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NBA Eastern Conference Betting Predictions - Surprises In Store From NBA Eastern Conference

Posted by Craig Parsons on 5/14/2012 3:54:42 PM

The Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics both hate each other. They're on a collision course for the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals unless a young underdog can spring a round-two upset.

Eastern Conference Semifinals: Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat – Series Prediction

Sports betting experts are not going to change their minds about the Indiana Pacers-Miami Heat series after what they saw on Sunday in Game 1. The biggest key in this series, going in, figured to be Indiana's ability to find a reliable second scorer behind team leader Danny Granger. There is zero doubt that Granger is the Pacers' main meal ticket, but much as Miami took away New York star Carmelo Anthony in the first round, given that the Knicks lacked depth and balance due to a number of injuries, it was highly likely that the Heat would be able to contain Granger. They're going to focus on denying him the ball and limiting his opportunities, which means that Indiana coach Frank Vogel needs a second man – probably forward Paul George – to answer the call. In game one, neither Granger nor George performed well. It was the big man tandem of Roy Hibbert and David West that did the most damage for Indiana against Miami's small frontline. The question - Is George mentally ready to shoulder a big workload against the Heat? – was strongly answered in the negative.

Yes, the Pacers are a hard-working and overachieving team. They made the Chicago Bulls work in the first round of last year's playoffs, and by winning over 40 games in this compressed 66-game regular season, the Pacers clearly surpassed expectations. Most basketball pundits think that their road will end here, however. Miami, even without forward Chris Bosh – injured in Game 1 on Sunday – has the two best players on the floor in LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Indiana doesn't have the experience or the shotmaking ability to stay with Miami. It's that simple.

NBA Basketball Betting Pick: Miami in 5 games

Eastern Conference Semifinals: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics – Series Prediction

When you take a quick look at this series to make a play on any of several sports betting sites in the country, you can try to convince yourself that the Philadelphia 76ers have a real shot at taking down the Boston Celtics. However, you will likely fail. In Game 1 on Saturday night, the Sixers should have led by at least 13 to 15 points by halftime, yet led by only five. Boston is not as quick as the younger Philadelphia squad, but it is superior in every other respect. The Celtics are smarter, more powerful, and know how to perform in the clutch. They have the better point guard, Rajon Rondo, and play better halfcourt defense under the guidance of head coach Doc Rivers, who is a better bench boss than Sixer head coach Doug Collins. This is Boston's series to lose; Game 1 affirmed as much.
Click here for more on the latest sportsbook odds.

NBA Basketball Betting Pick: Boston in 5 games

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