Forget about the rest of the teams in the East, only two teams, the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers will challenge for the conference crown. The defending champions Heat (16-5) visit the league-best Pacers (18-3) Tuesday night in what could be a preview of the East Finals this season.
After a couple of classic playoff series between the two squads a rivalry has been created and thanks to the consistent play of LeBron James and a rising superstar in Paul George, this match-up not only features great teams but also great players.
While Indiana has the best record in the league entering this match-up, Miami has a better head-to-head record in recent meetings between these two teams. Heat beat the Pacers in seven games in the 2013 East Finals and defeated their rivals in six games in the 2012 East Semifinals.
To get some measure of revenge, the Pacers’ defense, which ranks #1 in the NBA in points allowed (89.5 PPG) needs to put the clamps down on James, who averages 25.4 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 6.3 APG and 1.3 SPG for the season while shooting at a very effective rate—59.4 per cent overall and 44.4 per cent from behind the arc.
On offense, Indiana will rely on Paul George (25.1 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.4 APG and 2.1 SPG), David West (12.8 PPG and 7.1 RPG) and Roy Hibbert (12.4 PPG, 9.1 RPG and 3.1 BPG).
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Betting Lines: Miami Heat (+3) vs. Indiana Pacers (O/U: 190.0)
Game time: 10 a.m. AEDT
Picks: Pacers ATS, Under 190
Prediction: Indiana Pacers 96, Miami Heat 92
Prediction Record Year-to-Date: 31-17-1
Betting Against the Spread (ATS)
Miami Heat Trends
- Heat are 28-11 ATS in their last 39 games on the road
- Heat are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games vs. Central division teams
- Heat are 7-3 AS in their last 10 games after a win
Indiana Pacers Trends
- Pacers are 15-5 ATS in their last 20 games
- Pacers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games at home
- Pacers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. East teams
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