NBA Betting News and Notes Monday, May 26
Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Monday, May 26
Game of the Day: Pacers at Heat
Indiana Heat at Miami Heat (-6.5, 183.5)
Heat lead series 2-1
The Miami Heat placed the on-off switch firmly in the “on” position to take control of the Eastern Conference finals. The Heat will try to keep their energy at that level and earn a commanding 3-1 lead in the series when they host the Indiana Pacers in Game 4 on Monday. The Pacers have appeared to be the dominant team in the series for long stretches in each game but failed to put together the necessary run in the fourth quarter of the last two contests.
The Pacers raced out to a 17-4 lead in the first quarter and were up 15 early in the second in Game 3 before letting Miami up off the mat. “You can’t play around with this team,” Indiana forward Paul George told reporters of the Heat. “I thought we got comfortable at one point early in the game, you know, just being up early. This game is all about runs, and ultimately the team that makes the biggest run or the last run is the team that’s going to win.” That team was Miami with a 12-2 fourth-quarter run to spark Game 2’s 87-83 win and then a 61-45 advantage over Indiana in the second half of Game 3.
LINE HISTORY: Line opened at the Heat -6.5 with a total of 183.5.
INJURY REPORT: Pacers - C A. Bynum (Out/Knee)
WHAT BOOKS SAY: "Have the Heat cracked the code to the one of the top defenses in the League? The second half of Game 3 seemed to support that with the Heat outscoring the Pacers 61-45. The Heat are now 6-0 SU at home in these playoffs. The Heat are 6.5 point favorites and are seeing 70% of the action at that number so far." - Michael Stewart of Carbonssports.ag
WHAT SHARPS SAY: "It will be interesting to see how the Pacers respond after blowing a 15-point lead in Game 3 versus the Heat and being outscored by 27 points the rest of the game from that point on. Indiana is still 5-1 SU after a straight-up loss in the playoffs this season, but they're 0-1 so far in that situation versus the Heat in this series." Covers Experts' Steve Merril
ABOUT THE HEAT: Miami got a big boost in the fourth quarter of Game 3 from Ray Allen, who hit four 3-pointers in the period and finished with 16 points. “That’s kind of like my territory,” Allen told reporters. “The flow of the game doesn’t come in my direction early in the game. … But in the fourth quarter, if a guy is guarding me and just thinks I’m here biding time, I’m not. I’m just trying to figure out how I can have an impact.” Allen’s strong game came as a compliment to another solid performance from James, who is averaging 24.3 points on 58 percent shooting in the series.
ABOUT THE PACERS: The concern prior to Game 3 was the health of George, who had to pass concussion protocols before being cleared to play. George never found much of a rhythm offensively while being guarded primarily by LeBron James but still managed to lead the team in scoring with 17 points on 5-of-13 shooting. George was also one of several players dealing with foul trouble. “We didn’t manage our foul trouble well and didn’t manage (the Heat) picking up their defensive intensity well,” coach Frank Vogel told reporters. “I though we attacked appropriately but didn’t finish plays, and obviously turned it over a little too much and let them get going.”
*Pacers are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS loss.
*Over is 11-5 in Heat last 16 Conference Finals games.
*Over is 7-2 in the last 9 meetings in Miami.
*Home team is 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 51 percent of bettors are taking the Pacers +6.5.
Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Monday, May 26
Heat goes for 3-1 lead
Indiana (65-33) at Miami (64-30)
Sportsbook.ag Line and Total: Miami -6.5, Total: 183
After relinquishing a golden opportunity to win back home-court advantage on Saturday, the Pacers will look to tie up their Eastern Conference Finals series with the Heat on Monday night.
The team that has shot better has won every game of this series, with Miami prevailing in the past two contests with blistering shooting rates of 51% FG (40% threes) in Game 2 and 54% FG (56% threes) in Saturday's 99-87 victory. In the Game 2 home loss, Indiana made just 40% FG despite a hefty 47% clip from three-point range, but in Game 3, the club drained 48% FG and only 29% threes (6-of-21) in a game they led 19-5 late in the first quarter before getting outscored 94-68 the rest of the way. The Heat did a great job of staying even on the boards with a superior Pacers rebounding team with both clubs grabbing exactly 23 defensive rebounds and six offensive rebounds, and the points in the paint being 40-38 in favor of Miami.
With Saturday's outcome, the Heat now hold a 16-11 SU (14-13 ATS) advantage in the past three seasons in this series, but they have completely dominated in South Beach, as Indiana is just 3-16 SU (7-12 ATS) in its past 19 visits to AmericanAirlines Arena. But the Pacers are a decent 26-22 SU (22-26 ATS) on the road this season, and they are also a stellar 31-17 ATS (65%) when coming off a road loss in the past two seasons. Miami has been a subpar 22-24-1 ATS at home, but is 38-9 SU when hosting this season. And although they are a mediocre 32-35-3 ATS with less than two days' rest this season, the Heat are an excellent 10-2 ATS when playing five or less games in a 14-day span. There are no significant injuries for either team.
Indiana has scored just 92.3 PPG this series, but the club has made 46.0% FG and 39.0% three-pointers in the three contests. During the regular season, the club averaged a more respectable 96.7 PPG, but was much less efficient with 44.9% FG and 35.7% threes. All five starters are averaging at least a dozen points in this series led by SF Paul George (18.3 PPG, 5.7 APG, 3.7 RPG in series). But he didn't shoot very well in Game 3 when he scored only 17 points on 5-of-13 FG, 1-of-6 threes and 6-of-10 FT. He also committed four fouls and had a minus-10 rating. George's other starting frontcourt mates, C Roy Hibbert (15.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG in series) and PF David West (14.0 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3.7 APG in series), played well offensively on Saturday with a combined 29 points on 12-of-21 FG (57%), but combined for a mere seven rebounds while each wound up with a minus-21 rating. If this trio does not play better against a smaller and weaker Heat frontcourt, they will not win another game this series.
SG Lance Stephenson (17.3 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 6.7 APG, 1.3 SPG in series) has been the best all-around player for Indiana during the Eastern Conference Finals, making up for a poor 3-of-9 shooting night in Game 3 with a game-high 11 rebounds plus five assists and three steals. Stephenson has been off the mark all postseason on the road with shooting numbers of 43% FG (26% threes), which pale in comparison to home shooting rates of 48% FG and 45% threes. PG George Hill (12.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.3 SPG in series) has shot 47% from three-point range in the East Finals, but both he and backup PG C.J. Watson (5.7 PPG in series) have more turnovers than assists in the three postseason meetings with Miami. Hill has only three assists and five turnovers in the series, while Watson has two assists and four turnovers. Watson also posted a minus-17 rating in his 28 minutes off the bench on Saturday.
The Heat were a great offensive team in the regular season with 102.2 PPG on 50.1% FG and 36.4% threes, and although they haven't scored as much versus an excellent Pacers defense with 94.0 PPG, their shooting percentages have been even better this series at 52.1% FG and 39.3% threes. SF LeBron James (24.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 6.0 APG, 3.0 SPG in series) and SG Dwyane Wade (24.3 PPG, 4.3 APG, 1.3 SPG in series) have both scored 73 points this series on blistering shooting clips with James at 58% FG and Wade at 62% FG (3-of-5 threes). Even though James committed six turnovers in Game 3, he still pitched in 26 points, seven boards, five assists and four steals to produce a game-best rating of +24. Wade finished with 23 points, four boards, four assists, three steals and a solid +9 rating. SG Ray Allen (10.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG in series) is the only other Miami player averaging double-figure scoring in this series, as he has knocked down 47% FG and 54% threes (7-for-13). He made all four of his long-range tries on Saturday, finishing with 16 points and a +8 rating.
PF Chris Andersen (6.7 PPG, 7.7 RPG in series) has also provided great energy in a reserve role, with his rebounding making up for the continued soft play of PF Chris Bosh (9.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG in series). While Andersen has a stellar +26 rating for the series, Bosh has a minus-28 mark, showing that the Heat have been much better with Andersen on the floor. The All-Star Bosh has scored exactly nine points in all three games this series, making only 36% FG (2-of-12 threes) with as many personal fouls as rebounds (12 each) in his 29.8 MPG. Miami's point-guard situation hasn't been much better than Indiana's floor generals. PGs Mario Chalmers (6.0 PPG, 3.0 APG in series) and Norris Cole (6.7 PPG in series) have just 14 assists and nine turnovers this series, but the combination did shoot well in Game 3 by making 7-of-11 FG.
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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Monday, May 26
Game 4 - Pacers at Heat
By Kevin Rogers
Through the first two rounds of the NBA playoffs, underdogs compiled a 48-23-1 against the spread record. However, things have turned around for the chalk in the conference finals, as favorites own a 5-1 SU/ATS record, capped off by Oklahoma City’s Game 3 victory at home on Sunday over San Antonio. The Eastern Conference Finals is back on display tonight as Miami looks to throw the knockout punch against Indiana following a remarkable rally in Game 3.
The Pacers jumped out to a 17-4 lead in the first quarter of Saturday’s Game 3 at the American Airlines Arena, but the Heat chipped away and chipped away at the deficit. Miami outscored Indiana, 95-70 in the final 40 minutes of the game to secure a 2-1 series lead, as Ray Allen drilled four three-pointers in the fourth quarter to put the contest away. The Heat pulled off the 99-87 as six-point home favorites to improve to 8-4 ATS in the postseason, while not allowing more than 97 points in six home playoff contests.
Following the horrible offensive start for the Heat, Miami still shot a scorching 53% from the floor, led by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combining for 49 points on 18-of-30 shooting. Past Allen’s 16 points off the bench, there wasn’t much contribution elsewhere for the defending champions in Game 3, as Chris Bosh continued to struggle in this series by scoring just nine points on 4-of-12 shooting. Miami moved to 5-1 to the ‘over’ at home in the playoffs, even though the low-scoring start had ‘under’ bettors feeling the ‘over’ trend would stop in Game 3.
The Pacers lost just their second road game of the playoffs on Saturday, falling to 5-2 SU/ATS away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in the postseason. Frank Vogel’s team has failed to bust the 95-point mark on the highway in the playoffs, as his club knocked down just 6-of-21 three-point attempts in Game 3. Lance Stephenson and Paul George combined to hit only 1-of-10 from downtown, while George paced Indiana with a team-high 17 points.
Miami has captured eight of the past nine home matchups with Indiana since the second round of the 2012 playoffs, as the Heat has covered six times in this stretch. Dating back to last season’s conference finals, the Heat have won 11 of their last 12 playoff contests at the American Airlines Arena, while compiling an 8-4 ATS mark.
VegasInsider.com’s Chris David says to look at the big picture for more money-making opportunities in regards to this series, “The first two rounds of the playoffs watched the underdogs cash at the betting counter and now we’re starting to see the favorites strike back in the conference finals. When we get this late in the season, the numbers are tight and handicapping these matchups are very difficult. While I can’t make a case for either side or the total in Game 4, I would advise to look at some player props.”
David believes to take advantage of Bosh’s struggles in the prop department, “In particular, fading Chris Bosh against the Pacers has been golden and I haven’t seen oddsmakers adjust his total points and rebounds props. They’re still posting a total close to 18 and that’s too high. He doesn’t rebound at all and it’s apparent that he lost confidence in his 3-point shot, going 2-of-12 from distance in this series. I would advise ‘under’ wagers on 16 ½ or higher. I would also look at the ‘under’ in Dwyane Wade too only because the numbers will be inflated after three great performances and I do believe his minutes will catch up to him sooner or later.”
If the Pacers can find a way to steal tonight’s game and send the series back to the Hoosier State tied at 2-2, David advises that you jump on Indiana now, “Bettors should take a look at Indiana on the Adjusted Series Price, which is offering up a great price on the Pacers. Prior to the series, Miami as a 1/4 favorite (Bet $100 to win $25) to win this series and are now listed as a 1/10 (Bet $100 to win $10) favorite. The price on the Pacers is as high as 6/1 (Bet $100 to win $600) heading into Game 4. Miami does lead 2-1 but a win on Monday by the Pacers will even up the series and they do own homecourt advantage.”
The Pacers are just 1-4 SU/ATS the last five road games off a road loss dating back to March, while finishing ‘under’ the total four times in this stretch. The Heat are listed as six-point favorites tonight, while the total is set at 183½. The game tips off at 8:30 PM EST from South Florida and can be seen on ESPN.
Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Monday, May 26
Pacers-Heat Game 4 Picks
By: Craig Williams
The Pacers got off to a strong start in the Eastern Conference Finals with their Game 1 win, but the Heat have taken control with two straight victories, and with Game 4 Monday in South Beach (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), LeBron and Co. are in a good position to go up 3-1.
Line: Miami -6.5, Total: 183.5
Despite facing an uphill battle, the Pacers remain confident.
Following Saturday night's Game 3 loss, David West suggested his team just needs to remain committed to Pacer basketball, saying "I think we need to stick to what we do. We got away from ourselves."
Indiana blew a 15-point first-half lead and did not fall behind until the third quarter. When asked how much resilience his team has left, coach Frank Vogel responded, "A ton. It's very early in the series."
A loss in Game 4 will make things feel late in a hurry though. The Pacers haven't won in three chances in Miami (two regular season, one postseason).
As always, the challenge with defending the Heat starts with slowing down LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. That task is amplified when members of the supporting cast have big performances, as Ray Allen did with 16 points on Saturday -- 13 in the fourth quarter.
The Linemakers' lean: The Heat bailed themselves out in Game 3 with another torrid shooting performance, their third straight over 50 percent from the floor, but we're still not sure this is the same Miami team of the past. The Pacers will continue to battle, and their odds still offer plenty of value. In fact, here are three plays to consider: +3.5 in the first half, +6.5 for the game and at huge price of 25-to-1 to win the championship -- they're down just 2-1 after all. Our best play is +3.5 on the first-half line.
We missed on the UNDER Saturday night, but we're taking another shot at it Monday. The total's been inched up, and Miami is bound to cool down against the tough Indiana D. UNDER 183.5 is another play.