Pacers At Home & Heat On Road Are Solid Plays Thursday Night

Thursday, February 28, 2019 5:08 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019 5:08 PM UTC

Indiana is getting into a groove despite the absence of All-Star Victor Oladipo, and Miami is looking to put forth a last-ditch effort to make the playoffs. Here's why you should back those teams tonight.

<h2 style="text-align:center">Minnesota (29-32 SU, 32-29 ATS) at Indiana (40-22 SU, 31-30-1 ATS)</h2><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Thursday, 7 p.m. ET<br />Free NBA Pick: Pacers ATS<br />Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=5dimes" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">5Dimes</a></strong></p><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3569880, "sportsbooksIds":[19,169,139,999991,93], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>Two playoff hopefuls coming off disappointing losses get together Thursday night in Indianapolis when <a href="" title="Live Game Odds">the Timberwolves take on the Pacers</a>. Both teams will be playing the second night of a back-to-back after each failed to take advantage of a matchup with a non-contender on Wednesday.</p><p>The Timberwolves blew a 13-point lead against the Hawks late in the third quarter, watched Derrick Rose misfire on a potential game-winner at the end of regulation and wound up losing 131-123 in overtime at Atlanta. Meanwhile, the Pacers saw the Mavericks take the lead in the first minute of the fourth quarter and never caught up in a 110-101 defeat at Dallas.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;McMillan says the &lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#Pacers&lt;/a&gt; can't blame tonight's loss on the absences of Sabonis and Evans: \"The guys that are in uniform have got to play. We've been dealing with this all season long. Injuries — that's not an excuse.\" &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— FOX Sports Indiana (@FSIndiana) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;February 28, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>History says getting the second night of a back-to-back at home should bode well for the Pacers. They've gone 6-0 in such situations this season. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves haven't won any of their previous six road games on second nights this year. Minnesota's loss at Atlanta came despite a second consecutive impressive effort by Karl-Anthony Towns in his return from a car accident that sidelined him for two games.</p><p>Two days after a 34-point, 21-rebound outing in a home win over Sacramento, Towns once again demonstrated he's not feeling any aftereffects of the incident with 37 points and 18 rebounds against the Hawks. The efforts came on the heels of a conservative approach taken by the Timberwolves, even in the heat of a playoff chase, to make sure their star big man was fully healthy both mentally and physically.</p><p>Indiana is 18-13 ATS at home this season, while the TImberwolves are just 15-16 ATS on the road. Smart money says <a href="" title="Free NBA Picks">the Pacers should be able to cover</a> at home on the second night of a back-to-back for both teams.</p><p> </p><h2 style="text-align:center">Miami (27-33 SU, 31-29 ATS) at Houston (36-25 SU, 27-32-2 ATS)</h2><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Thursday, 8 p.m. ET<br />Free NBA Pick: Heat ATS<br />Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=BOVADA" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">Bovada</a></strong></p><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3569890, "sportsbooksIds":[999996,238,180,1275,1602], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>When <a href="" title="Live Game Odds">the Rockets host the Miami Heat on Thursday</a> at Toyota Center, they will do so with the same lineup uncertainty that has plagued them throughout the season. Houston has survived this far by manipulating its roster effectively enough to stay in position to claim home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.</p><p>James Harden, who had his streak of consecutive 30-point games snapped at 32 on Monday against the Atlanta Hawks, finished 1-for-11 from behind the arc and is just 3-for-31 on 3s over his past three starts. The Rockets have relied on supporting personnel to shoulder the scoring load, with four others reaching double figures against Charlotte. Six Rockets scored in double figures against the Hawks and, in their victory over Golden State last Saturday without Harden, three Rockets posted 20-plus points.</p><p>Even with their roster compromised in Charlotte, the Rockets still had enough in reserve. How much of an asset their depth will be down the stretch remains linked to player availability.</p><p>The Heat needed a buzzer-beating 3-point bank shot from Dwyane Wade to record a 126-125 victory over the Warriors on Wednesday and snap their three-game losing skid. Miami had dropped nine of 11 games before rallying against Golden State, which erased a 24-point deficit to grab a late lead. Wade finished with 25 points. The buzzer-beater was the fifth of his career and first since 2009.</p><p>Even with their recent struggles, the Heat closed within a half-game behind Charlotte for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. But the road to the playoffs is arduous for Miami, at least over the next month, with the Heat scheduled to contest 10 of their next 12 games against teams currently in position to make the playoffs.</p><p>Miami has a difficult road ahead and they will begin that journey with a good showing in Houston, as the Heat have a stellar 19-11 <a href="" title="Live NBA Odds Board">ATS record</a> on the road this season.</p>
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