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NBA Playoffs Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Tuesday, August 18): Heat vs. Pacers Game 1

NBA Playoffs Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Tuesday, August 18): Heat vs. Pacers Game 1 article feature image

Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Butler (left) and T.J. Warren.

  • The Eastern conference's No. 4 seed, Indiana Pacers, meet the No. 5-seed Miami Heat in Game 1 of their first-round series Tuesday.
  • The matchup between Jimmy Butler and T.J. Warren should be intriguing, but Roberto Arguello sees another Heat player as a key component to the betting matchup.
  • Check out his analysis on today's game, including his picks and prediction below.

Heat vs. Pacers Betting Odds

Heat Odds -4 [BET NOW]
Pacers Odds +4 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -177/+148 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 215 [BET NOW]
Time 4 p.m. ET

Odds as of Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET and via FanDuel. Get up to a $500 risk-free bet at FanDuel today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

In the 4-5 matchup in the East, the Indiana Pacers face the Miami Heat. 

Without a healthy Domantas Sabonis in the bubble for the Pacers, the Pacers have relied on T.J. Warren at the four as they have transitioned to playing more small ball. 

Warren exploded for a career-high 52 points in his first game in Orlando against the Sixers, but was held to just 12 points in a loss against Miami on August 10.

Although Warren and Jimmy Butler notably had beef earlier this season, Butler declared their rivalry “dead” over the weekend. 

The Heat won three of the four matchups in the regular season between these teams, with the Pacers’ lone win coming on Friday with most starters notably absent on each side. 

In Game 1 of this series, the Heat are four-point favorites while the total sits at 216.

Miami Heat

On the injury front, Derrick Jones Jr. suffered a scary neck injury on Friday where he didn’t see a screen coming and was stretchered off the floor. His MRI came back negative, but he didn’t practice on Sunday and is listed as day-to-day. Keep an eye out for his status on Tuesday.

Jae Crowder (knee) participated in Saturday’s practice and is expected to start. Kendrick Nunn, who started all 67 of his regular season appearances but left the bubble last weekend for a personal matter, is expected to come off the bench on Tuesday. 

Gabe Vincent (shoulder) and KZ Okpala (personal) both sat out Friday’s game and are day-to-day, but their statuses should not play a factor in this series. 

The Heat are well-suited for the playoffs because of their depth and versatility. It starts with their two all-stars, Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler. Adebayo can guard all five positions and is a nightmare to target in the pick-and-roll, and Butler can guard everyone on the Pacers except Myles Turner. The Heat’s options on the wing give them the ability to adapt throughout a seven-game series depending on how Indiana chooses to try and limit Miami’s two all-stars. 

Coach Erik Spoelstra has shown repeatedly this season that the players who start for the Heat won’t necessarily be on the court in crunch time, but rather the best matchups in any given game will determine who the Heat play down the stretch.

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers are without the injured Sabonis (foot) and Jeremy Lamb (knee) in the bubble. 

Warren has been dealing with a foot injury over the last week but practiced Saturday and is expected to start on Tuesday. The rest of the Pacers will be good to go. 

Malcolm Brogdon and Victor Oladipo will be the key to this series if the Pacers have a chance of winning. With Miami sending Butler, a tenacious defender, to guard Warren, Brogdon and Oladipo should draw easier perimeter matchups against the likes of Goran Dragic, Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro and Nunn. 

It is imperative that Brogdon and Oladipo take advantage of open 3s and are smart about taking these defenders off the dribble to get good looks either for themselves or for Justin and Aaron Holiday on the wing. Without Sabonis as both a scorer and an underrated facilitator, these two need to step up for Indiana to win.

Betting Analysis & Pick

I really like this Pacers team, but without Sabonis in the lineup and Oladipo still working back into his best form after a quadriceps injury, the Heat are the more talented team, and I have a hard time seeing the Pacers win more than one or two games in this series. 

Without Sabonis, opponents have dominated the Pacers on the glass, as Indiana has a league-worst 68.9% defensive rebound rate in the bubble. No player besides Turner expected to see meaningful action in this series has a rebounding rate above 9% for the Pacers, and Turner’s 12.2% rate is abysmal for a center. 

While I think the Heat win and cover the spread in Game 1, I think there is better value in FanDuel’s Player Performance Doubles. 

In the three games Adebayo played against the Pacers (in chronological order) in the regular season, he tallied 15 rebounds in 36 minutes, 9 rebounds in 29 minutes and 9 rebounds in 22 minutes. Butler had 9 rebounds in 33 minutes, 6 rebounds in 28 minutes and 11 rebounds in 29 minutes in these three games. 

With Sabonis healthy for the first two matchups, Adebayo averaged 13.1 rebounds per 36 minutes while Butler averaged 8.8 rebounds per 36 minutes. Without Sabonis, Adebayo increased to 14.7 rebounds per 36 minutes as Butler saw a similar jump to 13.7 rebounds per 36 minutes. 

Sabonis’ absence yields great value as I will be betting on both Butler 9+ Rebounds/Miami To Win +450 and Adebayo 12+ Rebounds/Miami To Win +310. I think both players get to these thresholds, but if one hits and the other doesn’t this pair of bets will still yield a healthy profit. I’d bet each of these down to +200. 

The Picks: Jimmy Butler 9+ Rebounds/Miami To Win +450; Bam Adebayo 12+ Rebounds/Miami To Win +310

[Bet now at FanDuel and get a $500 risk-free bet.]

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