Heat vs. Cavaliers Odds, Expert Pick, Prediction | NBA Betting Preview (January 31)

Heat vs. Cavaliers Odds, Expert Pick, Prediction | NBA Betting Preview (January 31) article feature image

Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Donovan Mitchell and Kevin Love

  • The Cleveland Cavaliers host the Miami Heat in a matchup of Eastern Conference contenders on Tuesday night.
  • Cleveland has been installed as the favorite, but should the questionable status of Jimmy Butler have any affect on how to approach this from a betting standpoint?
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including how to bet it.

Heat vs. Cavaliers Odds

Heat Odds+5.5
Cavaliers Odds-5.5
Time7:30 p.m. ET
TVNBA League Pass
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Miami Heat will play their second game of a four-game road trip on Tuesday night when they go head-to-head with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The first game of Miami's road trip did not go as planned, as the Heat suffered a 122-117 loss at the hands of the Charlotte Hornets. However, the Heat have still played good basketball as of late and had won four of five games prior to that loss.

On the other hand, Cleveland has been all over the place in the month of January. The Cavs are 8-7 overall this month and have not won two games in a row since January 4th.

Both Miami and Cleveland will look to find more consistency in this matchup, but injuries for both squads are likely to play a role. Here are the odds and prediction for the Eastern Conference matchup between the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Miami Heat

The Miami Heat managed to put up 117 points in a loss to the Hornets on Sunday afternoon, but that level of offensive production has not been the norm for the Heat this season.

According to TeamRankings, Miami ranks last in points per game with just 108.6. The Heat have been held to 100 points or fewer in three of their last five games, further displaying that this is an offense that lacks consistent fire power.

The biggest reason for such a low scoring output is Miami's lack of a consistent perimeter shooter. Tyler Herro and Caleb Martin both shoot 37% from behind the arc, but everyone else on the Heat roster is below 34%. As a result, the Heat are shooting just 33.4% from three as a team this season, down from their league-leading 37.9% a season ago.

Another issue facing the Heat is their pace of play. According to NBA.com, the Heat rank 28th in Pace this season, generating just 97.18 offensive possessions per game. Pace doesn't always have a large impact on the game, but combining Miami's shooting inefficiencies with the fact that the Heat don't give themselves many opportunities to score is a recipe for a low offensive output.

Miami is going to need to figure some things out on the offensive end of the floor if it wants to compete in this matchup.

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Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavaliers have had an up and down start to 2023, but Cleveland has had plenty of success on its home court in January and the entire season for that matter.

Cleveland has played six games at home since January 1st, a stretch of time in which it has gone 5-1 overall. In those six games the Cavaliers are scoring an average of 116.3 points per game while simultaneously holding their opponents to an average of just 107.7 points per game, showing that this team is getting the job done on both ends of the floor.

That has been the story for most of the season for Cleveland. The Cavaliers are 10th in Offensive Rating at home (116.2) and third in Defensive Rating at home (107.8). That Net Rating of 8.4 ranks fourth in the NBA.

The main reason for Cleveland's up and down month has been the absence of Donovan Mitchell, but it appears that he will back in the lineup after being taken off of the injury report and playing on Sunday against the Clippers. That gives this team a much-needed boost on the offensive end.

Heat-Cavaliers Pick

Both Cleveland and Miami boast a great defense, but the gap in offensive production between the two teams leans heavily in Cleveland's favor. I believe that will give the Cavaliers the edge in this matchup.

Cleveland has also been the most dominant team against the spread at home this year. The Cavs' dominance on both ends has allowed them to have an ATS record of 17-8-1 at home this season (TeamRankings), while Miami's ATS record on the road is just 10-13-1.

Jimmy Butler is also questionable for this matchup, which would certainly not help Miami's struggling offense. His status is something to keep our eyes on.

I like Cleveland to continue its against-the-spread dominance in this one even if Butler is available for Miami. I would play the spread to 6.5.

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Nick Sterling
Jul 21, 2024 UTC