Free NBA Picks: Bet Pacers Tempting Plus Odds vs. Tired Heat

Swinging Johnson

Monday, January 4, 2016 6:01 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 6:01 PM UTC

The Pacers head into Miami fresh off the heels of a double digit win over the Pistons while the Heat are gunning for their third consecutive victory. Let’s review what the NBA odds first.

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NBA Pick: Pacers +2½ 
Best Line Offered: at YouWager


Indiana Pacers (19-14 SU, 19-14 ATS)
The Pacers had bowed in consecutive games to the Bulls and then the Bucks before they hosted Detroit on Saturday night and rewarded all those who included them in their NBA picks with a 94-82 victory as 4 ½ point home favorites. Paul George torched the Pistons with 21 of his 32 points coming in the fourth quarter, replete with a shoving match at the end of the game between these two heated rivals. George Hill bucketed 18 points while Monte Ellis knocked home 14 of his own.

Indiana is undefeated (7-0 straight up) when holding teams to under 40 percent shooting as they did on Saturday night when they limited the Detroit offense to just 35.5 percent from the field. Paul George not only lit up the scoreboard but was a terror on the glass hauling down 14 boards in the twelve point victory. The Pacers are currently 9th in the league in scoring averaging 102.5 points per contest while their defense is ranked 6th holding opponents to 98.6 PPG. The Pacers are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, only four games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers.


Miami Heat (20-13 SU, 16-16-1 ATS)
In their last two contests the NBA odds makers installed the Heat as 2 ½ point home favorites over the Mavericks and then a one-point road favorite against the Wizards in Washington. Miami obliterated the number in both contests, outscoring their opponents by a combined 46 points. Last night Chris Bosh scored 23 and Goran Dragic notched 18 in what proved to be a statement win over the Wizards who had rung up 114 points on December 7th in front of Miami’s home crowd. It was the most points the Heat had allowed all season and they were determined not to let it happen again as they limited the Wizards to their lowest point total of the season in a crushing 97-75 victory last night in DC.

Miami has been focusing on defense this season which has borne fruit as they are currently third in the East with a 20-13 record and a defensive ranking of No. 2 in the league surrendering just 94.5 points per game. Offensively they have been challenged as the team clocks in with an average of only 97.2 points per game which ranks them near the bottom of the league at 25th. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are shouldering the offensive load for Miami scoring an average of 18.6 and 18.3 PPG respectively this season.


Betting Analysis
The Pacers scored a 90-87 victory at home over Miami in their first matchup this season and then copped a 96-83 win on December 11th, again at home and covering the 4 ½ point impost. But now the venue has shifted to Miami where the Heat are 14-7 straight up and 10-10-1 ATS on their home court. Conversely Indiana is 7-9 straight up and 9-7 ATS on the highway.

There are a few reasons to believe that Indiana is the team to back tonight. Miami is 2-5-1 against the number in their last eight games against a team with a winning record (like Indiana) and 4-13 ATS in their last 17 following a win of greater than 10 points (their 22 point victory last night over Washington obviously fits this criterion). In addition, the Heat had to hop a plane last night from DC and tonight will be welcoming a top echelon team like the Pacers who have are a few days removed from their most recent outing. The Pacers have had their way with Miami recently and nothing will dissuade me from backing them again tonight with points.

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