The Miami Heat’s surplus of firepower is impressive but NBA bettors sometimes forget just how dominant they can be defensively.
Miami, which has ranked among the Top 6 defensive teams each year since the formation of the “Big Three”, is especially stingy in the playoffs. The Heat are giving up only 84.7 points per game through their first two series this postseason and have held playoff opponents to an average of just 88.3 points over the past three years.
Despite those impressive defensive numbers, Miami owns a 27-22-4 over/under mark in that span. However, under bettors found value in their Game 1 totals during these three playoff runs. The Heat are 3-6-1 over/under in Game 1 of a series since 2011 (65 percent under), including a 1-4-1 O/U mark the last two postseasons.
Miami has limited opponents to 88.3 points in Game 1 situations in that time frame – its playoff norm – but has scored an average of 94.8 points, which is slightly lower than its 96.2 points per game over the last three playoffs.
The total for Game 1 versus the Indiana Pacers opened at 183 points and has been trimmed to 182.5.
The Pacers and Heat finished 2-1 over/under in three meetings this season and own a 6-4 over/under count in their last 10 head-to-head games overall. They posted a 3-3 over/under record in their six-game playoff series last year.