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Pro Basketball Betting — Heat Wants to Solve a BIG Problem By Beating Pacers

There have been a lot of opportunities for either the Miami Heat or the Indiana Pacers to step forward and really take control in the Eastern Conference. The problem is, neither of these teams has been playing very well lately. It is doubtful either side will have a problem summoning up the energy to trade blows on Wednesday night, as they meet up at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis as pro basketball betting action gets underway at 8:05 PM ET on ESPN.

Both Miami and Indiana have lost seven of their last 12 games. Currently the Pacers are the first-place club in the East, with a record of 51-20 straight-up, and 35-35-1 against the number. Miami, at 48-21 straight-up, is three games down in the win column and one game behind in the loss column. The Heat have not been a winning proposition against the basketball pointspread all year long, as they have a 30-37-2 mark against the odds.

There are plenty of dramatic storylines associated with this particular contest, and one of those that will be front and center – literally – is that which concerns the people who will be starting the game in the pivot for the two respective teams.

In the pro basketball betting odds that have been posted at WagerWeb on this game, the Pacers are the slight favorites:

Indiana Pacers -2
Miami Heat +2

Over 188 points -110
Under 188 points -110

It is well-known that the Heat, despite their triumph over Indiana in the East finals last season and their second consecutive world title, were very concerned over the fact that they got out-muscled to a considerable degree by the upstart Pacers. There are advantages to going with a smaller, quicker lineup, but as NBA bettors know, at the same time the disadvantages that come with it can become too much to overcome. That was almost the case, as Indiana took the heat to a seventh game but then lost at the American Airlines Arena.

Both of these teams came away from that series realizing they had a problem. And both of them took steps to address it.

For Indiana, the objective was to act like one of those thoroughbred horses who jump out to an early lead and win going wire-to-wire. And they got off to the best start in the league, winning 16 of their first 17 games. They see it as being extremely important to set the pace (pardon the pun), because as WagerWeb customers are well aware, they do not want to play another deciding game against Miami on the road.

For the Heat, it was a matter of beefing up. And toward that end, they rolled the dice and took a chance on someone who, at one time, was considered “the next Bill Russell.” That’s Greg Oden, who was drafted first by the Portland Trail Blazers but has never been able to get any momentum going in an NBA career because of knee problems that have required multiple operations. He had not played an NBA game in over three years when Miami signed him to a contract. Their intention was for Oden to get himself into game shape and in a position to contribute in time for the playoffs, and even more specifically, for a potential encounter with Indiana.

Well, his progress has been slow but steady. But here he is, in his hometown no less, and ready for a dress rehearsal.

Will he succeed? Well, he might not have to, at least in this particular game, but pro basketball bettors know that the Miami brass is certainly hoping that he can become more and more of a factor by the time of the conference finals, provided the Heat is still around by then. WagerWeb customers can pretty much bank on the fact that they will be, given the state of affairs among the rank-and-file teams in the East.

In this ongoing chess match, the Pacers countered by signing Andrew Bynum, who has had a history of injuries himself, although he has stayed healthy enough to be a major contributor as an NBA center – at least at one time, before he became something of a punchline around the league. Actually, Indiana feared that Miami might try to step in and make a deal for Bynum, so they simply did it themselves.

Like we said, there are a lot of storylines. It all adds up to what might be the NBA’s best rivalry, at least at the moment.
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