Betting NBA East finals Game 7

Can one man make a difference? Maybe if he's LeBron James. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

LAS VEGAS -- Monday night's Game 7 between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers in the NBA Eastern Conference finals has built a high level of excitement and betting interest.

It's a marquee event with both sides having compelling arguments, especially when you factor in the point spread -- the great equalizer -- that has the Heat favored by between 7 and 7.5 points. The money line for the straight-up winner of the game has the Heat around minus-380 (risking $3.80 for every $1 you want to profit), with the Pacers at plus-320, getting more than 3-1 if they win outright.

Miami backers are convinced LeBron James won't let them lose, and will point out the Heat have not lost back-to-back games since Jan. 8 and 10, and have gone 8-0 straight-up and against the spread off a loss since those two games. This also includes being 2-0 in this series after losses with their two biggest wins coming right after Games 2 and 4.

These teams also have alternated wins, with the Heat winning all the odd-numbered games in the series and the Pacers winning the even-numbered games -- so it's the Heat's turn in Game 7.

And let's not forget the conspiracy theorists who will say that "the NBA needs the Heat in the Finals."

Those backing the Pacers can point to the fact that Indiana has "held its own" against the Heat. Even though the series is tied 3-3, the Pacers are 4-2 ATS and have shown that the gap between the two teams is not as large as most assume. The Pacers also were 2-1 SU and ATS versus the Heat during the regular season (the only setback came in the middle of Miami's 27-game winning streak). So Indiana is 5-4 SU and 6-3 ATS against Miami overall.

But let's see how we got to this point and which team I like tonight.