Indiana will go on the road for the first time this month when it travels to Miami on Wednesday night. The Pacers have not played away from home since their 112-100 loss to Memphis on Jan. 29. Miami has lost three of its last four games and is coming off a 123-115 setback at Milwaukee on Saturday.
Pacers happy to have Haliburton backIndiana’s season has been defined by its lack of consistency. The Pacers won 11 games in a 15-game stretch in late October and November before getting cold for most of December. They bounced back with eight wins in a 10-game stretch at the end of December and the beginning of January to get five games above the .500 mark. Indiana has unraveled since then, losing 12 of its last 14 games. The Pacers were without star guard Tyrese Haliburton for 10 of those games, but he has returned for the most recent three outings. They went 1-9 without him on the court due to knee and elbow injuries, and they have gone 1-2 in the three games since he has returned.
Team Pau.🥶— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) February 7, 2023
the Andrew Nembhard and Bennedict Mathurin duo is sticking together for #JordanRisingStars. pic.twitter.com/Gy3U3hUjbO
Haliburton had led Indiana to an 8-2 record in the 10 games prior to his injury—he leads the team with 20.0 points and an NBA-best 10.3 assists per game. The third-year pro is knocking down nearly 90% of his free throws and is shooting better than 40% from 3-point range. He has been named an All-Star for the first time in his career. Myles Turner leads Indiana in rebounds (8.1) and blocks (2.4) while ranking second on the squad in scoring (17.7). The Pacers are No. 13 in the NBA offensively, averaging 114.7 points per game. They are facing a Miami defense that is No. 2, allowing just 108.4 points per contest.
Heat without Lowry, OladipoMiami got off to a disappointing 12-15 start to the season, but it has been playing winning basketball since then. The Heat won 17 of their next 25 games to get six games above the .500 mark overall, beating Boston and Cleveland at the end of January. They were unable to wrap up their four-game road trip on a high note though, losing consecutive games to New York and Milwaukee last week. Miami will have had three full days off to recover by the time this game tips off after “going home disappointed,” according to head coach Erik Spoelstra. The Heat only had nine healthy players available against the Bucks in the 123-115 loss.
Sound up! @RickRoss is the ultimate hype man when he’s courtside 🎙️ pic.twitter.com/nhAAgaR1yt— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) February 7, 2023
They were without starting point guard Kyle Lowry (knee) and backup Victor Oladipo (ankle), and both of them will remain sidelined on Wednesday night. Jimmy Butler leads Miami in scoring with 21.9 points per game, and he is also swiping a team-best 2.1 steals per game. Big man Bam Adebayo is averaging 21.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per contest. The Heat have struggled their way to a 12-16 record on the road, but they are 17-9 at home this season. They have lost two of their three games against Indiana, including a 111-108 setback at home in the most recent matchup.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Neither team has been a good betting option over the past few weeks, but I feel much better about Indiana being undervalued coming into this game. The Pacers finally have a chance to be competitive again after getting their best player back on the court. He scored a career-high 43 points against Miami in December, and he has had time to rest coming into this matchup. The Pacers have covered the spread in eight of their last 12 games in Miami, and the Heat are dealing with multiple key injuries right now. I expect this game to be a toss-up down the stretch, which provides plenty of value on Indiana as a 7-point underdog.
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Full-Game Total Pick
Miami has gone under the total in five straight home games, and that is unlikely to change on Wednesday night. The Heat have a rested defense coming into this matchup with three days of rest, and they are missing multiple scoring options. They have gone under in six of their last eight games overall, which can be attributed to having the top defense in the NBA. Indiana has gone under in four of its last five games, and it still needs time to round into top form with Haliburton back in the fold. Miami plays at one of the slowest paces in the league, ranked No. 28 in that category.