The Miami Heat are beginning a four-game road trip and it’s starting at Moda Center where they will be facing the Portland Trail Blazers. With that said, it’s time to continue our NBA odds series and make a Heat-Blazers prediction and pick.
The Heat is coming off a big win against the Lakers at home to win five of their last ten games for a record of 27-25 which is good for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, the Blazers are also sitting in the sixth seed in the Western Conference with a record of 31-21 and have won six of their last ten games. The Blazers beat the Detroit Pistons 118-103 last night behind Enes Kanter’s 24 points and 30 rebounds.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Heat-Blazers odds.
NBA Odds: Heat-Blazers Odds
Miami Heat -1 (-110)
Portland Trail Blazers +1 (-110)
Over 222.5 Points (-110)
Under 222.5 Points(-110)
Why The Heat Could Cover The Spread
After losing six straight games recently, the Heat have been able to turn things around and win five of their last six games.
The Heat are surprisingly holding the 6th worse offensive rating in the league. This Miami team is being led by Jimmy Butler on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. So far this season, Butler is averaging 21.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.2 assists per game while shooting an efficient 50 percent from the field.
Coach Erik Spoelstra has a lot of offensive weapons at his disposal in addition to Butler including but not limited to Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, and Victor Oladipo. In total, this Miami team has seven players contributing double-digits per contest.
The most notable attribute about this Heat team though is their commitment on the defensive end of the floor where they currently hold the 6th best defensive rating in the NBA.
The Heat will need their defensive especially tonight against the very talented backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum for the Blazers. This will be the key for this Miami team to cover the spread on Sunday.
Why The Blazers Could Cover The Spread
The Blazers are continuing to work their starting center Jusuf Nurkic back into the rotation and slowly getting back to their full form.
Head coach Terry Stotts hasn’t been able to get his team’s defense as good as its offense where they are currently second-to-last. A major reason is because of losing Nurkic to his injury. The big man is able to anchor the paint but also because of his quick feet, he is also able to switch out on the perimeter against forwards and guards.
On the offensive end of the floor, the Blazers are being led by their dynamic backcourt of Lillard and McCollum who together are averaging 53 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 12.5 assists per game while shooting around 45 percent from the field and 40 percent from behind the three-point line.
The Blazers also getting big minutes and production from key role players like Carmelo Anthony, Robert Covington, and Enes Kanter who all are averaging near double digits for the team. The recent addition of Norman Powell also adds another offensive weapon for the Blazers to free up Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
For this Portland team to cover the spread on Sunday they will need huge offensive performances from both Lillard and McCollum against a very solid defensive team in the Heat that is also very talented offensively on paper and has players who can catch fire individually.
Final Heat-Blazers Prediction & Pick
The game between the Heat and Blazers will be a classic matchup between one team that is very good offensively but plays terrible defensive and another team that is very solid defensively but awful offensively. The Heat who are the better defensive team still have very talented individual offensive players like Butler and Herro and because of that, the Heat takes the slight edge to cover this game.
Barring a big offensive game from Lillard or McCollum, the Heat should pick up their second consecutive win to take over the 5th seed in the Eastern conference while the Blazers will drop one of the three games they play at home before heading on the road.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION & PICK FOR HEAT-BLAZERS: MIA 114, POR 110 (MIA -1)