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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Many in the media seem to believe that the Eastern Conference Finals are already over. The Miami Heat lead the Indiana Pacers 3-1, with one more game at home and three games where they would be favored to win if the underdog were able to rally. Yet, even though the market has Miami as a huge favorite to play in the Championship Round next week, the Heat are just a small favorite in Wednesday’s fifth game as we go to press.


Las Vegas Line: Miami by 2, total of 184

That’s not Goliath in a grouchy mood against David who forgot his slingshot. That’s Miami winning by a bucket. Why would a team trying to three-peat for the NBA title (which would mean a four-peat in the East) be laying such a small number in the clincher?

*Miami has a habit of losing focus and intensity when they’re not threatened. Remember that they didn’t feel threatened entering the series…and LOST the series opener by double digits. They also struggled with Brooklyn over the last three games of the second round after winning the first two comfortably. Miami “at its best” has pretty well established they should be more than -2 on the road against the disappointing Pacers. The market is telling you they don’t expect Miami to be at their best.

*Miami benefitted from a huge free throw advantage in Game Four that’s been getting a lot of media attention. Generally, the leagues tries to prevent that from happening two games in a row. Miami was 30 of 34 on free throws Monday, while Indiana was 11 of 17. Indiana had actually been +24 in attempts prior to that game in the series. So, the market expects free throw totals to be closer to even…which would make it difficult for the Heat to run away and hide.

*Indiana was humbled in Miami if you focus on the last two quarters of Game Three and the first three quarters of Game Four. They were pushed around, bullied, and embarrassed. Men generally respond to that kind of stretch with increased intensity. It would surprise anybody if Indiana had one more good game before falling for good in Game Six in Miami.

If you read “energy” and “body language,” then Miami should probably be favored by at least six points in this game (they just won by a dozen twice in a row at home as Indiana was throwing in the towel). But, if you try to “anticipate” energy in advance, it’s very easy to see Indiana having one good game left in them while Miami falls asleep at the wheel.

We haven’t talked much about stats in this series because the stats haven’t mattered that much! When Miami is dialed in, nobody in the East can touch them. Indiana at its best early in the season might have. But, the group that limped in the final months before playing inconsistently in the playoffs has no hope. Indiana is the better rebounding team. They’re the better defensive team overall…but they can’t really make that case in this series because they can’t stop the Heat! Miami is a champion and Indiana is not.

Who will win Game Five? JIM HURLEY has been working with his on-site sources to get a read on each team’s mindset. That could be worth as much as 10-15 points in this particular scenario. Frankly, it could be worth 20-25 points because Indiana is so bad when lay down.  He’ll make sure you’re on the right side. Or, if the better edge is on the Over/Under, he’ll make sure you’re on the right total!

You can purchase the final word for Wednesday right here at the website with your credit card. Don’t forget to check on bonus baseball as well. Be sure you supplement your basketball with DIAMOND DELIGHTS from the bases. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about THE BELMONT that goes this Saturday. JIM HURLEY has more horse racing clients than most services have football clients…which makes him a must-have resources in the final jewel of the 2014 Triple Crown slate.

We’ll return Thursday for Game Five of the Oklahoma City/San Antonio series. If Indiana wins Wednesday Night, we’ll devote Friday to Game Six by South Beach. If Miami clinches the East, Friday will bring a weekend series preview of LA Angels at Oakland in a very important AL showdown.  

For now…we’re looking to see if the Miami Heat can clinch the Eastern Conference championship. When championships are on the line, YOU NEED WORLD CHAMPION HANDICAPPER JIM HURLEY!

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