The conference finals in the NBA are well underway and if this weekend’s games are anything like what we’ve already seen, we’re in for a treat. The Eastern Conference basketball betting matchup resumes on Friday and the Indiana Pacers will try to steal home court advantage after coming so close in Game 1. Meanwhiel, the West finals hit the court on Saturday for Game 3 and the Memphis Grizzlies will try to get back in the series with a win.
Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat
Odds: Heat -7
It is like beating a dead horse already, but Indiana coach Frank Vogel deserves to be questioned as to why Roy Hibbert was on the bench for the final plays of Miami’s 103-102 overtime win in Game 1. LeBron James wouldn’t have gotten to the rim as easily as he did for the game-winning play and if the Pacers lose this series, Vogel will get it even worse. Overall, it was a highly entertaining game and the Pacers showed they weren’t going to back down from the defending champs, weathering James’ ninth postseason triple-double as the MVP had 30 points, 10 boards and 10 assists. Paul George countered with 27 for the Pacers, who probably would have won if they had limited their turnovers as they matched the Heat with 20.
The Heat are favored by seven for Game 2, and they managed to get 16 points out of Chris “Birdman” Andersen, who is basically on the team for defense and rebounding, and they won’t get that again, but they will play better defense en route to a victory and a resounding 2-0 series lead heading to Indiana for Games 3 and 4.
San Antonio Spurs @ Memphis Grizzlies
Odds: Grizzlies -6
The Grizzlies put up much more of a fight after getting blown out by 22 points in Game 1, but they still fell 93-89 in overtime in Game 2, although they did outscore the Spurs 21-9 in the fourth quarter after getting routed for most of the night. Tony Parker had a monster game with 15 points and 18 assists as all five San Antonio starters hit double-digits (led by Tim Duncan’s 17), Mike Conley and Jerryd Bayless had 18 points each for the Grizzlies, who outrebounded the Spurs 60-46 and finally looked like the team we expected to give the Spurs a battle and the one that rolled over Oklahoma City. Now they’re heading home, where they’re a much better team and the Memphis crowd is absolutely one of the top five loudest in the league.
Memphis is favored by five points and they’re 5-0 at home so far in the postseason, while the Spurs are 4-1 on the road and took two of three at Golden State, another incredibly loud arena. San Antonio has too many veterans with too many rings to be worried about the crowd, so that shouldn’t be a massive factor. This is going to come down to execution, and the Grizzlies will be improved in that regard. Also, they won’t fall behind as they have in the first two games of the series. Look for the Grizzlies to pull one back, cover on the NBA odds and make a series out of it.