NBA Player Prop & Picks: Bet Jimmy Butler in Nets vs Heat (Nov. 16)
Via Megan Briggs/Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat looks on against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first quarter at Kaseya Center on November 06, 2023 in Miami, Florida.
NBA Player Prop Pick
|Prop||Jimmy Butler Under 23.5 Points (-119)|
|Matchup||Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami Heat|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
The Miami Heat are back home after a three-game road trip to face off against the Brooklyn Nets, and this presents an opportunity to bet against "regular season" Jimmy Butler's point total tonight.
Butler averages 20.0 points per game on the season and has failed to hit his points line in seven of nine games. His point total got boosted after a season-high 32-point performance against the Hornets, who rank 27th in defense and allow their opponents to score an average of 121.9 points per game (the fourth-highest amount in the league). Due to Kyle Lowry's foul trouble, Butler also assumed a more prominent on-ball role.
The matchup ahead is not favorable for Butler's shot diet, considering the Nets' improved defense since Nic Claxton's arrival. The team has improved from 18th to sixth in Defensive Rating while permitting the lowest scoring rate in the paint in a small three-game sample. This is important because Butler scores 60% of his baskets in the paint.
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On top of that, the Nets have several skilled on-ball defenders who can take turns guarding Butler, including Mikal Bridges, Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O'Neale.
Butler's offensive strategy revolves around his ability to drive to the basket and draw fouls. He has the highest Shooting Foul Rate among all active NBA players, which was key in his previous scoring outburst against the Hornets. However, it's worth noting that the Nets are the sixth-best team in the league in limiting free-throw attempts.
Butler averaged 19.0 points per game in the four games last season against the Nets, and Caleb Martin will return to the Heat's rotation tonight after missing 10 games due to a knee injury, which could further decrease Butler's Usage Rate. Even though Butler is missing his lead-scoring teammate Tyler Herro, I still like his chances of going under in a tough matchup against the Nets tonight.