Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers Friday NBA Preview & Free Pick

Pacers vs Heat NBA Handicapping

If there’s a watershed game on the Indiana Pacers’ schedule, tonight’s tester at home against the Miami Heat could be it.

Miami Heat (29-13) at Indiana Pacers (27-19)
Friday, Feb. 1
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
7 p.m. EST
Spread – Heat -2 at JustBet
O/U – 183

Matchup | Preview

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The Pacers have been a bit of tease this season, one of several teams auditioning to be 1A in the Eastern Conference as the top challenger to the Heat. Boston’s problems have created an opening, and the Knicks, Bulls, Nets and Pacers have all had job interviews.

With a long stretch of road games behind them, the Pacers now basically will plant themselves at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indy for just about the entire month of February. Indiana has only two road games this month – quick excursions to Philadelphia (Feb. 6) and Detroit (Feb. 23).

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The Pacers know it’s time to chow down at home, and if they can’t leapfrog past NY, Chicago and Brooklyn over the next several weeks, it probably won’t happen.

Indiana is a tough out at home, where the Pacers have gone 16-3 this season. But the first priority, starting tonight, is to tighten up a defense that sprang a few leaks in road losses to Portland, Utah and Denver. The Pacers lost all three games, allowing their opponents to shoot a combined 53 percent from the floor.

Indy stopped the bleeding Thursday night with a decisive 98-79 victory at home over Detroit, but that one came with a swollen asterisk because the Pistons were depleted after making the Tayshawn Price deal.
The Heat, meanwhile, are dealing with a few problems of their own – poor rebounding and boredom. [ad-6571516]

They seem to be dealing with the boredom part – their double-OT loss in Boston on Sunday is the only thing that separates Miami from a 6-game winning streak.

As far as the rebounding goes, the Heat have fallen to dead last in the league in that category and have signed bigs Chris Andersen (Yup, Birdman) and Jarvis Varnado.

Rest assured that neither will be taking too many shots away from LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh or even Ray Allen, or their stays in South Beach will be short. Get a few boards and get out of the way.


Can the Pacers control tempo and keep this game in the high 80s? Are the Heat going to be fully invested as they pay the third of four games on the road?

It all adds up to a Pacer win, with a possible parlay by also playing the under. The first game this season between these teams at Indiana also went under (Pacers 87-77), and there’s no reason this won’t, too, though oddsmakers have tightened the line by four points.

Look for a big game from Roy Hibbert, who had 14 rebounds the last time these teams met.

By Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!