No Streaking in Indy
The Miami Heat head into Sunday's Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Finals with an odd feeling.
It's the feeling they have coming off of a loss.
But that's the case after Friday's 97-93 loss to the Indiana Pacers Friday night in Florida. The game was just the second the Heat have dropped this post season in 10 tries.
Even far more unusual than the rare occurrence of a Heat loss is the highly unlikely possibility of back-to-back Heat losses. That only happened to LeBron James and company three times this season, and the last time they dropped two in a row was in early January. So as we look at Bovada only favoring the Heat by 2, it makes the Heat a very tempting play on those facts alone.
But before you jump to your phone or log onto the wagering site of your choice (and if it's not Bovada, shame on you!), here's another nugget about beating the Heat: Miami is 7-0 straight up in games coming off a loss, and the Heat aren't just beating people coming off a loss, they are spanking them. I totalled up the margins of victory in those seven games, and they average out to an18-point margin of victory -- and Miami covered them all, too -- in games coming off a loss. Simply put, the Heat have responded and responded very well to adversity this season.
Largely because of that data, I will be backing Miami and rather aggressively, as well. The series does shift to Indiana for Game 3 and the Pacers have quietly (unitl lately) put together a very nice season. But contrary to Indiana Coach Frank Vogel's comments (until backtracking), the Heat are quite the unique bunch led by King James.
I look for a solid bounce-back performance on the road.
My pick: Miami Heat -2
Result ... Miami 114 Indiana 96 Heat cover