Saturday NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our 2 Best Bets for Heat vs. Pacers & Pelicans vs. Timberwolves (Oct. 23)
Harrison Barden/Getty Images. Pictured: Karl-Anthony Towns.
Another full slate of NBA basketball is on the docket Saturday night, and two of our NBA betting analysts have you covered.
The Indiana Pacers and New Orleans Pelicans are off to rough starts to the season, and both 0-2 teams are in action on Saturday night. Miami heads to Indiana, while the Zion Williamson-less Pelicans head north to Minnesota.
NBA Odds & Picks
Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers
Roberto Arguello: 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 the Heat to come out with high energy to try to take advantage of a sluggish Pacers team. While Kyle Lowry’s potential absence would hurt Miami on both ends, the Heat’s defense will still be the best unit in this game regardless of whether he plays.
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.
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
The Pacers defense, meanwhile, 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 Chris 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.
Increase your play from a half unit to one unit if Lowry is available. I also love the value on the under down to 220 if Lowry is out for one unit since the Heat play with a much slower pace without him.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Kenny Ducey: The New Orleans Pelicans are not a good basketball team. They’ve lost by an average margin of 18 points through their first two games, and that’s come despite some good performances from Brandon Ingram, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Devonte’ Graham and Jonas Valanciunas.
The problem is that New Orleans simply can’t defend. The Pelicans had one of the strongest frontcourts in basketball last year led by Steven Adams and Zion Williamson, but they’ve missed the mark this year. Adams is now in Memphis and Williamson is on the shelf recovering from surgery. Without that physicality inside, teams have had an easy time scoring the basketball in the post, and there is no greater illustration of the frontcourt’s weakness than a 25th ranking in rebounding rate through two games.
Karl-Anthony Towns should be more than up to the task here for a Timberwolves team that looked great in their season-opening win over the Rockets with a 114.8 Offensive Rating.
There is just a significant gap here between the two teams, even if you’re not ready to say the Timberwolves are a good team yet. I’d love this even more if Josh Hart is ruled out again.