Monday’s wall-to-wall NBA schedule is day two of Game 4s in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Oklahoma City Thunder look to even the series, 2-2, with the Houston Rockets while the Miami Heat is going for a sweep of the Indiana Pacers.
Let’s stay with Game 4 of the Heat-Pacers for today’s best bet.
Heat-Pacers Over 107.5 first-half points (-115)
Indiana is in a win-or-go-home scenario, so they should play with a little desperation. They are a defensive team without its defensive anchor in PF Domantas Sabonis.
The Pacers have had trouble finding their offense in the first two games of the series, scoring 101 in Game 1 and 100 in Game 2, respectively, but picked it up offensively in their 124-115 Game 3 loss.
Since their backs are to the wall, expect Indiana to shoot more 3’s and be more aggressive at getting to the foul line. This would be a dramatic pivot from what they did in the regular season — the Pacers were last in the NBA in 3’s attempted and free throw attempts per game — but with nothing to lose you’d think Indiana would try some different.
Miami doesn’t have the offensive stagnancy of the Pacers. The Heat has the best free throw rate, second-best 3-point percentage and seven-most efficient offense in the NBA.
They have elite sharpshooters featuring Duncan Robinson, Jae Crowder and Kelly Olynyk. If the Pacers pick up the tempo in an effort to shake things loose with their offense, the Heat will happily engage them in a shootout.
Also, it’s natural for teams to take their foot off the gas when up 3-1 in a series. Miami may come into Game 4 not as buttoned-up and come halftime head coach Erik Spoelstra will get into the team’s ear about stepping up the defensive intensity.
The OVER 107.5 (-115) in the first half is the right play instead of the full game because if Miami takes control of this game in the second half we could really see the scoring die. Indiana will come out motivated to prevent a sweep and we’ll see a higher tempo Pacers team than usual.
New to sports betting? A $115 bet on Heat-Pacers Over 107.5 first-half points (-115) pays a $100 profit if they combine for 108 or more points in the first two quarters.
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