Heat Pacers Odds
The Indiana Pacers (27-19) host the Miami Heat (29-13) on Friday, February 1st in a battle between two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. This game will be nationally televised on ESPN at 7:00 EST Friday. Oddsmakers have installed Miami as a 2.5-point road favorite at Indiana and a total set of 184.5 points.
Why Miami Covers
Miami is playing some of its best basketball of the season dating back to a 92-75 win at Golden State on January 16th. It has won five of its last six games overall with three of those victories coming on the road. That includes a 105-85 win at Brooklyn on Wednesday. Its only loss during this stretch came in double overtime at Boston.
While the Heat are red hot coming in, the Pacers are not. They have lost three of their last four games overall with their only win coming at home against the lowly Detroit Pistons. Indiana is now 5-11 against the spread in its last 16 games vs. a team with a winning record.
The fact that the Pacers are coming off a win actually sets them up for a recent negative trend. The Pacers are 1-5 against the spread in their last 6 games following a S.U. win. Indiana is also 4-9 against the spread in its last 13 vs. NBA Southeast division opponents.
Why Indiana Covers
While the Pacers have lost three of their last four, all three of those losses came on the road against Western Conference playoff contenders in Denver, Utah and Portland. They lost in overtime to the Jazz, and by a single point to the Nuggets. They certainly haven’t been the best road team in the league.
However, Indiana has been one of the best home teams in the business. It is 17-3 at home this season while outscoring opponents by 8.2 points per game. Miami is only 11-10 SU on the road this season, and 2-7 against the spread on the road vs. a team with a winning record this year.
Indiana took Miami to six games in the playoffs last year, and it won the lone meeting this season with an 87-77 home victory on January 8th. The underdog is 27-13-1 against the spread in the last 41 meetings. The Heat are 1-6 against the spread in their last 7 games vs. NBA Central division foes.