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Game 1 Wednesday 8pm TNT

I have yet to come across anyone picking the Pacers this series and I can’t say that I blame them. It’s tough to bet against Lebron at any point nevermind a team that flew under the radar for most of the season and didn’t grace anyone’s TV more than a couple times all year, if that. But there might just be one non Pacers fan ready to pick the upset and I will explain why.

Why the Pacers will win:

People are just assuming Miami will run through this team but they aren’t factoring in that they have a defensive answer for everything the Heat can throw at them. Less than 100% Dwyane Wade, meet Lance Stephenson. Chris Bosh say hello to David West. Lebron you get to deal with Paul George and Sam Young hounding you and if/when you get past them into the lane you can meet 7’3 Roy Hibbert.

Remember when the Magic knocked off Lebron and the Cavs to advance to the Finals? That was in large part because they had Dwight to protect the rim. Remember when the Heat got taken down by the Mavs in the Finals? That was largely thanks to Tyson Chandler protecting the rim. The keys to beating this Heat team are to protect the rim and to rebound. The Pacers have the second best defensive unit in the league with the biggest and possibly best defensive big out there now and they are the number one rebounding team in the entire NBA. Miami and their “fans” should be a lot more worried than they seem to be.

Best Bet:

Indiana +8 in Game 1

This is the lock of the series. Erik Spoelstra pales in comparison to Frank Vogel as far as coaching ability goes. Vogel has had his team playing as a unit all year and has typically been a step or two ahead of everyone. I am not saying Spo is not a good coach but he will look like a deer in the headlights in Game 1. The adjustments for Miami won’t come until later in the series. Not to mention +8 is the highest line you will see all series. Once people actually see that the Pacers can hang with the Heat these lines will drop drastically.

Bonus Bets:

Over 5.5 games in the series even money

Indiana wins series in 6 games 10-1

Indiana wins series in 7 games 15-1

Indiana wins series 5-1

Great value in all of these. I can’t say for sure that the Pacers will win this series but my official pick is Indiana in 7 games so I love that 15-1 value. I think they grab one of the first two in Miami setting the tone for one hell of a battle the rest of the series. Right now people are skipping past this series it seems. After Wednesday night people will realize they are in for a classic series. Everyone expects the Western Conference Finals to be the cream of the crop but this series is going to catch everyone off guard delivering an instant classic.


Monday, May 20, 2013

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