Miami are rarely billed as underdogs but that is exactly where they find themselves for the trip to the Hoosier State.
The Heat (16-5) laid their Detroit ghosts to rest last time out and are now on a two-game win streak, making them 12-2 from their last 14.
However, Indiana are currently setting the pace in the NBA, with a league-best 18-3 record, and as such are labelled favourites for this matchup at 10/11 with the -3 handicap.
Home form is a large part of the Pacers’ .857 win percentage, with nine wins from nine outings at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and Frank Vogel’s side will be confident of picking up yet another victory.
That said, reigning champions the Heat are 7-1 from their last eight road trips and should be the pick at +3 for 10/11.
The Florida-based outfit are 1-4 on the road against the Pacers but look well placed to improve that record, with Indiana 2-2 from their last four outings.
With those losses coming against Oklahoma City Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers it can be argued that the Pacers have struggled against the better teams of late and this will further boost Miami’s confidence.
With Miami and Indiana meeting each other in the last two playoff campaigns, Heat v Pacers is one of the current big rivalries and while this should ensure both sets of players are pumped up for the encounter, the visitors’ superior scoring record should see them home despite the handicap.
Despite topping the league the Pacers offense is ranked 19th with an average of 98.10, while Miami are ranked sixth and five points better off at 103.52.
So while a hard-fought game is in store, expect the Heat to set their stall out in what looks set to be a post-season encounter for a third straight year.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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