Heat vs. Thunder Betting Odds
|Heat odds||+4 [BET NOW]|
|Thunder odds||-4 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+144/-172 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||220.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
The Miami Heat take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in a game with seeding implications for both teams. The Heat can lock themselves into the No. 4 seed in the East with a win, while the Thunder look to retain the 5th seed in the West.
The Miami Heat have two players listed on the injury report at the time of this writing: Kelly Olynyk (Probable – Thumb), and Kendrick Nunn (Questionable – Personal).
Miami has played better than its 3-3 bubble record — per Cleaning the Glass, the Heat are -0.7 expected wins in the bubble behind their sixth-best Net Rating (3.1) during the restart. They’ve been lead by their ability to limit their opponents’ eFG% and they’ve forced turnovers at the fourth-highest rate in the bubble.
The key to Miami’s offense is their ability to shoot from long range. They shoot 3-pointers at the second-highest rate in the league (next to the Rockets) and they can shoot teams out of the building. They’re able to space the floor very well because almost all of their players can shoot from long range, led by Duncan Robinson, who is shooting an incredible 44.5% from behind the arc. This opens up the interior for Bam Adebayo to take over.
The additions of Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala cannot be understated. Although their impact on the court has been negligible in terms of +/-, the leadership and experience they bring to this young Heat team is invaluable.
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder have four players listed on the injury report at the time of this writing: Nerlens Noel (Questionable – Ankle), Danilo Gallinari (Questionable – Ankle), Steven Adams (Questionable – Leg), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Questionable – Calf).
The Thunder are in the bottom half of the bubble in Net Rating (-1.4) even though they sit at 3-3. Part of the problem for the Thunder is they have not rebounded the basketball well, as they’ve only secured 48% of those opportunities, and if Steven Adams misses this game that certainly will not help. Additionally, they’ve struggled with turnovers, giving up the ball on 15.1% of possessions. This is a huge deviation from their 2.2 Net Rating, 49.1% rebound rate and 13.6% turnover rate during the regular season, per NBA.com.
Betting Analysis & Pick
These two teams are very evenly matched. The public did not have very high expectations for either going into this season, but they’ve both become surprise contenders.
This is an interesting matchup because the Heat need the 3-ball to win games, but the Thunder are the best team in the league at limiting opponents’ accuracy from deep in the bubble and the fourth-best over the course of the entire season. On the flip side, the Thunder rely heavily on the midrange shot and the Heat are a top team in the bubble at limiting opponents’ accuracy from midrange.
Both of these teams play at a slow PACE (possessions a team uses per game), and are in the bottom third in the league both before the hiatus and in the bubble, per NBA.com. Given the alignment of offensive and defensive strengths, along with the injuries, I think there may be some value on the under when it’s posted. These two teams played on January 17 and the over/under was set at 216.5, with Miami winning 115-108.
I like the Heat here. They should be motivated to lock themselves into the 4-seed in the East so they can rest their starters in what would become a meaningless game against the Pacers on Friday. Additionally, their style of play and shot selection give them an edge on the Thunder, who rely on the midrange game.
The Pick: Miami Heat +4