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Heat-Pacers Outlook

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

Series Price: Miami -700, Indiana +500

Series Format: Miami, 2-2-1-1-1

Game 1 - Wednesday, May 22 (8:30 PM EST, TNT)
Game 2 - Friday, May 24 (8:30 PM EST, TNT)
Game 3 - Sunday, May 26 (8:30 PM EST, TNT)
Game 4 - Tuesday, May 28 (8:30 PM EST, TNT)
Game 5* - Thursday, May 30 (8:30 PM EST, TNT)
Game 6* - Saturday, June 1 (8:30 PM EST, TNT)
Game 7* - Monday, June 3 (8:30 PM EST, TNT)

HEAD TO HEAD COMPARISONS
TEAM SU ATS HOME AWAY OVER/UNDER PPG DPPG
Miami Heat 74-17 52-39 41-5 33-12 45-43-3 102.5 94.0
Indiana Pacers 57-36 50-43 36-11 21-25 44-47-2 94.4 90.5
2012-13 Head to Head Meetings
Date Results Total
03/10/13 Indiana 91 @ Miami 105 (-6.5) OVER 188
02/01/13 Miami 89 @ Indiana 102 (+2) OVER 184.5
01/18/13 Miami 77 @ Indiana 87 (+2) UNDER 187

Skinny: The Heat cruised through the first two series against an underachieving Bucks' squad and undermanned Bulls' roster to reach the Eastern Conference Finals for the third straight season. Miami beat Milwaukee by double-digits in each of the four games of a first round sweep, while posting a 3-1 ATS record. Following an opening game upset by Chicago in the conference semifinals, the Heat rebounded with four straight victories.

The Pacers went back and forth in the opening round against the Hawks, splitting the first four contests with the home team winning each time. Indiana routed Atlanta in both Games 5 and 6 to return to the second round for the second consecutive postseason, but this time the Pacers took care of business. Frank Vogel's club knocked out the Knicks in six games, including three home triumphs by an average of 9.6 points per game.

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Four members of the Heat averaged double-digits through the first two rounds, led by LeBron James with 24 ppg. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Ray Allen are averaging between 12 and 13 ppg, while Norris Cole has impressed off the bench by knocking down 68% of his three-point attempts. In last season's second round meeting, the Heat won the final three contests against Indiana after falling behind, 2-1. Bosh missed the last five games with an abdominal injury, while Wade put up one of his best performances in the series clincher by scoring 41 points.

Indiana has played a majority of this season without last year's leading scorer Danny Granger, as Paul George stepped into the star role. George is averaging 19 ppg and eight rebounds a game in the postseason, while George Hill, David West, and Roy Hibbert are each putting up double-figures on the scoring sheet. The Pacers and the Grizzlies are the two teams left that haven't lost at home in the postseason, as Indiana has won all six contests at Bankers Life Fieldhouse by at least nine points.

Head-to-Head Matchups: The home club captured all three meetings this season, including two victories by the Pacers in Indianapolis. The two teams didn't hook up until early January when the Pacers cruised past the Heat as two-point underdogs, 87-77. The game was tied at halftime, but Indiana used a 25-15 third quarter spurt, while opening up a lead as high as 17 points in the second half. Past 66 points combined from James, Wade, and Bosh, the rest of the Heat squad put up just 11 points.

The Heat's final loss prior to their 27-game winning streak came at Indiana on February 1, a 102-89 defeat as two-point road favorites. The Pacers shot a blistering 55% from the field, led by West's 30 points on 12-of-15 shooting. Lance Stephenson scored 15 points against the Heat, nine months after making zero impact in the playoff defeat to Miami, which included a choking gesture towards James in a Game 3 blowout of the Heat last May.

Miami picked up a modicum of revenge in the midst of its long hot streak by blowing out Indiana in South Florida, 105-91 on March 10 as 6 ½-point favorites. Mario Chalmers paced the Heat with a terrific showing from downtown, hitting 5-of-6 attempts from three-point range, while scoring a game-high 26 points. Miami's offense finally figured out Indiana's stingy defense by hitting 55% of its shots, while Bosh missed just four of 15 field goal attempts en route to a 24-point effort.

Betting Notes: VegasInsider.com's Chris David breaks down the key numbers in this series, "When Indiana wins, its covers. The Pacers have gone 8-4 both straight up and against the spread in the playoffs and that includes a perfect 6-0 mark at home. Plus five of those six wins came by double digits. Meanwhile, the Heat has covered seven of their eight victories and they won all seven of those games by double digits. Miami has been favored in all nine of its playoffs games and the team should be giving up points in every battle during this series and most likely the NBA Finals as well."

David believes the best look in the series is when the Pacers play at the friendly confines, "You have to look at Indiana as underdogs, in particular as a home 'dog. That situation happened four times this season, twice against Miami and ironically the other two instances came against the two other teams still fighting, Memphis and San Antonio. The Pacers went 3-1 in those games, the lone loss to the Spurs."

From the totals perspective, David analyzes the fluctuation of the numbers between these teams, "Game 1's 'over/under' is hovering between 182 and 183 points. In last year's postseason, the number was as low as 179 and as high 186. The 'under' cashed in the first three games before the 'over' closed out the series on a 3-0 run. During this year's regular season meetings, the numbers were between 184 ½ and 188 points. The 'over' went 2-1 in those affairs and the lone 'under' occurred when Miami scored 77 points."

Series Outlook: The Pacers have won three series the last postseasons, which included two overwhelming victories over the Magic and Hawks. Indiana pulled the slight upset over New York, but won just once on the road in the last series. The Heat owns an impressive 9-1 series record since James, Wade, and Bosh have played together, while knocking out this Pacers' squad last season. Miami will advance to the NBA Finals in five games.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at rogers@vegasinsider.com

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

  
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