Heat - Pacers Game Three
PACERS OPEN AS HOME DOG, DESPITE UNDEFEATED HOME PLAYOFF RECORD!
You knew Las Vegas oddsmakers were going to have trouble with this one. The most dominant regular season team in years...and the odds-on favorite to repeat as NBA champions this year...are on the road against a team that hasn't lost a home game yet in the playoffs.
Who's the favorite?
Miami's only lost a handful of times the past few months...and they're in a bounce back spot off a loss! Bettors and fans are likely to see peak intensity from a great road team.
Indiana's won their home playoff games by margins of 17, 15, 23, 11, 11, and 7 points. Yes, Miami is better than Atlanta (the first three listed) and New York (the last three listed). But, the Power Ratings don't have them 20 points better than Miami and 10 points better than New York!
Oddsmakers stuck to their guns and opened Miami as a 1-point favorite. That's in line with their Power Ratings before the series started based on the prices we saw in South Florida. If you assume home court is worth three points in a Miami Heat playoffs series (it's lower for them than other teams because they're a great road team but a host that tends to coast). Then Miami -7 at home equals Miami -1 on the road. Miami was -7 in Game Two.
Is that right? You could make the case that Indiana has established that they can play even up with the Heat so far in this series. If these teams were even, then Indiana should be a small favorite. Heck, the stats and scoreboard suggest Indiana is the better team! They just played a net zero game at the end of regulation, before earning a 4-pont win. IN MIAMI. Turn those results around with the site switch, and Indiana should be -4, -5, or even better.
That's the challenge for handicappers. If Indiana is for REAL, then there's no way they should be a home underdog. They've been great at home, and haven't proven to be the inferior team thus far. But, if the first two results were just a case of Miami coasting again at home before taking things more seriously when it was time to win...then -1 is a very cheap line to get what might be the best team of our current generation.
MIAMI at INDIANA
Vegas Line: Miami by 1, total of 183
Series Tied 1-1
The offenses have been shooting very well (partly because a whistle is blown whenever a shot is missed!), which has led to a pair of Overs so far. Regulation scoreboard totals have landed on 184 and 190 with the teams combining to shoot about 50% inside the arc while making more than 40 free throws per game. If ever there's a game where the refs don't blow their whistles...we may be looking at 69-67! Given how "intentional" many of these fouls have been...we may be looking at an "Over" series driven by how aggressively these offenses attack the basket...and how willing the defenses are to get called for a foul at the rim when necessary.
JIM HURLEY knows that both the side and total situation here are very volatile. It wouldn't be a surprise if the team side line misses in either direction by 7-10 points...and the total could be off by as much as 10-15 points. His unique TEAM HANDICAPPING approach is gathering all the information...crunching all the numbers...running all the simulations...and getting all the news about Wise Guy betting from our friends offshore and behind the line in Las Vegas. NETWORK CLIENTS WILL GET THE RIGHT PLAY!
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Back with you Monday (Memorial Day!) to preview Game Four of the San Antonio Spurs/Indiana Pacers series. Basketball coverage continues daily through the week in the ongoing conference Finals.
We hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend with your family. Enjoy the Indy 500 and baseball during the day, then hit the hardwoods under the lights for the Indy 48...48 minutes of big money basketball courtesy of JIM HURLEY'S NETWORK!
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