Suns vs. Heat NBA Odds & Picks: Grab the Value on the Road Team (Tuesday, March 23)
Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns, Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat.
- The Phoenix Suns are surging in the West while the Miami Heat are cooling down in the East entering their matchup Tuesday.
- Roberto Arguello explains why he sees value is on the road team with a short spread.
- He gives his full game analysis for the matchup below.
Suns vs. Heat Odds
|Moneyline||-115 / -105|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
The Phoenix Suns face the Heat Tuesday night in Miami in the first meeting between these teams since the bubble.
The Suns are playing some of the best basketball in the NBA and are comfortably in second place in the Western Conference.The Heat were red hot winning 11 of their past 15 games, but they have dropped three straight as their offense has gone a bit cold recently from behind the arc.
Can the Heat turn it around when they host the Suns as one-point favorites? Let's dig into the matchup and see where we can find some value.
The Suns have won 20 of their last 25 games behind their two elite guards, Chris Paul and Devin Booker, who have the ability to distribute, score efficiently and create shots for themselves with a the clock running down. Both Paul and Booker rank in the 73rd percentile or higher in points per 100 shot attempts and in the 90th percentile or higher in assists percentage among their position groups.
The Suns also have strong defenders Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder (as Heat fans know) who can spread the floor and make shots. The Suns' success on offense is due in large part to the fact that they are shooting the sixth-highest percentage (39.0%) on 3-pointers while holding their opponents to the fourth-lowest percentage (34.9%) in the NBA.
The Suns have 3 players shooting at least 50% on catch-and-shoot 3s:
Cam Payne: 54.1%
Chris Paul: 51.4%
Langston Galloway: 50.0%
That's 3 of the top 8 guys in the league. Insane. None of them are super high volume unfortunately (Galloway could be if you PLAYED him)
— Sam Cooper (@scooperhoops) March 21, 2021
Furthermore, Suns opponents are attempting the fourth-fewest 3s (33.4% of shots) in the NBA. The Suns must continue defending the 3-point line at a high level as the Heat have struggled shooting lately, but the Suns must limit the good looks that players like Duncan Robinson and Kelly Olynyk get from beyond the arc.
The Heat are allowing the most 3-point attempts in the league (43.4% of opponent shots), so the Suns will need to take advantage of their opportunities and make the extra pass to get the best looks.
The Heat’s three leading 3-point shooters in attempts have all seen their shooting regress this season. Duncan Robinson leads the team with 8.6 3-point attempts per game, but his 3-point shooting percentage has fallen from 44.6% last season to 38.2% this season.
Kelly Olynyk (5.7 3PA) and Tyler Herro (5.6 3PA) are second and third in 3-point attempts, but they have also regressed as Olynyk has dropped from 40.6% to 32.2% on 3s this season while Herro has dropped from 38.9% to 31.7%.
Their collective regression is a big reason why the Heat went from having the second-highest 3-point shooting percentage in the NBA at 38.6% to the fourth-worst this season at 34.7%.
The Heat have struggled mightily over their three-game losing streak as they have made just eight of 40 attempts on wide-open 3s, per NBA tracking stats. The Heat’s 20% accuracy on open 3-pointers since last Wednesday ranks second-worst in the entire NBA, and that will need to improve drastically for them to beat the Suns.
While the Heat need to shoot better, they also will need Jimmy Butler at his best. Butler’s ability to make plays on both ends of the court is unparalleled for this Heat team, and they will need his playmaking more than usual on offense if Goran Dragic (questionable) remains out with lower back spasms.
Butler will play an important role defensively, likely guarding Booker while also taking chances off the ball as he leads the NBA with 2.0 steals per game. The Heat defense has been elite since his return to action, and any easy opportunities they can generate in transition will greatly help their slumping offense.
With the Heat slumping offensively, I like the value on the Suns as short underdogs. The Suns and Heat are both elite defensive teams, but the Suns’ offense ranks in the top third of the NBA while the Heat’s offense ranks in the bottom third.
The Heat also have major question marks with other playmakers — Kendrick Nunn has taken a step back in March after scoring efficiently and playing arguably his best basketball as a pro in February. Paul and Booker are more consistent scorers for the Suns than Butler and Adebayo are for the Heat right now, and the Suns’ supporting cast has also been playing better recently. (I also think we could see revenge game from Crowder after the Heat declined to offer him a longer-term deal like the Suns did in free agency.)
The Suns have been at their best in their past eight games on the road against teams with winning records as they are a 6-2 against the spread over that span. Take the Suns to continue this streak as short underdogs with value down to -2.
Pick: Suns -1 (bet down to -2)