NBA Playoffs Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Heat vs. Pacers Game 2 (Thursday, Aug. 20)
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Butler (right) and T.J. Warren.
- The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers meet in Game 2 of the East's 4 vs. 5 matchup.
- The Heat enter the game as 4-point favorites after taking the first game of the series.
- Check out our game preview, including predictions and picks below.
Heat vs. Pacers Betting Odds
|Heat Odds||-4 [BET NOW]|
|Pacers Odds||+4 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-180/+150 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||217 [BET NOW]|
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
Among NBA players with at least 25 3-pointers made in the regular season, Jimmy Butler ranked second-to-last in 3-point percentage (24.4%), and he hadn’t made a three since March 2.
In the Heat’s Game 1 win, Butler only attempted two 3s, but made each of his two attempts in crunch time along with a huge bank shot in the final minute to seal the Heat win and cover (-4) by a score of 113-101.
Game 2 tips off the Thursday NBA playoff slate at 1 p.m. ET with the Heat as 4.5-point favorites and the total set at 215.
Gabe Vincent (shoulder) and KZ Okpala (personal) both sat out Monday’s game and are day-to-day, but their health should not play a factor in this series.
Derrick Jones Jr. suffered a scary neck injury on Friday but played 13 minutes in Game 1 and will be available for Game 2.
Rookie standout Kendrick Nunn was a healthy scratch in Game 1 after starting every single one of the 67 NBA games he was available for in the regular season. While he has tremendous offensive ability, his defensive liabilities kept him on the bench, and I wouldn’t expect him to see many minutes in Game 2, if any.
The Heat played all of Game 1 without two of their most common starters in the regular season, Nunn and Meyers Leonard, playing a single minute. Expect this trend to continue as players like Goran Dragic, Jae Crowder, Andre Iguodala and Tyler Herro add more defensive versatility while still spacing the floor offensively.
The Heat and Pacers played a competitive game to start the series, but the Heat’s veteran leaders, Butler and Dragic, propelled them over the top to win in crunch time.
Dragic made just his third start of the season and scored 21 of his 24 points in the second half. Butler led all scorers with 28 points as he and Dragic combined to score the Heat’s final 15 points in the last 5:30 while outscoring the Pacers 15-8 in that span.
If there was any doubt about how the Heat would close games in the playoffs, Butler answered those questions by scoring 10 of the Heat’s final 12 points in the final 3:30. While often acting as a distributor in the regular season, Butler was much more aggressive on offense in Game 1, and I would expect that trend to continue throughout this series, especially down the stretch in close games.
Bam Adebayo quietly put up 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists while leading all players in plus/minus at +23. Adebayo also excelled on the defensive end as, per Second Spectrum, the Pacers targeted him nine times in isolation but only scored 8 points (0.889 PPP) on those possessions.
The Pacers are without the injured Domantas Sabonis (foot) and Jeremy Lamb (knee) in the bubble.
Victor Oladipo suffered an eye injury in the first half of Game 1 and did not return. He is feeling better as of Wednesday afternoon, but could not say with certainty that he would play in game two. He is listed as day-to-day, but keep an eye on his status leading up to game time.
Although the Pacers lost Oladipo early in the game, the bench stepped up in his absence. Justin Holiday played 32 minutes off the bench and went 4-for-4 from the field, including 3-for-3 from 3-point range. T.J. McConnell added 5 points and three assists in 13 minutes, and JaKarr Sampson went 5-6 from the field to score 10 points in 17 minutes.
Despite a strong showing from the bench, the Pacers still didn’t get enough from their starting guards to win the game. Before Game 1, I wrote about how Malcolm Brogdon and Oladipo needed to hit open shots and take advantage of their matchups against the lesser Heat defenders to drive and score or set up teammates with Sabonis (an underrated facilitator) out.
Brogdon did a nice job of being aggressive and driving to set up good looks for his team. He went 9-for-10 from the free throw line and added 10 assists. However, he will need to be more efficient than 6-for-18 from the field if the Pacers have a chance to win Game 2, especially if Oladipo is out.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The Pacers shot a better percentage from three, grabbed more rebounds and even had several bench players step up in game one, but it still wasn’t enough to win or even cover.
Brogdon and T.J. Warren each had 22 points for Indiana, but the Heat stifled them in the closing minutes thanks to the defensive versatility of Butler, Adebayo and Iguodala. With or without Oladipo, I still like the Heat to win and cover thanks to the plethora of options Miami has on both sides of the ball. Coach Erik Spoelstra did a masterful job of putting in the right personnel late in the game to limit what had been effective up to that point for the Pacers.
The Heat were the second-best 3-point shooting team by percentage in the regular season, but their top four deep threats by percentage, Duncan Robinson, Crowder, Kelly Olynyk and Herro, combined to shoot just 6-for-22 from downtown in Game 1.
The Pacers had an impressive performance in game one from their bench, hit 56% of their open shots, the Heat’s best shooters didn’t play well and still lost by double-digits. I expect the Pacers’ bench and overall three-point shooting to regress slightly in game two while the Heat get better shooting from the perimeter.
Butler, Dragic and Adebayo will be consistent in this series, but if the Heat can get their perimeter shooters on track in Game 2, the Pacers won’t have the firepower to keep this game close.
While I think the Heat win and cover the spread in Game 2, I think there is even better value in FanDuel’s Player Performance Doubles.
Without Sabonis, opponents have dominated the Pacers on the glass, as Indiana has a league-worst 68.9% defensive rebound rate in the bubble. Bam Adebayo averaged a double-double in the regular season (15.0 ppg, 10.2 rebounds), and slightly topped that in Game 1 with 17 and 10. The Pacers don’t have an answer for an aggressive Adebayo, and I love the value of an Adebayo Double-Double/Miami To Win +164.
With the Heat showing they will lean on Butler in the fourth quarter, I love his chances of scoring 20 or more points, especially in a close game where he will shoot more free throws. Butler saw an uptick in shots over the final six games of the Sixers-Raptors series last year as the Sixers’ closer.
He averaged 24 points per game in that span, and he followed it up with 28 points in Game 1 against the Pacers. I love the value of Butler 20+PTS/Miami to win +136, and if you have a higher risk tolerance, Butler 25+PTS/Miami to win +285 is also good value.
The Picks: Bam Adebayo Double-Double/Miami to Win +164; Jimmy Butler 25+PTS/Miami to Win +285