Each day the LT Profits Sports Group seeks out a total that simply does not add up and therefore offers the most value that day. Here is their Total Value Play of the Day for Wednesday.
This would have been a marquee matchup had it been taking place last season, but as it stands now look for a rather dull, low scoring affair Wednesday night when the Indiana Pacers (2-6, 0-3 away) pay a visit to the Miami Heat (5-2, 3-1 home) at American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL at 7:35 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 188½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -104.
Heat Handling Change Better
Unless you have been trapped under a rock since the end of the NBA Finals, you are very well aware that LeBron James bolted from the Heat to return to the Cavaliers, but Miami is off to a nice start without him at 5-2, and it is back in its customary position atop the Southeast Division for now, albeit in a flat-footed tie with the Washington Wizards, who are generally considered the favorites to win the division at season’s end.
The Pacers have an entirely unfamiliar roster right now, although in their case the reason is entirely due to an amazing slew of injuries. That terrible luck has Indiana at just 2-6 as NBA picks in the early going and in the Central Division basement for the time being, one-half game behind the fourth place Detroit Pistons. That really means little at the infant stage of the season however, as Indiana remains only four games behind the division leading Chicago Bulls.
Indiana MASH Unit
The good news for the Pacers is that they do come off of their second win of the season, a 97-86 decision over the Utah Jazz in Indianapolis on Monday. The bad news is that the Pacers will not beat many other teams with the starting five they fielded in that game with center Roy Hibbert being the only familiar face. The rest of the starters were comprised of Solomon Hill and Donald Sloan at the guard positions and Chris Copeland and Luis Scola in the frontcourt.
So why did they start such a makeshift lineup? Well, for starters they lost Paul George probably for the season when he broke his leg during a scrimmage with Team USA. But that was only the beginning as other notable players such as David West, George Hill, C.J, Watson and Rodney Stuckey have all sustained injuries since then that will keep them out for prolonged periods.
The result of all this has been a stagnant offense that is ranked 26th in the NBA in scoring at just 93.0 points per game. Now, Coach Frank Vogel took a lot of heat for seemingly losing control of his team last season, but to his credit he remains a defensive mastermind and through all of these injuries, the Pacers have amazingly not lost a beat on that end of the floor ranking fourth in the league in points against surrendering just 94.6 points per game on 43.8 percent shooting.
Deng Trying to Pick Up Slack
The Heat may have lost James but they did bring in some new faces to at least try and pick up his slack, most notably signing Luol Deng as a free agent away from the Bulls. Deng has responded with 15.6 points per game and he come off of a season high 30-point effort vs. the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.
With that said, the Heat seem better defensively this season than they were last year, when they treated defense almost as an afterthought during the regular season choosing to instead save their collective energies for the playoffs while watching James carry the offense until the games mattered the most.
Well, perhaps the realization that the success of recent seasons is no longer a given has Miami playing with maximum effort on both sides of the floor more often as the Heat are now in the top half of the league in points against ranking 12th at 97.9 points per game, they have held five of their seven opponents below 100 points and they are allowing an average of just 94.7 points on a mere 41.7 percent shooting in the last three games!
4-0 ‘under’ Run
That newfound commitment on the defensive end has translated to a 4-0 ‘under’ run for Miami and do not expect that defense to have much trouble stopping the Pacers tonight given the current state of the Indiana offense. At the same time, the Heat may not have that easy of a time offensively the way Indiana continues to play good defense.
Add this all up and look for the ‘under’ to improve to 5-0 in the last five Heat games when Indiana visits Miami on Wednesday on ESPN.
NBA Pick: Pacers, Heat ‘under’ 188½ (-104)