Nets vs Heat Prediction, Picks | Best Bet for Thursday
Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat drives to the basket against the Brooklyn Nets during the first quarter of the game at Kaseya Center. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Nets vs Heat Prediction, Picks for Thursday, Nov. 16
Here's everything you need to know about Nets vs Heat on Thursday, Nov. 16 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.
The Brooklyn Nets beat a different Miami Heat team a few weeks ago… we think.
The 7-4 Heat are on a six-game winning streak since that 1-4 start. The 6-5 Nets are also healthier now with Nic Claxton, Spencer Dinwiddie and Cam Johnson all back. The Heat also bring back Caleb Martin tonight but are missing Tyler Herro.
Let's get to our Nets vs Heat prediction and pick.
Nets vs Heat Prediction
The last time these two teams played each other, the Heat were still in their stretch of blowing fourth-quarter leads.
The Nets were without Claxton, Johnson and Dinwiddie — three starters — plus Dennis Smith Jr. and still won 109-105 behind a fourth quarter where they outscored the Heat in Brooklyn 34-22. The Heat even led by 15 points in the third quarter, but of course, this was part of their 1-4 start, and they've won six straight since.
Mikal Bridges led the Nets in that win with 21 points, though he only shot 7-for-16 and 2-for-7 from 3. Herro led the Heat with 30 points and did so on an efficient 12-for-23 from the field and 6-of-10 from 3.
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The Nets aren't great, but they might be good?
At a minimum, they fight like hell. They resemble the 2018-19 likable playoff team that preceded their failed big-three era, which somehow was a bigger blockbuster flop than the initial Nets experiment of the early 2010s.
But this team has "will win games they shouldn't and will lose games they shouldn't" written all over.
They're 6-5 with a +1.8 Net Rating but haven't beaten great teams. Their best win to date is probably in Miami, and they otherwise have triumphed over the Magic, Clippers and Wizards at home and have road wins in Charlotte against the Hornets and in Chicago against the Bulls.
On the flip side, the Nets have extremely credible losses. Their three home defeats were to the Cavaliers, Bucks and Celtics, and on the road, they've lost in Boston and Dallas. Only one loss, in Boston, has been by more than 10 points.
The Nets will be without Cam Thomas (ankle) and Ben Simmons (hip) tonight.
Without Thomas, Bridges is the unquestioned No. 1 on offense as he is averaging 20.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game, though Dinwiddie finally exploded for 29 points and nine assists in their Tuesday win over the Magic.
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The Heat are one of two teams in the NBA that is +3 or more in the win column with a negative Net Rating (-0.2) this season –the other is the Bucks, who are also 7-4 with a -0.7 Net Rating.
However, the Heat have a +4.8 Net Rating during their six-game winning streak, ranking eighth in the NBA in that time, which coincides with two major factors — Haywood Highsmith moving into the starting lineup and Jaime Jaquez Jr. becoming a real NBA player.
Herro, who is out with a sprained ankle, was injured early in the third game of the winning streak against the Grizzlies.
As good as he's looked individually, the Heat are still cruising along without him, again, and their current lineups flow together extremely well — which the advanced numbers would back up — even in his absence, though at least some of them could be due to a light schedule.
The Heat, while lately winning road games they might've blown last year, have two key wins this season: at home against the Lakers and on the road against the Hawks. However, they've otherwise gone down to the best teams they've seen on paper as they've lost to the Bucks, Celtics, Timberwolves and… the Nets… hmm.
The seven Heat wins this season have come against teams ranking ninth, 21st, 24th, 26th, 28th, 29th and 30th in Net Rating — only one in the top 20 — and their losses came to teams that are first, fourth, 12th (the Nets) and 18th in Net Rating.
Anyway, Bam Adebayo might be an MVP candidate, though MVP shouldn't be thoroughly dissected before Thanksgiving. That said, Adebayo is averaging 23.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game with 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks. This list includes would-be career-highs in everything but assists.
Adebayo is the only player in the NBA who has been in the top 5 in Defensive Player of the Year voting and on NBA All-Defense teams in each of the last four seasons.
Jimmy Butler has begun to wake up in recent games. He's back to 20.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game this season.
Highsmith, Jaquez and the legitimately improved Duncan Robinson are fixtures as well.
Herro is currently the only significant injury on the roster and may not play for weeks. Martin, who has been sidelined with a knee injury, is listed as available to play on Thursday and hasn't played since the season opener.
Nets vs Heat Picks, Odds
For this game, I'm eyeing one side bet and one prop.
For the side, I like the Nets on the fourth-quarter moneyline at -102 on DraftKings. Even on this streak, the Heat still aren't winning all the fourth quarters, though they are closing better. The Heat are -36 in fourth quarters this season, -15 on this six-game winning streak and 2-4 straight up in the final stanza in their last six, including 3-8 on the season and 0-4 at home.
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I lean toward Miami winning, but expect the Nets to close strong.
I'm also betting Jimmy Butler over 1.5 steals at +100 on DraftKings. Butler has gotten two or more steals in four of his last five games, and the Heat now force 17.4 turnovers per 100 possessions, ranking second in the NBA behind the Magic at 17.5.
The Heat are also fourth in steals per 100 possessions with 9.2. Butler is and has been among the best free safeties in the NBA, and he tends to hit this over when he's rolling on both ends.