Matchup: Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers
Date/Time: Saturday, June 1, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
NBA Betting Odds: VietBet
Pointspread: Miami -3
Total Line: 183.5
The Pacers had Miami on the ropes for over half of Thursday night’s Game 5, but with no answer on how to contain the NBA’s best player, they fell 90-79 as 7.5-point road underdogs. The total stayed UNDER the 185.5-point line after going OVER in the first four games of this series. The loss also put them on the brink of elimination heading into Saturday night’s Game 6.
Indiana has stood toe-to-toe with the champs throughout this series, but in the two previous games it had won, it shot 50 percent from the field, controlled the boards in rebounds and held its turnovers to 13 or less a game. If the Pacers can reach or even exceed these same numbers on Saturday night, this series will go the distance with a Game 7 in Miami on Monday.
The Heat appeared to be in a haze on Thursday night in front of the home-town crowd for the first two quarters that led to a four-point deficit at the half. The third quarter started in the same fashion until LeBron James decided to put his team on his shoulders reminiscent of his Cleveland days to turn the tide in this game. He scored 16 of his game-high 30 points and ended the night with eight rebounds and six assists.
While James’ performance was exciting to watch, this game plan will probably not get the job done on the road this Saturday night. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh need to elevate their play and Miami as a team is going to have to do a better job handling the Pacers’ front court in the paint. The Heat have been dominated under the boards throughout this entire series and you cannot always rely on a hot hand shooting the ball carry a team to a win.
Not too many people gave Indiana much of a chance in this series and I am sure most of the money will be on the Heat to close things out on Saturday night. The fact remains that the Pacers have won three of their last four games at home against Miami both straight-up and against-the-spread and with their backs against the wall the free NBA pick is for them to rally for one more win at home to take this series the distance.
Indiana 94 Miami 93
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.