With the last day of regular season action going down on Friday night, August 14, it’s time to find out which team is offering the best value when the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers square off in what looks like a thrilling, regular season-ending affair just waiting to happen. You see, the two rivals finished with identical 44-28 records this season and will go at it on Friday night with the winner securing the No. 4 seed and the loser getting the fifth seed. While this may not matter much in terms of home-court advantage with all of the games taking place inside the league’s ‘bubble’ in Orlando, the pair of Eastern Conference championship hopefuls have also played one another three times this season with the Heat dominating this series. Now, with these two rivals set to square off in the first round when the NBA playoffs get started in earnest next week and Indiana looking to make a statement that they can take down Miami, let’s find out where the best basketball betting value lies in this matchup that offers intersting NBA betting options on Friday night.
Miami Heat (44-28) vs. Indiana Pacers (44-28)
Why Bet on Miami?
Miami won two of their first three games inside the bubble by stunning Boston and Denver, but the Heat dropped three of their final four and come into this matchup off a narrow, 116-115 loss against Oklahoma City on Wednesday night to finish at 3-4 SU and ATS in Orlando. Miami also finished at 4-2-1 O/U. Now, as they get set for their regular season finale, both teams are expected to rest their starters for the vast majority of this contest.
"It’s good to know that we play them," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra joked on Wednesday. "Just need to figure out what uniform we’re wearing."
Miami was led in scoring by all-star swingman Jimmy Butler who put up 19.9 points per contest. Veteran point guard Goran Dragic averages 16.2 points per contest despite now coming off the bench. Blossoming big man Bam Adebayo put up 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists this season and Miami should be getting back gifted rookie point guard Kendrick Nunn soon after he left the bubble earlier in the restart for personal reasons. Since the bubble began, sweet-shooting big man Kelly Olynyk has averaged 13.0 points per game.
Why Bet on Indiana?
The Pacers have gone 5-2 SU and ATS in the bubble while also going 3-4 O/U. Indiana won their first three bubble contests against Philly, Washington and Orlando while splitting their last four, although their wins were quite impressive as they took down both, the Lakers and, most recently, Houston, 108-104 on Wednesday night.
Indiana was led in scoring during the regular season by veteran forward T.J. Warren (19.8 ppg) who has gone bonkers since the bubble started by averaging a stunning 31.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in six games in Orlando. The Pacers are without injured all-star forward Domantas Sabonis after he put up 18.5 points and 12.4 rebounds per game during the regular season.
Veteran shooting guard Malcolm Brogdon averaged 16.5 points and 7.1 assists per game while former all-star guard Victor Oladipo put up 14.5 points per contest while making his way back from a nasty knee injury last season. The Pacers have dropped all three meetings against Miami this season, but Brogdon isn’t perturbed.
"I think we have an opportunity to beat this team," Brogdon said on Wednesday. "We are going to rise to the occasion and take care of business."
Expert Analysis and Prediction
Miami won the first meeting this season 113-112 at home but failed to cover the chalk as a 5-point home favorite. The Heat dominated in their 122-108 road win in January to cash in as a 1.5-point road dog and they took the third meeting by taking down the Pacers 114-92 inside the bubble on Monday to cover the spread as a 4-point favorite. Still, Miami is just 2-5 ATS in the last 7 meetings and the Pacers need this win a lot ore than the Heat of you ask me.
While Miami has the deeper bench of reserves, Indy’s backups aren’t completely awful and more importantly, I believe Indiana knows it needs this victory in order to boost their confidence prior to Tuesday’s playoff opener. I’m going with the Pacers to get it done as a Pick ‘Em!
Free Betting Pick:
Pacers 114 – Heat 108 | Bet on the Game Now!
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