Miami Heat (44-29) at Indiana Pacers (45-28)
NBA Basketball: Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 4:00 pm (AdventHealth Arena)
The Line: Indiana Pacers +3.5 -- Over/Under: 216 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers duke it out in Game 1 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Tuesday afternoon.
The Miami Heat stumbled their way into the postseason as they lost five of their eight games in the bubble to finish with the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. Jimmy Butler led the team with averages of 19.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game, Goran Dragic has been fantastic off the bench with averages of 16.2 points and 5.1 assists per game, Bam Adebayo averaged 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game while Kendrick Nunn averaged 15.3 points and 3.3 assists per game. As a team, the Heat scored an average of 112.0 points per game while shooting 46.8 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from the 3-point line. In terms of injuries, the Heat are mostly at full strength except for Derrick Jones Jr. who injured himself in the last game of the regular season.
Meanwhile, the Indiana Pacers are heading into the playoffs with plenty of momentum as they won six of their eight games in the bubble to finish with the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. TJ Warren has been great this season as he averaged 19.8 points per game, Malcolm Brodgon averaged 16.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game while Victor Oladipo averaged 14.5 points and 2.9 assists per game. As a team, the Pacers averaged 109.4 points per game while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 36.3 percent from the 3-point line. Domantas Sabonis averaged 18.5 points, 12.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game to earn him his first All-Star appearance, but he remains out indefinitely with a foot injury.
Looking at the betting trends, the Heat are 1-4 ATS in their last five Conference Quarterfinals games, 5-2 ATS in their last seven playoff games as a favorite and 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall. The Pacers are 0-3-1 ATS in their last four Conference Quarterfinals games, 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight games as an underdog and 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
Head to head, the Heat are 3-8 ATS in the last 11 meetings in Indiana and the Heat are 2-6 ATS in the last eight meetings overall.
These two teams met four times this season with the Heat winning the series by 3-1, but it was the Pacers who won in the most recent meeting by 109-92 back on Thursday. The Pacers have clearly been the team in better form, but the Heat hold the advantage in depth as they’re close to full strength while the Pacers are missing one of their best players in Sabonis. This has all the makings of a seven-game series, but with the line so short, I think the value is with the Heat to draw first blood here.