Miami Heat vs Indiana Pacers Preview
The Miami Heat have a chance to sweep the Indiana Pacers today as the injury-riddled Pacers are struggling to keep pace against Miami. While the games have been respectable, the Heat have been the better team and will likely be moving onto the next round. The Heat will be looking to kill this game off as most of the other series have wrapped up in the Eastern Conference. Jimmy Butler has averaged three steals per game and 24.3 points per game. While this series hasn’t had a standout, Butler has been one of the best players in the Eastern playoffs. Malcolm Brogdon has had to play monster minutes to try and keep pace with this Miami team, but the bench has been a major problem to keep up. Indiana should have no shame given the injuries coming into the postseason. Victor Oladipo was still working his way back and Malcolm Brogdon struggled with getting healthy in the bubble as well. Domantas Sabonis is a big absence and this series would likely have been different from his presence.
Time: 6:30 PM ET
Arena: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Orlando, FL
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Heat Starting 5
Miami has been scoring with the best of the teams in the playoffs. They have averaged 115 points per game over the three and are shooting 47% from the field. The Heat have not been a good three-point shooting team in prior seasons but the younger shooters have stepped up in a big way this season. They are shooting 42% from three, which is just going to make it tough on Indiana to keep pace with them as they are shooting a respectable 37% from three as a team and 46%. However, Miami just continues to be the more efficient teams and are also out-rebounding the Pacers in the series. This isn’t a surprise given Indiana is down Sabonis.
The Heat have averaged 9.7 steals per game this season and are forcing 15.3 turnovers. This has been a major issue for the Pacers in this series. In the last game, Bam Adebayo was the primary player as he was +8 and posted a 22-11-5 line. Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic continued to find their offensive groove. If the Heat bench can keep things up with Tyler Herro and Kelly Olynyk, they are going to handle this game and send them onto the next round.
Pacers Starting 5
Indiana has had to rely on their starters for big minutes and not having a healthy bench has been a sign of weakness in this series. TJ Warren and Malcolm Brogdon were struggling with nagging injuries and have had to play 40+ minutes to keep these games close. Victor Oladipo has gone through the same. While the offensive numbers have been there, defensively they are struggling to make it tough on the Miami Heat. With little bench help, outside of Aaron Holiday, it has been a hapless effort by the rest of the names. If the Pacers have any sort of chance to come back, these guys will have to play over their head for four games. I doubt we will see that happen.
Over the course of the series, Indiana has struggled to score in comparison to the rest of the teams in the playoffs. Partially that is because they are relying on three main scorers and then whatever Myles Turner chips in. The bigger issue has been the defense as they are undersized a bit but the durability has to be playing more of a factor here.
Heat vs Pacers DFS Angle
Given the usage and huge workload, Malcolm Brogdon makes the most sense here. It is tough to use Oladipo and Warren over some of the other options on this slate, and even within this game. I would rather look at a Duncan Dobinson or Tyler Herro for a cheaper shooting guard. Jimmy Butler doesn’t quite have that upside like a Kawhi Leonard that we have seen already in a few games. Bam Adebayo is a strong pick, especially coming off the last game. There are certainly better options on this slate.
Heat vs Pacers Betting Odds
Heat Spread: -6.5
Heat Moneyline: -275
Pacers Spread: +6.5
Pacers Moneyline: +225
Over/Under Points Total: 217.5
Miami is 3-0 ATS so far in this series and I believe that trend can continue. The under has been successful in two of the three games, but a red hot Miami team from three scares me a bit that they can hit that mark. The opposite side of this one, you are looking at a likely sweep for the Pacers and they might be deflated at this point and ready to head out on a rough situation overall. I do like Miami to cover here as they continue to dominate this series.
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