Suns vs. Heat Odds, Preview & Expert Pick: Value on the Over/Under With Star Injuries Looming (November 14)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Caleb Martin #16 of the Miami Heat defends Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns.
- The Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat face off in South Beach Monday night, and both teams are dealing with injuries.
- Chris Paul and Tyler Herro are questionable as the Heat enter the game as 1.5-point favorites at home.
- Austin Wang explains why the over/under — and a player prop — may hold more value than either side.
Suns vs. Heat Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
On Monday evening, the Miami Heat host the Phoenix Suns in the "Arena Formerly Known As FTX." I anticipate this will be a fun cross-conference matchup between two powerhouses, but two big names loom on the injury report. Chris Paul and Tyler Herro are both listed as questionable dealing with foot injuries.
I expect we will not get clarity on their statuses until Monday evening, so let's break down the game and see if we can extract some betting value with this in mind.
Defense Slipping for Shorthanded Suns
Paul is in danger of missing his third consecutive game. It appears that the Suns are not willing to risk any further injury to their star point guard at such an early stage of the regular season.
“As much as he wants to get out there, there’s no way we’re going to push it in any regard. We just have to wait and see. Unless he’s 150%, we’re not going to put him on the floor.” #Suns Chris Paul (heel) questionable Monday at Miami https://t.co/TmVPQTt5EC via @azcentralpic.twitter.com/MQ8abiA0AV
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) November 14, 2022
The Suns' Offensive Rating decreases by 7.8 points per 100 possessions when he is off the court, per Basketball Reference. It is no surprise that one of the best point guards of all time gives any offense a boost, but it doesn't necessarily mean more points as the overall Pace is slower and the Defensive Rating improves when he is playing. Without Paul in the lineup, the Suns are 13-8 to the over since the 2020-21 season.
Cameron Payne will be the starting point guard if Paul is out again, and he will split ball-handling duties with Devin Booker. Both of them push the pace a little more.
The Suns will be without Cameron Johnson for 1-2 months as he recovers from knee surgery. They've missed their sweet-shooting wing man, as he was hitting 2.8 3-pointers per game on 43.1% shooting from behind the arc. Unfortunately, with Jae Crowder gone, Johnson out and Paul potentially sitting out for another game, their rotation is mighty thin.
Is the Market Wrong About the Heat?
Their defense has taken a step back this season — now ranked 15th compared to fourth last season, per NBA Advanced Stats. Losing P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris during the offseason took away a lot of grit and toughness from this Heat team. They re-signed Victor Oladipo this past summer, but he has yet to play a game this season.
To replace Tucker, they moved Herro to the starting lineup. Max Strus, Gabe Vincent and Caleb Martin have all been getting additional playing time this season. With Herro out, Strus has taken this opportunity to step up and shine. He scored 31 points in Miami's last game against the Charlotte Hornets.
All three of the Miami's games this season without Herro have gone over the total. Here is an interesting stat: since the 2019-20 season, the Heat are 20-7-1 to the over at home when Herro sits, per the SDQL at Gimme the Dog. Perhaps it is just a coincidence, but perhaps the market over-adjusts for his absence.
Due to their high defensive intensity, grind-it-out style of play, the totals on Heat games are usually set very low. They've had a strong over/under record in the past couple of years. For games when the total is 218 or lower, those are 60-35-7 to the over (63.2%), per the SDQL.
I think with both defenses taking a step back as of late, the over is worth a look here. Paul appears likely to sit, and if so, I think the Suns defense will suffer and they will play faster.
I would love it more if Herro suits up, but they've shown they don't miss a beat in scoring with Strus getting more touches as a result. I make this total 219, so I think there's some value here up to 217.
If Herro is out, I would highly consider taking a look at Strus's 3-point props. He has averaged 8.8 3-point attempts in his six starts. He could be in for another big night from behind the arc.
Pick: Over 216