Heat vs. Pacers Odds, Pick, Preview: Fade Struggling Indiana as Home Underdog (October 23)
Isaac Baldizon/Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Butler
- The Pacers go for their first win of the season against the Heat on Saturday night.
- Indiana lost in overtime last night to the Wizards, while Miami blew out an injured Bucks team in its opener.
- Roberto Arguello breaks down his betting strategy for the game below.
Heat vs. Pacers Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
The Indiana Pacers host the Miami Heat on Saturday night as the Pacers play their first home game of the season.
Indiana is coming off of consecutive losses to start the season. The Pacers built a lead up to 23 points on Wednesday against the Hornets but eventually lost by one, 123-122. Then, they were involved in an overtime thriller on Friday night, losing to the Bradley Beal-less Wizards 135-134, despite a career-high 40 points from Myles Turner.
The Heat have played just one game so far this season, and they blew out the shorthanded Bucks on Thursday night 137-95. Miami will play its first road game on Saturday night having rested on Friday, while the Pacers are playing the back end of a back-to-back.
Lowry’s Status Affects Miami’s Pace
Kyle Lowry (ankle) and Dewayne Dedmon (ankle) are both questionable to face Indiana, while Victor Oladipo (quadriceps) remains out.
If Lowry is absent on Saturday, this will significantly hurt the Heat’s point-of-attack defense and also the Heat’s ability to get into early offense via his outlet passes.
If you are a prop bettor, Lowry’s status is also significant as there may be value on Bam Adebayo’s assist total going under if he plays. If he is out, the Heat won’t have a true point guard available, and Adebayo will be tasked with creating more offense from the elbows like he did last season. Expect Adebayo to have about five or six assists if Lowry is out or fewer than four assists if Lowry plays.
If Lowry is out, expect Tyler Herro to step into the starting lineup at point guard. Herro is coming off of a strong season opener, having dropped 27 points, six rebounds and five assists in just 24 minutes against Milwaukee. While Herro remains a bucket, he doesn’t have Lowry’s distributing ability, and he also won’t push the pace like the veteran.
PACE for the HEAT last night:
1st QTR: 112
1st HALF: 111
Lowry IN: 114
Lowry OUT: 100
Herro IN: 108
Herro OUT: 108
Entire GAME: 106
Preseason PACE when Lowry was in: 111
It’ll be an entire different team, opponents are used to a slow paced HEAT team, SURPRISE MF.
— The Common Sense HEAT Fan (@TheMadHEATFan) October 22, 2021
One of Lowry’s strengths is that he allows this Heat team to get into early offense with his quick outlet passes, and this is extremely beneficial for the Heat as their two best players, Jimmy Butler and Adebayo, are extremely athletic but lack the ability to make threes at an efficient rate. The Heat’s transition offense was a big reason why they outscored the Bucks 60-38 in points in the paint on Thursday.
Regardless of whether Herro starts, the Heat will need him to score efficiently alongside Butler and Adebayo. A big game from sharpshooter Duncan Robinson will also go a long way toward a Heat win, especially if Lowry, another spacer in the starting lineup, is out.
Pacers Defense Needs to Step Up
Caris LeVert (back) remains out for the Pacers, while T.J. Warren (foot) remains out indefinitely. Kelan Martin (hamstring) is also day-to-day.
Through a small sample size of two games, the Pacers rank 27th in the league in Defensive Rating (122.9), having been unable to get stops at key points down the stretch of both of their losses. The Indiana frontcourt has had a few strong games as Sabonis put up 33 points and 15 rebounds in the opener, then Myles Turner scored 40 points and grabbed 10 rebounds on Friday, but the Pacers’ inability to get stops ruined both of those incredible individual performances.
While the Pacers are without key perimeter scorers LeVert and Warren, rookie Chris Duarte has impressed in his first two games. Duarte has started in the backcourt alongside Malcolm Brogdon and has scored 27 and 15 points in his two games. The Pacers will need Duarte to continue his strong shotmaking as he has made 9-of-17 3-point attempts so far this season.
The Pacers need to do a better job of defending the 3-point line against the Heat, as they need to be mindful of where the Heat’s sharpshooters, Robinson, Herro and Max Strus, are at all times. The Pacers allowed the Hornets to make 42% of their shots from beyond the arc and the Wizards to make 50% of their 3-point attempts in their two games this week. Indiana will need to be better against the Heat to win on Saturday, especially if Lowry plays.
This is a terrible spot for the Pacers on the second leg of a back-to-back after an overtime game last night, as they face a physical Heat team. Expect Miami to come out with high energy to try to take advantage of a sluggish Pacers team.
While Lowry’s absence would hurt the Heat on both ends, the Heat’s defense will still be the best unit in this game whether he plays or not.
If Lowry plays, I love the value on the Heat as a road favorite at -4 with value up to -6. If Lowry is out, I expect the Heat to drop to -3 on the spread, although I still would bet the Heat down to -4 with him out.
The Pacers’ defense has been ugly early on this season, and it will be even worse on their first second leg of a back-to-back. The Pacers will need Duarte to continue shooting at a high level, but they still may not have enough shotmaking to overcome their poor defense that is forcing the fewest turnovers per possession in the NBA.
Take the Heat to win and cover regardless of whether Lowry plays, but increase your play from a half unit to one unit if he is available.
I also love the value on the under down to 220 if Lowry is out for one unit since Miami plays at a much slower pace without him, and his ability to get the Heat quality shots early in the shot clock is very important.
Pick: Heat -4 (up to -6) if Lowry plays | Under 223 (down to 220) if Lowry is out
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