NBA Betting Odds, Picks and Predictions: Suns vs. Heat (Saturday, August 8)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Devin Booker
Suns vs. Heat Betting Odds
|Suns odds||-1.5 [BET NOW]|
|Heat odds||+1.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-125/+105 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||224.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
Just like everyone expected, the Phoenix Suns are 4-0 and in prime position to make the West playoffs. Wait, what?
These aren’t fake wins either. Phoenix beat the Mavericks, Clippers, and Pacers over the last week, and suddenly they have a real chance at the play-in game. It doesn’t get any easier though.
The Heat are 2-2 in the bubble and still in good position to “host” a first-round series, and they never really take a game off. If Phoenix wants to extend their longest winning streak of the season, they’ll have to earn it.
It’s rare we get to see a young team come together in real time before our eyes, but it appears the Phoenix Suns are making The Leap. Devin Booker is averaging 28, 4, and 6 and would be in the running for a hypothetical Bubble MVP.
Deandre Ayton is a walking double-double and continues to take huge strides defensively. Young forwards Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson have moved into the starting lineup and provided spacing and defense. This is a real team!
On the season, the Suns are still right around league average at both offense and defense, but those metrics have both ticked up over the last week as you’d expect for a team that entered the bubble 13th in the West.
The Suns are still missing Kelly Oubre and Aron Baynes, but that appears to be just as well since Phoenix has found a nice rotation without them.
The Heat opened the bubble with a big win over the shorthanded Nuggets but have stumbled through the past week, losing twice but surprising the Celtics without Jimmy Butler. Butler is out again for this one, still nursing a sore foot, while Goran Dragic remains questionable with a sprained ankle. Now Kendrick Nunn will be missing too, after leaving the bubble for a personal reason.
But the Heat have played well in these last two games without Butler. They shocked Boston and looked well on their way to shocking a pretty full-staffed Bucks team before Milwaukee pulled things together for a late comeback.
It’s not a pretty rotation without Butler and Dragic. Kelly Olynyk is overmatched as a starter, and the bench has no scoring punch outside, especially if Tyler Herro starts.
Miami’s offense has fallen outside of the top five. The Heat will still play hard, always, but there’s a serious lack of talent right now. With more minutes for Andre Iguodala, Solomon Hill, and Derrick Jones, the Heat are just hoping to slow things down and grind it out on defense.
At this point, Miami appears to be using this final week to get healthy for a tough playoff series against the Pacers or 76ers.
Betting Analysis & Pick
As well as the Suns have played, every game remains must-win right now. They can still finish 8-0 in the bubble and miss the play-in entirely, unless they get help with a handful of losses by the Grizzlies and Blazers.
Even one loss makes the road impossibly harder. The Suns are playing well right now — and they’re playing desperate. With the Thunder, 76ers, and Mavericks still to come, these shorthanded Heat are surely the softest opponent left on the schedule. Phoenix absolutely has to have this one.
I’m just sure how the Heat will create offense. Butler, Dragic, and Nunn are this team’s main creators. That trio is responsible for over assists and almost 40 field goal attempts a game, and that is a whole lot of creation to replace against a defense that’s starting to come together.
The Suns opened as underdogs and I snatched up that +120 moneyline, but they’re at -1.5 and rising as of Saturday morning. I still like the play at -1.5, and the Bubble Suns are 4-0 ATS.
But if that rises much further, I’m just as content playing the Heat team under at 111.5. If Miami does find a way to win, it’ll be because of a throwback defensive game. They just don’t have the weapons to keep up offensively.