Heat vs. Pacers Game 3 Updated Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Saturday, August 22)
Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: Bam Adebayo, center, battles Victor Oladipo and Justin Holiday of the Pacers.
- Check out our betting preview for Saturday's NBA Playoffs Game 3 matchup between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers.
- The Heat have jumped out to a 2-0 series lead, thanks in large part to strong play from Bam Adebayo.
- Check out Roberto Arguello's full betting preview below for updated odds, picks, and comprehensive analysis.
Heat vs. Pacers Betting Odds
|Heat Odds||-4.5 [BET NOW]|
|Pacers Odds||+4.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-200/+170 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||213.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||3:30 p.m. ET|
The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers are back at it again Saturday in Game 3 of their NBA playoff series.
The Heat have simply outclassed the Pacers thus far, storming to a 2-0 lead and look to be in cruise control. Miami bettors have to be happy thus far, with the Eastern Conference franchise covering the spread in both games.
Bam Adebayo, the Heat’s most valuable player thus far, has delivered and made crucial plays throughout the series. On the other side of the court, Domantas Sabonis has not played a minute against Miami and, consequently, Indiana has found itself in this brutal hole.
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Adebayo led all players in plus/minus numbers at plus-23 in Game 1 and +19 in Game 2. His importance to the Heat is evident, specifically when he is not on the floor. When Adebayo wasn’t playing, Miami was outscored by 11 points and 10 points respectively in the first two games of the series.
The Heat held a 15-9 lead with 7:54 left in the first quarter of Game 2 when Adebayo picked up his second foul and Derrick Jones Jr. substituted in for him.
When Adebayo returned to the floor, the Heat trailed the Pacers, 24-22. On the following two defensive possessions, Adebayo recorded a steal that led to a Kelly Olynyk layup and blocked a layup attempt from Edmond Sumner.
Needless to say, Adebayo makes winning plays and his presence is the key to the Heat on both offense and defense. Defensively, his ability to defend all five positions is unmatched by any other Heat player (and every other player in the league not named Giannis) and his versatility led the Heat to hold the Pacers to just 21 fourth-quarter points in Game 1 and 23 points in Game 2.
Offensively, Adebayo’s high basketball IQ, unselfish passing (he is second on the Heat in assists through the first two games), screen-setting ability (especially on dribble handoffs) and presence in the paint contribute to the Heat getting better shot attempts for teammates around him.
His presence has also helped the Heat be the second-best three-point shooting team in both the regular season and the playoffs.
Furthermore, all seven of Duncan Robinson’s three pointers (which tied a franchise record) on Thursday came when Adebayo was on the court. Adebayo also tallied seven screen assists on 16 points in Game 2 for the Heat. Adebayo only put up seven points and five rebounds, but his ability to impact the game was more apparent than ever.
The Pacers have sorely missed Domantas Sabonis. The standout led all Indiana in the regular season with a Real Plus-Minus (RPM) of 1.38 (72nd in the NBA) and 5.31 RPM wins that was good enough for 41st in the league.
(RPM is a player’s estimated on-court impact on team performance, measured in net point differential per 100 offensive and defensive possessions. RPM takes into account teammates, opponents and additional factors.
RPM Wins provide an estimate of the number of wins each player has contributed to his team’s win total on the season. RPM Wins include the player’s Real Plus-Minus and his number of possessions played.)
In his postgame press conference, Pacers coach Nate McMillan diagnosed the Pacers’ offensive struggles as a result of too much settling for shots on the perimeter instead of attacking the paint, as well as driving and kicking for better looks outside.
Sabonis averaged 5.0 assists to 2.7 turnovers per game as the underrated facilitator of the Pacers offense. In his absence this series, the other three Pacers bigs (Myles Turner, T.J. Warren and JaKarr Sampson) have averaged 5.5 assists and 6.5 turnovers per game.
The inside-outside presence clearly isn’t there for the Pacers, which has made maneuvering on the perimeter more challenging. Despite Turner going an efficient 7 of 8 from the field for 17 points in Game 2, it simply wasn’t enough.
The Heat will live with a jump-shooting Turner beating it, but even if he shoots well, the Pacers sorely lack the creation of high-quality, inside-out looks without a big with the playmaking ability of Adebayo or Sabonis.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I feel like a broken record, but for the third consecutive game, I like the Heat to win and cover the number. Miami has a much larger margin for error in this series and unless the Pacers can get Adebayo off the floor in foul trouble, I really don’t see a way for the Pacers to snag a victory.
The Heat have the two best players when Adebayo and Butler are on the court. Miami can also turn to savvy veterans Goran Dragic and Andre Iguodala, who help everyone for the Heat, especially in crunch time.
Miami’s starting lineup (Butler, Adebayo, Dragic, Jae Crowder and Duncan Robinson) has logged an incredible 155.6 offensive rating this series and sports a phenomenal 40.3 net rating.
The Heat, which jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead in Game 1 and a similar 12-3 beginning in Game 2. have been fast starters all season even without this new starting lineup. However, they blew more 10-plus point leads than any other team this season. That said, I like the value of betting this game live.
My recommendation is to take the Heat to cover the spread or play it on the money line before tip, let it take an early lead and then hammer the Pacers at a better value (+300 or better) to ensure arbitrage.
If the Pacers are competitive enough to push Miami live money line below -150 during a surge, then I would say hammer the Heat.
THE PICKS: Heat -4.5 and Heat -150 or better live