Miami Heat vs Indiana Pacers 8/18/20: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds

Miami Heat vs Indiana Pacers Preview

The last game that both of these teams played was against each other in their final regular-season game in Orlando. The Pacers won that contest 109-92 in impressive fashion, but it’s difficult to draw any conclusions from this game as the majority of each team’s starters sat out to rest before the playoffs. Prior to that win by the Pacers, Miami had gone 3-0 against Indiana with an average margin of victory of 12.3 points. The Pacers finished off the season with one more win than the Heat – Indiana finished as the #4 seed with a 45-28 record and Miami finished with the #5 seed with a 44-29 record. The Heat are still the heavy favorite to win the series with a series Moneyline of around -325. Miami has had a resurgent season after finishing with a losing record last year to become one of the best teams in their conference. This will be the third playoff appearance in the past six post-LeBron seasons for Miami. They have not advanced past the first round since the 2015-16 season.

The Pacers finished their time in Orlando with an impressive 6-2 record despite suffering major injuries to key players. T.J. Warren has been working through plantar fasciitis and is expected to be ready to go for this game. Domantas Sabonis, meanwhile, hasn’t played for the team since the season was postponed in March. Sabonis had a massive fourth-year breakout and made his first All-Star team. However, he has been dealing with some serious plantar fasciitis as well and is not currently with the team in Orlando. Meanwhile, Jeremy Lamb has already been lost for the season and Myles Turner, Victor Oladipo, and Malcolm Brogdon have all missed games with injuries recently. With the team’s injury issues and poor record against Miami this season, their +250 series price tag makes a lot of sense, but I also would not be shocked to see this team upset the Heat with the amount of talent on their roster. This season marks the fifth straight playoff appearance for the Pacers, but they have not advanced past the first round since Paul George was on the roster in the 2013-14 season.

TV Schedule

Date: 8/18/20
Time: 9:00 PM ET
Arena: AdventHealth Arena, Orlando, FL
Channel: TNT

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Injuries

Heat: Derrick Jones Jr. (questionable), Jae Crowder (probable), Goran Dragic (probable), Jimmy Butler (probable), Bam Adebayo (probable)
Pacers: Domantas Sabonis (out), T.J. Warren (probable), Victor Oladipo (probable), Myles Turner (probable), Malcolm Brogdon (probable), Jeremy Lamb (out)

Heat Starting 5

PG: Goran Dragic
SG: Duncan Robinson
SF: Jimmy Butler
PF: Jae Crowder
C: Bam Adebayo

Heat Analysis

Miami HeatThe Heat have benefitted from massive improvements from several young players this season, but the guy who has led the team and set the culture has been veteran forward Jimmy Butler. An offseason acquisition from the 76ers, Butler is the team’s leading scorer this season with 19.9 points per game. Butler previously had a highly publicized conflict with Pacers’ forward T.J. Warren after a scuffle left them both ejected from the game. While Butler suggested there is no beef between the two players, fans will be excited to see these two renew their budding rivalry, regardless of what he wants us to believe. Alongside Butler in the frontcourt is Bam Adebayo, a 23-year-old center who made his first All-Star game this season. Butler and Adebayo have been one of the NBA’s best duos this year and will look to continue their excellent play in the postseason. Adebayo will be matched up with Myles Turner in this series. Rounding out the frontcourt for the team is Jae Crowder, a veteran forward who was acquired at the trade deadline. As of now, Erik Spoelstra has preferred to use him in the starting lineup due to his physicality and defense. He’ll be tasked with guarding T.J. Warren for substantial stretches of this game.

In the backcourt, the Heat start two players who aren’t necessarily young but are in their first and second seasons respectively. Duncan Robinson has made a massive leap forward in his second year as he has evolved into one of the best 3-point shooters in the NBA. Robinson is averaging 44.6% from long range on 8.3 attempts per game. Positionally, he would likely be guarding Malcolm Brogdon or Victor Oladipo in this series, and due to his limited defensive impact, Spoelstra may be forced to make a lineup change. Rounding out the starting five is Goran Dragic, a veteran point guard who is averaging 16.2 points and 5.1 assists per game this season. The Heat have started Kendrick Nunn at point guard for the majority of the season – Dragic has only started three games – but recent reports suggest that Spoelstra prefers Dragic’s veteran savvy and scoring ability as the team enters the playoffs.

Pacers Starting 5

PG: Aaron Holiday
SG: Malcolm Brogdon
SF: Victor Oladipo
PF: T.J. Warren
C: Myles Turner

Pacers Analysis

Indiana PacersThe Pacers have been forced to readjust their starting lineup a couple of times as Jeremy Lamb, a previous 42-game starter for the team, was lost for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL and Domantas Sabonis, a 62-game starter and first-time All-Star, is still not with the team in Orlando as he recovers from a foot injury. Nate McMillan deserves a ton of credit for the way this team has continued to perform despite their significant injuries. T.J. Warren has stepped up in a huge way as he has averaged a career-high 19.8 points per game on 53.6% from the field and 40.3% from 3-point range. His play in the bubble in Orlando has particularly been impressive as he averaged 31 points per game despite the Pacers rarely running their offense through him. He’ll likely start at the power forward spot for the beginning of the playoffs with Sabonis still out. Alongside him in the frontcourt is Myles Turner, a defensive-minded center who continues to be one of the best shot-blockers in the league as he’s averaging 2+ blocks per game for the second straight year.

In the backcourt, Indiana has been running with a three-guard lineup as of late with Aaron Holiday having inserted himself into the lineup. He’s averaging 10.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in the month of August and has shown the ability to be a high-impact offensive contributor for this team. Holiday is joined by Malcolm Brogdon and Victor Oladipo in the backcourt, perhaps the best defensive guard duo in the NBA today. Brogdon has broken out in a huge way in his first season in Indiana as he has averaged career-highs across the board with 16.5 points, 7.1 assists, and 4.9 rebounds. Oladipo has dealt with a handful of injury issues this season and originally had decided to not play in Orlando and use the time to heal before changing his mind. When Dipo is 100%, he can be the best player on either of these two teams, but he hasn’t been at his best in almost two years now. Which Oladipo we see in this series could determine the eventual winner.

Heat vs Pacers DFS Angle

For the Heat, I’m fine with either Jimmy Butler ($7,800 on FanDuel, $7,600 on DraftKings) or Bam Adebayo ($7,500 on FanDuel, $7,400 on DraftKings) in my lineups today. I see both guys as two of the more undervalued players out there and would not be shocked to see either one of them end up among the highest scorers of the day. There aren’t really any defenders for Indiana that scare me out of using either Butler or Adebayo and I expect their talent to win out.

As for the Pacers, I would stay away from T.J. Warren today ($7,500 on FanDuel, $8,000 on DraftKings) as I am concerned about his recent injury issues and I expect Jimmy Butler to come out firey against him today. I’d much rather play Aaron Holiday ($4,100 on FanDuel, $4,200 on DraftKings) as a minimum play with plenty of upside.

Heat vs Pacers Betting Odds

Heat Spread: -3.5
Heat Moneyline: -158
Pacers Spread: +3.5
Pacers Moneyline: +134
Over/Under Points Total: 215.5

These two teams have a lopsided season series in favor of Miami and it’s reflected in the betting numbers here. If a handful of factors were different – if the Pacers actually had home-field, if they weren’t dealing with injuries to so many players, etc. – I would advocate for betting on Indiana. However, it seems that the odds are stacked against this team with the Heat ready to roll. I would bet on the Heat moneyline in some parlays today and while the spread is always a scary bet, I’d lean towards the side of Miami as well. As for the over/under, I would lean towards the over in this matchup. The teams’ last two contests have been lower-scoring, both going under this total, but in the two teams’ first two matchups this season they averaged a combined 227.5 points. I would bet on the over in this game.

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What's up, I'm Jacob. I grew up watching Peyton Manning play and stuck with the Broncos after he retired. I'm also probably the only Clippers fan you'll ever meet. I'm from Southern California but I'm a junior at the University of Michigan studying sport management. Beyond my passion for sports I play guitar, grill a mean rib eye, and enjoy gambling on pretty much everything.

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