May 30th 2014 - Posted at 5:00 PM Eastern Time
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Take Indiana Pacers at +8 spread against Miami Heat risking 2%
Game 6 between the Heat and the Pacers takes place tonight. There is no doubt that both of these teams will come into tonight's contest prepared to give everything they have! The Pacers will be looking to extend their playoff hopes and tie up this series while the Heat will be looking to close the door and avoid travelling back to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for what would be a very challenging Game 7. This has been a heated rivalry and we don't expect it to change tonight. Emotions will be running high as both teams will be motivated to achieve their goals.
Many will look back on Game #3 and Game #4 and remember how the Pacers struggled in Miami. There have been two losses by the Pacers and both have come by double digit margins. It would be easy to assume that the Heat could win this game by double digits again. We don't believe that will be the case however. The situation is different now than in those games as the Pacers will be playing for their entire season and no longer have a 'home' game to look ahead to.
In the earlier games in Miami, the Pacers were not under a huge amount of pressure. Their backs were not necessarily up against the wall since they knew that no matter what happened in those two games, that they would get to play another game at home. Games 3 and 4 were NOT "must-win" games for the Pacers, although it would have put them in a much better position that they are in now. From a psychological perspective, it simply was not that same situation that they find themselves in tonight. This is a game that the Pacers know they must win and so we expect them to give, at the very least, an inspired effort to keep this game close. Whether they actually win this game or not, is really not the concern. At this point it becomes a matter of if they can keep the game close and we believe that they will do just that. The Pacers have shown that despite offensive struggles, they typically show up in these do-or-die situations as they are 3-0 when facing elimination!
Let's not forget that the Pacers earned the #1 seed in the East this season finishing ahead of Miami. They were the team with the best record so it's interesting to see that they are such big underdogs tonight. For all their second half struggles, Indiana is still a very tough team. They play great defense and are aggressive on the glass, things that are needed in order to keep games close or at least keep them within striking distance. Vegas originally opened this spread at Miami -6, which was a fair assessment but the betting public shifted this line another 2 full points creating great value on the gritty underdogs! The Heat have shown that they can cover big numbers at home but this is a premium and it'd be unwise to lay this many points in what should be a competitive game. We simply feel that 8 points is too much. The Pacers have shown that they can pose matchup problems for the Heat in the past and should prove that again tonight.
The Over/Under total for this game is listed at a low 182.5 points which shows the odds-makers are expecting a fairly low-scoring defensive battle and we agree. If that is indeed the case, each and every point becomes that much more precious, especially when receiving 8 of them! This has been an entertaining series from a fan perspective and we expect this game to be closely contested tonight. We do feel that the points will likely come into play, whether it be because the Pacers keep this game close or even in the form of a backdoor cover. The Pacers have been solid in the underdog role and tonight's game lists them as the biggest underdogs they have been all season long! Take the generous 8 points with Frank Vogel's team at this inflated spread.
Other notable facts to consider:
- Indiana is 5-2 in its last 7 games on the road.
- Pacers are 10-2 when trailing in a playoff series over the last 3 seasons!
- Indiana is a perfect 3-0 SU and ATS in playoff elimination games this season.
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