Nets vs. Heat Odds, Expert Pick, Prediction: Kevin Durant and Brooklyn Will Cover As Road Favorite (January 8)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant.
- The Heat are home underdogs when they host the Nets on Sunday in Miami.
- The Nets have been on fire recently, but will their hot shooting continue today on the road?
- Kenny Ducey breaks down the matchup and his best bet below.
Nets vs. Heat Odds
|Time||6 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Heat have reestablished momentum with a much needed win over the Suns, and now they’ll be faced with their toughest test in weeks when they welcome the Nets to Miami.
Brooklyn looks like an absolute juggernaut at the moment, so is there any reason to think Miami can stop its run? Find a betting pick and prediction for Nets vs. Heat below.
Nets Shooting Remains Elite
What else is there left to say about this team? The Nets have won 17 of their last 19 and enter Sunday with a 9-3 record against the spread in their last 12 contests. A lengthy winning streak came to an end earlier this week with a loss to the Bulls, but the Nets came back two nights later and covered as 4.5-point favorites in New Orleans.
Brooklyn now stands at 13-8 straight up and 12-9 ATS on the road and has been victorious in eight of 12 as a road favorite.
The key against the Pelicans was 3-point shooting; the Nets managed to knock down just 32.4% from deep in the loss to Chicago and responded by shooting 43.5% against New Orleans. While that was certainly a factor — and the Nets now stand second in 3-point shooting accuracy — it’s worth noting that they rank 18th in 3-point frequency. They rank third in midrange shots per game and first in success rate in that zone by a wide margin, hitting on 51.2% of looks.
So, if you’re not already well-acclimated with the Nets, the bottom line here is that they will live and die by their shooting. They remain one of the worst teams in the league in rebounding, and while Nic Claxton has chipped in plenty of scoring down low, the Nets are rarely taking shots in the paint.
Heat Defense Must Minimize Open Looks
That’s good news for the Miami Heat, who have started to really struggle in the frontcourt on defense. Opponents are converting on 67.3% of looks in the restricted area, which ranks just outside the bottom 10 in the NBA, and in the surrounding paint they’re making 46.8% of their shots, which is the third-highest rate in the league.
The Heat rank eighth in Defensive Rating, but it’s a wonder considering some of the numbers you’ll find. They’ve been subpar inside, and their midrange defense is below average as well. While the Heat have allowed wide open looks at the second-lowest rate in the NBA, they’ve been one of the guiltiest defenses at allowing what NBA Stats classifies as an “open” look with the closest defender within four to six feet.
Forget about the defensive metrics for a second; we need to talk about the Heat rotation. They’ve been seeking answers late in games, and heading into the week it seemed the pairing of Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo was the answer. With those two on the floor alongside Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, the Heat are a +14.9 per 100 possessions and have won five of seven games.
That’s in jeopardy here with Adebayo and Herro both questionable for this tilt. If they play, Miami will have the opportunity to get Oladipo out there in crunch time for some more run with these two and test out whether or not this is a flash in the pan or a solution to some of its late-game woes. That’s a big question mark, though.
There’s too much here that can go wrong for the Heat. The truth of the matter is that their level was poor against the Lakers, and their win over a battered and bruised Suns team was hardly impressive. I continue to question this defense and can’t get behind a team with 10 players on their injury report, including two vital members of the rotation.
The Nets have been amazing away from home and have found ways to win even when their best players have off nights. They should find success against a weak midrange defense and get stops defensively against a team which is still trying to figure out its best lineup combinations.
I like locking in the Nets at -3.5 considering the line will likely move somewhat significantly if one or both of the Heat’s starters in question are ruled out. I’d lay up to five points against a healthy Miami side, however.