Clippers vs. Heat Odds & Pick: Value on Miami Despite Injury Woes (Thursday, Jan. 28)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat.
- The Los Angeles Clippers travel to face the Miami Heat on Thursday night in a matchup between two shorthanded teams.
- With so many variables up in the air for this game, where does the betting value lie?
- Roberto Arguello previews this matchup and shares his betting pick below.
Clippers vs. Heat Odds
|Moneyline||+148 / -176|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
The Los Angeles Clippers travel to Miami to face the Heat Thursday night in a matchup between two shorthanded teams.
The Clippers are playing the second game of a six-game East Coast road trip, but they will be without Kawhi Leonard (COVID-19 protocols), Paul George (COVID-19 protocols), and Patrick Beverly (knee) for the second straight game.
The Heat will also be shorthanded and on the second leg of a back-to-back as they lost by 27 at home on Wednesday night to the Nuggets when they played without Jimmy Butler (cleared COVID-19 protocols and is working on conditioning), Tyler Herro (neck), Goran Dragic (groin), Maurice Harkless (thigh), Meyers Leonard (shoulder), and Chris Silva (hip).
With so many variables up in the air for this game, where is the betting value? Let’s dig into matchups and find out.
Los Angeles Clippers
When available, the Clippers’ offense runs through Paul George and Kawhi Leonard the majority of the time, but without them and point guard Patrick Beverly (who is shooting a career-high 42% on 3s this season), the Clippers need other players to step up.
If the Clippers hope to cover or pull the upset, they will need shot creators like Lou Williams, Luke Kennard, and Reggie Jackson to play well. Against the Hawks, these three each had double-digit shot attempts while Serge Ibaka was the only other Clipper to do so.
The Clippers need their three available shot creators to not only score but facilitate quality looks for players like Nicolas Batum, Ivica Zubac, and Ibaka who won’t get their own shots. Taking care of the basketball will really help against Miami, which ranks 29th in Turnover Rate in the league (and is worse without Dragic, Herro, and Butler).
The Heat defense is allowing opposing teams to shoot the second-most threes against them per possession and also ranks in the bottom third of the league in 3-point defense, per Cleaning The Glass. If the Clippers can get Williams, Kennard, and Jackson to take care of the ball get into the lane, they should have good looks for shooters like Batum and Ibaka on the perimeter.
If the Heat hope to win and cover, they need Kelly Olynyk and Duncan Robinson to get out of their slumps and Bam Adebayo to continue playing aggressively. The Heat are in a similar situation offensively and will likely be without several of their most common initiators on offense.
Olynyk and Robinson, two starters for the Heat, have really struggled in the past few games. Olynyk ranked in the 13th percentile or worse in points per shot attempt (per Cleaning The Glass) in each of the past three games leading up to the Nuggets game. He plays an important role in stretching opposing defenses as the starting center so that Adebayo has more room to operate inside the arc.
With Bam scoring better than ever over the past two weeks, Olynyk hasn’t been able to cash in on quality looks, and Robinson has also struggled. In each of his past three games, Robinson has shot below 28% on 3s (he is shooting 42% for the season).
With two Dragic and Butler out (and Herro on the fence), the Heat’s two best starting shooters need to play better to avoid the first quarter deficits that have become a theme for the Heat without Butler available.
While the Heat need their shooters to step up, they also need Adebayo to continue playing aggressively. Adebayo dropped a career-high 41 points on Saturday night as his offensive game has risen to another level this season starting with his shooting.
Per Cleaning The Glass, Adebayo has made a huge jump in his long-midrange accuracy among bigs from the 30th percentile last season (25%) to the 86th percentile this season (53%). Coming into the Nuggets game, Adebayo ranked in the 97th percentile in isolation and in the 94th percentile off the dribble.
Bam Adebayo’s Year 4 vs Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Year 4:
20.7 PPG | 9.0 RPG | 5.4 APG | 60.7% FG | 85.7% FT
22.9 PPG | 8.8 RPG | 5.4 APG | 52.1% FG | 77% FT pic.twitter.com/3bJvuEQVoH
— Heat Nation (@HeatNationCom) January 27, 2021
Bam “no ceilings” Adebayo was one of the most improved players in the league last season, and he may have improved even more this season — don’t take it from me, take it from Eric Spoelstra.
Adebayo’s numbers look eerily similar to Giannis Antetokounmpo’s fourth season, and the Heat need him to continue playing aggressively as a playmaker, especially if Dragic, Butler, and Herro remain out on Thursday.
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I like but don’t love the value on Heat -4.5 to win without further updates on the statuses of key players for Miami.
The Heat have lost four games in a row and have had cold shooting from two of their more important shooters over that span, Robinson and Olynyk, despite Adebayo playing his best basketball.
On the other hand, the Clippers are playing without Leonard, Beverley, and George — the three players who have the best On/Off splits (at +22.9, +20.8, and +15.8 points per 100 possessions, respectively) on the team.
The players taking their spots as initiators of the offense — Lou Williams, Reggie Jackson, and Luke Kennard — each have On/Off splits between -11 and -18. If Herro is available to play, I will bet the Heat -4.5 with value down to -6.
If he isn’t available, I will wait to bet live on the Heat as they have been inconsistent offensively without their top guys and turnovers have been a huge problem. This inconsistency will lead to volatility, which is a live bettor’s friend.
I like the value of betting on the Heat moneyline live at +100 or better as long as Olynyk and Robinson are getting good looks from beyond the arc. If they are struggling (making fewer than 30% of combined their 3s), then wait to get the Heat at +140 or better live.
Pick: Heat -4.5 (down to -6) if key player(s) are available; Heat Moneyline +100/+140 or better if key players are unavailable