Heat vs. Wizards Odds & Picks: Miami Will Dominate Down Low

Heat vs. Wizards Odds & Picks: Miami Will Dominate Down Low article feature image
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Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images. Pictured: Bam Adebayo

  • The Heat are a 5.5-point favorite over the Wizards, who may be without Russell Westbrook in the second game of a back-to-back.
  • Miami should dominate down low with its new starting lineup that's posted 1.23 points per possession together this season.
  • See the prop we're betting for Heat vs. Wizards:

Heat vs. Wizards Odds

Heat Odds -5.5 [BET NOW]
Wizards Odds +5.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -235 / +194 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 231.5 [BET NOW]
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV NBATV
Odds as of Saturday at 1 a.m. ET and via FanDuel.

The Miami Heat (3-4) face the Washington Wizards (2-7) in a Saturday night Southeast Division showdown.

The Heat have alternated losses and wins to start the season, and most recently fell 107-105 to the Celtics on Wednesday. The Wizards also lost to the Celtics Friday after falling behind big in the first half and mounting a comeback that ultimately fell short in the fourth quarter.

With the Wizards playing the second game of a back-to-back against the Heat, Bradley Beal will need to carry the team as Russell Westbrook likely rests. He has missed the second game of the two other back-to-backs so far this season.

Beal has scored at least 27 points in each game this season and has combined for 101 points in his last two games. While he likely has another big scoring night, expect Bam Adebayo to lead the Heat to a road win.

Miami Heat

Adebayo has improved as he has extended the range on his jump shot this season. Per Cleaning the Glass, Adebayo’s midrange attempts have climbed steadily each season while his long midrange jump shot has been most efficient this season (making 50% of these shots which ranks in the 66th percentile among bigs).

This has also helped open up space for him to use his jab step to stretch the defense and get to the rim as he is shooting a career-high 85% within four feet from the basket (88th percentile among bigs, also per Cleaning The Glass).

Adebayo is also a beneficiary of Kelly Olynyk joining Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson, and Tyler Herro in the Heat’s starting unit. This group has excelled offensively as they have put up 122.9 points per 100 possessions.

The Heat started six different starting units in their first six games, but once Olynyk joined the lineup in the sixth game when the Heat started quickly at the Thunder, coach Eric Spoelstra kept the same lineup for the first time in the Heat’s seventh game.

Olynyk’s shooting and passing ability stretch the floor on offense, leaving more spacing for Adebayo to run dribble handoffs to set up shooters, pull up from mid-range, or get to the bucket. This starting unit has a +4.3 net rating (although it is a small sample size) while the Heat’s net rating in all of Adebayo’s minutes is -3.6.

In fact, each of the four lineups in which Adebayo and Olynyk have played together this season has a positive net rating. Adebayo and Olynyk aren’t the best defensive frontcourt duo on the team, but they have complemented each other well and outplayed their opponents so far.


Washington Wizards

If the Wizards hope to pull the upset over the defending Eastern Conference champs, they will need to take advantage of the Heat’s turnover and rebounding inefficiencies.

The Heat rank last in the NBA in turnover percentage (17.7%). The Heat also rank 24th in defensive rebound rate and last in offensive rebound percentage. The Heat showed last season that they can hang with anyone when they get shots up, but shot deficits due to turnovers and poor rebounding have given opponents extra shots against them in the early season, and, consequently, they have a losing record.

Beal will need another huge game Russell Westbrook to carry the load. With Olynyk starting in the Heat’s frontcourt, this should give Thomas Bryant, who ranks in the 98th percentile among bigs in points per shot attempt (per Cleaning The Glass), more opportunities to score.

Bryant has been above average shooting at the rim, in the midrange, and from beyond the arc among bigs. He will need a big night to help set up easier opportunities for shooters on the perimeter such as Raul Neto (who likely will start in Westbrook’s absence), Davis Bertans, and rookie Deni Avdija.

Heat-Wizards Pick

Expect the Heat to put up points with Olynyk and Adebayo in the frontcourt, especially against a Wizards team that ranks 24th in defensive rating and dead last in midrange shooting percentage allowed. The Wizards also 29th in field goal percentage allowed and 28th in three-point percentage allowed.

After losing to the Celtics Friday, a dejected Bradley Beal noted, “we can’t guard a parked car.” Furthermore, the Wizards are first in pace among all teams, so Adebayo should have plenty of opportunities to show off his extended jump shot range against the Wizard defense.

While I lean toward the Heat to cover the five points, I like the value better on FanDuel’s player performance double with Bam Adebayo to score 20 or more points and the Heat to win at +240. I also like the value of the single-game parlay on FanDuel with Bam Adebayo to go Over 5.5 assists and the Heat to win by 5.5 +260 (would play to +220).

Pick: Bam Adebayo to score 20 or more and the Heat to win +240 (play to +200)

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