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This NBA Game Will Be Gross To Watch, But Smart To Bet

If you want to be entertained, don’t tune into this game tonight

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Tonight, the Miami Heat (13-9) travel to take on the Indiana Pacers (9-15) in a game that will feature two depleted squads. The Pacers (-5.5) are the home favorites and the over/under sits at 208 points. Before revealing the best bet, let’s take a look at who will be out tonight:

Injuries Galore

Bam Adebayo (OUT)

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports that the star big man will miss approximately six weeks, but there won't be a specific timeline for his return until after surgery, which is set for this weekend. Adebayo was averaging 18.7 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals across 32.9 minutes per game before the injury, so his absence will be a huge blow to the Heat. Dewayne Dedmon (knee), P.J. Tucker and KZ Okpala will likely all need to step up during Adebayo's lengthy absence.

Jimmy Butler (OUT) 

Butler continues to heal from a tailbone injury and the team expects to be without their starting forward for at least the next few contests. At this point, a potential return to action could arrive Monday against Memphis.

TJ McConnell (OUT)

McConnell was unable to practice Thursday due to his right wrist injury. Although the Pacers' medical staff is still determining the extent of the issue, it appears as though the 29-year-old will miss some time. Brad Wanamaker and Caris LeVert will likely see additional run when McConnell is held out.

Justin Holiday (OUT)

Holiday will miss this game due to the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols. 

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What These Injuries Mean

Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry are going to have to lead Miami’s offense much more than usual. After all, the Heat will be missing a combined 42.3 points, 16.0 rebounds and 8.5 assists from the absence of Adebayo and Butler. Herro has been the NBA’s best sixth man this year, averaging 21.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists over 33.7 minutes per contest, but Lowry has been wildly inconsistent, putting up 12.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.6 assists in 33.8 minutes. If both have an All-Star caliber performance, they’ll still need at least one of Duncan Robinson, P.J. Tucker, Gabe Vincent, Dewayne Dedmon or Max Strus to step up and play well above their expectations. 

No McConnell or Holiday spells trouble for Indiana’s second unit. The Pacers get 34.2 points, 14.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game from their bench and a large chunk of that is due to McConnell’s unsung ability to make things happen as both a scorer and facilitator in a high-energy role. Expect Malcolm Brogdon, Domantas Sabonis, Caris LeVert, Chris Duarte and Myles Turner to start and produce the overwhelming majority of Indiana’s outputs across the board in this contest as the team relies on guys like Jeremy Lamb, Kelan Martin, Torrey Craig, Oshae Brissett and Brad Wanamaker off the bench. 

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Best Bet: Heat-Pacers UNDER 208

If you haven’t already picked up on it, this game is going to most likely be a low-scoring, gross affair. Sure, 208 points in an NBA game is a low total. Yes, NBA players can score when given the opportunity and usage (shout out to Jeremy Lin). But, the Heat especially are too depleted to put up the number of points required to make this a high-scoring, or even moderate scoring, battle. Give me under 208 as the best bet in this spot.

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