NBA Eastern Conference finals preview: Heat vs. Pacers

May 19, 2013 |
The Pacers took two of three from the Heat during the regular season.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
The Pacers took two of three from the Heat during the regular season.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers duke it out in the Eastern Conference championship with a ticket to the NBA Finals on the line.

Here’s a look at how these teams stack up and their odds to win the series heading into Game 1 Wednesday:

No. 1 Miami Heat vs. No. 3 Indiana Pacers

Season series:
Pacers 2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS, 2-1 over/under
Series prices: Heat -700, Pacers +500

Why bet the Heat:
Miami has victories in 45 of its last 48 games and an 8-1 record this postseason, with seven of those wins by double figures. Dwyane Wade will have had a week off to rest his ailing knee before Game 1 Wednesday, and Chris Bosh is playing some of the best basketball of his career. Bosh had nearly three times as many blocks as Chicago big man Joakim Noah (11 to 4) in the last round and held his own in the rebounding department against the much bigger Noah. Bosh appears poised to handle the Pacers’ intimidating frontcourt of Roy Hibbert and David West and no Heat player was betting in the clutch than CB4 this season. Bosh shot 77 percent from the field (24 for 31) in the final five minutes of games with a margin of five points or fewer this season.

Why bet the Pacers
: The Pacers have a distinct size advantage over the Heat. Indiana has four players that are six-foot-nine or taller, while Miami has only two. The Pacers took two of three by double digits from the Heat during the regular season, outrebounding Miami by 11 boards per game over the three-game stretch. Indiana has been very impressive when it comes to defending the 3-point line. Opposing teams shot just 32.7 percent against the Pacers from beyond the arc this season – tops in the Association. The Pacers were one of two teams (Knicks were the other) to win their season series against Miami this year.
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