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Miami Heat continue to be NBA basketball favorites

Feb 18, 2014 3:00 AM

Last week I discussed the winner of the Western Conference in the NBA and put my money on Oklahoma City. That finding is based on talent, coaching, depth, defense and Russell Westbrook coming back sooner rather than later.

I am sure the San Antonio Spurs will have something to say about this as they came within 28 seconds of winning it all last year. The Los Angeles Clippers might present a challenge but I feel it is the Thunder’s conference to lose moving forward.

Now I’m on the East. Miami continues to be the odds-on favorite and understandably so based on recent history. This Heat team is very good, proven and well coached. They also do a very good job of pacing themselves during the course of the regular season.

I get it. No one cares who wins a meaningless regular season game in November or January or even April. It all comes down to being well rested and healthy come playoff time.

The Houston Rockets, years ago, came into the playoffs as a No. 6 seed and went on to win the title because of making sure everyone was healthy and ready to go come playoff time. The Spurs are better than anyone at doing this and have been very successful.

The Heat are the best in the East until someone proves otherwise.

Indiana is hungry, talented, plays with a chip on its shoulder and has the only legit shot in the East of beating the Heat.

In 51 games this year the Heat have only covered the point spread 22 times. It proves my point again to bet against high profile teams when in doubt.

On the other side of the equation, a small market non-sexy team like the Pacers have covered the number 32 times in 52 contests. It is all about value.

The Heat have been a very good OVER team at 31-20 exceeding the projected total. The Pacers are just the opposite with 31-20 to the UNDER. This is based on style of play and good team defense combined with energy and effort every night.

At the end of the day it is your money. Respect it before stepping up to the bet window. As in life, he with the most information usually wins. The more you know the more you grow.

This is why I am around. I am a lifelong student. It’s important to be very selective and find real value. In the words of my friend and mentor Dink, “Be on the move early or against it late.”

Scott does 10 radio shows a week on Fox News Radio, Sports Byline USA on the Nick Bonsanto Show and his own show “Pritchard’s Picks” Thursday on AM1400 radio from 2 to 3 p.m. He is joined by Brett Grant, Anthony Padilla, Mark Mayer and Dink (featured in the sports betting movie “Lay the Favorite” starring Bruce Willis as Dink.) Contact him at [email protected].

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