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Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat Free Pick

The Indiana Pacers know that they will play a Game 6 at home in the Eastern Conference Finals. Will they be able to win the series then? They have to win Game 5 in order to do so.

Eastern Conference Finals, Game 5:

Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat – Thursday, May 30

Betting services will likely say that the clash between the Pacers and the Heat will be fiercely fought and filled with plot twists, just like the first four games of the series.

Topbettinglines.com reviews will be able to tell you that Indiana has now beaten Miami four times – twice in the regular season and twice in this series. Indiana has the composition of players that can thwart and frustrate Miami. The Pacers have a superb big man, Roy Hibbert, whose size and length give Miami problems on the offensive glass while also forcing the Heat’s best player, LeBron James, to alter his shot when taking the ball to the basket.

When immersed in the world of playoff-based sports betting, it’s reasonable to account for the power of home-court advantage, even if recent results paint a more uncertain picture. If you visit any premier online sports betting outlet for information on this game, you’ll be told that Miami has lost just six games at home all season long, including the playoffs. Can Miami actually lose twice at home in the same series to the same team? The percentages work against that. Yet, Indiana can make this matchup difficult – actually, it has already done so.

James used a post-up game to great effect in Game 3 on Sunday, when Miami cruised to victory by an 18-point margin, James did not post up very much in Game 4 on Tuesday. Indiana made adjustments, as it regularly manages to do. The Pacers were able to regain control of the flow of play and, accordingly, knot the series at two games apiece. James should be able to post up more in this game and use his physical strength against a smaller and thinner defender, Pacer wing Paul George. This should give Miami a tactical advantage and open up more opportunities for the Heat’s role players, specifically Dwyane Wade and reserve guard Ray Allen.

The advantage Indiana must continue to pursue is connected to the X-factor for the Heat. Miami is at its best not necessarily when LeBron is at his best, because LeBron is at his best almost all the time. LeBron usually needs help in order to win a series, and the man who must help him more than anyone else on the Heat’s roster is forward Chris Bosh. You will recall that in the 2012 NBA Playoffs, Bosh got injured in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Pacers. Miami struggled without Bosh in Games 2 and 3, but in Game 4, Wade came up huge with an emphatic performance.

Wade, though, is not as healthy as he was in Game 4 of the Pacers series last year. He is simply not as dynamic a scorer. Miami needs Bosh to deliver the goods in this series, not just as a jump shooter, but as a rebounder. He can’t be expected to out-rebound Hibbert and teammate David West, but he has to be competitive on the glass and get his fair share of defensive rebounds. West, though, has been enjoying a better series than Bosh by a considerable margin. If West dominates Bosh in Game 5, Indiana will have a very good chance of winning on the road in Miami.

At the end of the day, though, Miami is so good when coming off a loss. The Heat have gone multiple months without losing two games in a row. In fact, they haven’t lost two games in a row since the month of January. Those are tall odds for the Pacers to counter, especially since this game is in Miami. Yes, Miami lost Game 5 of a 2-2 East Finals series last year against the Boston Celtics, but the Heat should be able to respond on this occasion. Take the Heat.

My Pick: Miami

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