Game 3. According to his database, he provided the below NBA playoff angle for the third round.

“Teams with a better win percentage taking points off a loss are 22-17-1 ATS (56%) on the blind. Bring them in off a loss of 4 or more points and they improve to 21-12-1 ATS (61.7%). Best of all, when taking 4 or more points with a better team off a loss of 4 or more points you have a 13-5-1 ATS (72%) winning edge.”

Based on the above from Lawrence -- Indiana owns the better winning percentage, they lost Game 2 by four points and they’re getting more than four in Game 3. It’s obviously not perfect but if you’re leaning to the underdog, this is another factor that could make you more confident.

As far as officials for Game 3, bettors are looking at the below.

McCutchen (no relation to Andrew) and Zarba are both quality officials but I’m not fond of Brothers, who was involved in that fiasco during Game 5 of the Clippers-Thunders series. Even before the replay issue, he was off his game and too quick with his whistle.

Game 4 will take place on Monday from the American Airlines Arena.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Saturday, May 24

NBA Playoffs

Pacers shot 52% in Game 1, outscored Heat 29-10 on foul line, putting six in double figures; they shot 40% in Game 2, were outscored 11-10 on foul line- they led 75-72 in 4th quarter, before Heat went on decisive run to even series. Home side won nine of last ten Miami-Indiana games, as Pacers lost seven of last eight visits here. Six of last nine series games went over the total. Miami is 9-3 in playoffs, 5-1 at home; they're 7-5 as favorite in playoffs. Indiana is 9-6 in playoffs, 5-1 vs spread when they are getting points. Five of last seven Indiana games stayed under. George better produce more than 4-16 from floor he put up in Game 2.

Over is 44-32 in playoffs this season.
Favorites are 27-49 in playoffs this season.

Armadillosports.com

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