Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, May 25, 2014 at 7:00 PM
If you watched Game Three of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals this past Saturday night…you probably spent the first half of the evening thinking “Wow, Indiana might have a chance to make this a series.” Then you spent the fourth quarter thinking “Indiana has NO CHANCE to make this a series!”
The Pacers watched an early 15-point lead turn into a fourth quarter 15-point deficit as the superior Miami heat kicked things up a notch on both sides of the floor when it was time to take care of business. Indiana is fully capable of beating Miami when Miami is at half-speed or three-quarter speed. When Miami pushes the gas pedal down on the way, Indiana can only watch them race by.
Barring a key Miami injury, or poorly timed complacency from the Heat, this series looks like it’s over. Miami was a heavy favorite coming in despite not having home court advantage. They earned home court with a Game Two road win. Then, Game Three’s blowout just made them a heavier series favorite. Your job has handicappers is to determine whether or not the underdog Pacers can cover any more pointspreads.
*Will Indiana lay down, realizing that there’s no point in fighting? Remember, this is a team that repeatedly laid down all through the second half of the season in inexplicable blowout losses. It’s also a team that laid down a few times in the first two rounds of the Eastern playoffs in one-sided losses to Atlanta and Washington. Miami’s a lot better than Atlanta and Washington! You don’t want to take the points with the Pacers for “value” bets if they’re going to be trailing by 20 in the second half.
*Will Indiana be able to keep a chip on their shoulder vs. a hated rival in a way that would give them a chance to cover or steal a win if the Heat relax again. This Miami group is known to slow down when they don’t feel threatened. That’s how Brooklyn covered two of the last three games in the second round (and almost covered the final three games). That’s how Indiana won the Finals opener so easily. Miami is vulnerable when they relax. “Relaxed Miami” is a notoriously poor pointspread favorite.
If both teams bring peak intensity, Miami’s just too good. And, they’re better than the market gives them credit for because the market is too influenced by quants who look at regular season victory margins rather than team talent. If both teams slack off, Miami’s just too good because Indiana is HORRIBLE when they slack off. But, if the Indiana is mad, while Miami loses focus…there’s a chance for a replay of that first game in the series…and the first half of Game Three. Even if Miami is now a virtual moneyline lock to win the East, there’s still money to be made betting the game-by-game pointspreads.
JIM HURLEY has been working very closely with his on-site sources to get a read on Indiana’s mindset. That means EVERYTHING in Monday’s fourth game. This line could be off by double digits in either direction because the Pacers are so extreme.
Las Vegas Line: Indiana by 6.5, total of 183.5
There’s a good chance that a MAJOR RELEASE will be announced for NETWORK by midday Monday based on the information that comes into the office (and it might possibly be on the Over/Under rather than the team side). You can purchase the final word right here at the website with your credit card. Remember that you can pump up the profits with BONUS BASEBALL! If you have any questions, call Sunday morning or early afternoon at 1-888-777-4155.
Back with you Tuesday for Game Four of the San Antonio/Oklahoma City series. Game day previews will continue into the Conference Finals are in the books. We’ll delve back into baseball on any off days between now and the NBA Championships. Make sure you’re with us EVERY DAY for important handicapping information in all Las Vegas betting sports!
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