NBA Handicapping: Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat

Indiana Pacers AT Miami Heat
Feb 8, 2011 at 7:30 PM EST
Opening Line:  Miami -11
Current Line:  Miami -11
Opening Total:  199
Current Total:  199
Opening Moneyline:  Mia -700 / Ind +550
Current Moneyline:  Mia -775 / Ind +575

Danny Granger's numbers are down considerably this season

The Heat have yet another winning streak going, this time six straight, and they’ll look to extend that to seven tonight against an Indiana team that handed them their worst loss of the season back in November.  Miami last beat the Clippers 97-79 and Miami fans and players are feeling confident about the chances for an NBA title.

When asked the reason for their recent success, Miami guard Dwyane Wade commented, “First of all, we’re healthy.  Not healthy as in all 100 percent, but healthy as in we have all of our bodies … and we’re able to play with different lineups and the things we envisioned.”

Beyond just health, one could also cite Miami’s stingy defense as a big reason for their recent success.  The Heat’s last five opponents have all scored 94 or less, including three of the five scoring less than 90.  That’s not to say Indiana will be a pushover, however.  They have a five game winning streak of their own and haven’t lost since Jim O’Brien was fired a little over a week ago.

Some betting trends:

Indiana is 5-1 SU in their last 6 games nad the total has gone OVER in 7 of their last 9 road games.  Indiana is 3-14 SU in their last 17 road games and 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.  The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Indiana’s last 6 games against the Heat and they are 1-4 SU in their last 5 against the Heat.  The Pacers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 against Miami and the total has gone UNDER in 4 of their last 5 road games against the Heat.  Indiana is 1-4 SU in their last 5 road games in Miami and 1-4 ATS in those games.

The total has gone OVER in 4 of Miami’s last 5 games and they are 5-0 SU in those games.  Miami is 7-1 SU in their last 8 home games and 7-14-1 ATS in their last 22 home games.  THe total has gone UNDER in 5 of Miami’s last 6 games against the Pacers and Miami is 4-1 SU in their last 5 against Indiana.  Miami is 4-8 ATS in their last 12 home games against the Pacers and the total has gone UNDER In 4 of their last 5 games at home against the Pacers.  Miami is 4-1 SU in their last 5 home games against Indiana.

Key Matchups:

Mike Dunleavy vs. Dwyane Wade

If there were ever a mismatch, this would be one.  Dunleavy is way too slow and unathletic to cover someone like Wade and you have to think his backup Paul George, who is a good defender, will see extended minutes tonight to try to slow Wade down.  George, a 6’8″ rookie forward from Fresno State has averaged a steal a game in only 18 minutes a night and has shown a propensity to play what could eventually become lock down defense.  The Pacers would miss Dunleavy’s play making with George in the game, but that’s a trade off they may have to take.  Wade has scored 25 points per game in his last 2 games and before a 14 point stinker against the Magic he had recorded three straight 30+ point games.  Wade is only 0.7 points behind Lebron for the team lead in points.

Danny Granger vs. LeBron James

After a 51 point eruption against the Magic, James has gone 13 of 28 from the floor in his last two games for 31 combined points over those games.  The Heat still won both games though, by an average of 15 points.  James will be tested at both ends of the court tonight, however, as Granger is the Pacers’ leading scorer.  Granger’s numbers, however, are down considerably over his previous two seasons.  In 08-09 Granger averaged 25.8 points per game and 24.2 in 09-10, but this year he is down to 20.9.  His percentages are still roughly the same across the board; he’s just taking a few less shots per game.   He has also scored less than 20 in 4 of his last 6 games.  In the Pacers’ victory over Miami on November 22nd, Granger scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.  He also held LeBron in check, allowing 25 points to the superstar.  He’ll have to perform similarly tonight if the Pacers are going to pull another upset.

Despite NBA oddsmakers favoring the Heat by 11, the Pacers have a legitimate shot at stealing this game from the Heat.  They matchup pretty well against Miami, and if Paul George can keep Wade in check, this could be another Pacers victory.

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