2013 Eastern Conference preview and prop bets, plus our prediction for the series. All props courtesy of Bovada.lv.
A rematch of last year’s conference semifinals in which Indiana got out to a 2-1 lead before Miami rallied behind an offensive explosion from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to close out the series in six games. This should be the first true test for Miami in the playoffs after sweeping the Bucks and beating the Bulls in five games.
Why the Heat will win:
Miami is 47-3 in its last 50 games
LeBron James – the team with the best player tends to win the series
Why the Pacers will win:
Frank Vogel, “Heat are just the next team.” Indiana is not afraid of Miami; the Pacers are 2-1 against the Heat this season.
Size inside, David West and Roy Hibbert can pound the glass
Team defense, young and aggressive
In 50,000 simulations of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, the Miami Heat win over the Indiana Pacers 87.4% of the time.
Below are prop bets for the Eastern Conference Finals.
Miami Heat: 2/15 (-750)
Indiana Pacers: 21/4 (+525)
There is no value in betting the Heat at 2/15 odds. In order to feel comfortable making that wager you would need 88.2% confidence that Miami wins the series. We project Miami to win the series 87.4% of the time.
There also is not any value in betting the Pacers at 21/4 odds. The odds needed in order to feel confident in making a wager on the Pacers series line are 16.0%. We only give the Pacers 12.6% chance of winning the series.
Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat - Exact Series Result
Indiana Pacers 4-0, 75/1
Indiana Pacers 4-1, 33/1
Indiana Pacers 4-2, 10/1
Indiana Pacers 4-3, 15/1
Miami Heat 4-0, 7/2
Miami Heat 4-1, 9/5
Miami Heat 4-2, 7/2
Miami Heat 4-3, 15/4?
According to the odds the most likely outcome is a Miami victory in 5 games. At 9/5 the odds are implying that the Heat will win the series in five games 35.7% of the time.
Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat - Total Games in Series
Not surprisingly, after seeing the previous prop, the most likely number of games in the series is five. In order to feel comfortable wagering that there will be exactly 5 games in this series you need 40.0% confidence. You are better off betting the previous prop, Heat 4-1, 9/5, because if the series is to be decided in five games it's much more likely that the Heat will have won it 4-1 than Indiana.
Average Third Round Points Per Game - Paul George (IND)
George is averaging 19.1 PPG in the playoffs, more than his 17.4 PPG during the regular season. Against Miami this season he has averaged 18.0 PPG.
Average Third Round Points Per Game - David West (IND)
West is averaging 15.5 point per page in the postseason, below his season total. However, against Miami this season West has averaged 22.7 PPG.
Average Third Round Rebounds Per Game - Roy Hibbert (IND)
Hibbert is averaging 9.6 rebounds per game this postseason, which is better than his career high of 8.8 set during the 2011-12 regular season. In three games against Miami this season Hibbert averaged 8.0 boards a game.
Average Third Round Points Per Game - LeBron James (MIA)
LeBron is averaging 24.0 PPG in the playoffs, below the posted total of 26.5 points. In last year's series against Indiana LeBron averaged 30.0 PPG and had a series high of 40 point in Game 4.
Average Third Round Rebounds Per Game - Chris Bosh (MIA)
Bosh has stepped it up in the playoffs averaging 8.3 boards (6.8 in the regular season). In three games against Indiana this season Bosh has averaged 3.3 rebounds.
Average Third Round Points Per Game - Dwyane Wade (MIA)
Wade is averaging 13.0 PPG in the postseason but in games against Indiana this year Wade scored 23.3 points per game.