The Heat have to be glad to be back in the Sunshine State after a tough road trip that was capped off by a devastating loss in Minnesota. The Nets will look to ride the momentum from their last win against the Hornets into this game. This highly touted Eastern Conference matchup certainly won’t fail to disappoint.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Nets-Heat odds.
NBA Odds: Nets-Heat Odds
Brooklyn Nets -6.5 (-110)
Over 222.5 Points (-110)
Under 222.5 Points (-110)
Why The Nets Could Cover The Spread
The Nets are coming off a very impressive 130-115 win against the Charlotte Hornets. Brooklyn was without James Harden but didn’t seem to miss him much. The win was very promising for the Nets following a tough six-point loss against the East-leading Philadelphia 76ers in their prior game. Kevin Durant was back and efficient in the win against Charlotte with 25 points. Joe Harris led the way with 26 and made up for a quiet night from Kyrie Irving, who had just 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting in the win.
We should expect to see a bounce-back performance from Kyrie on Sunday. In two games against the Heat this season, Kyrie has averaged 22.0 points on 47.1% shooting from the field and 44.4% from 3. It’s important to note that Brooklyn won both of those games. The Nets are an impressive 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against Miami. Brooklyn has won 10 of its last 14 games coming in and is 4-1 ATS in its last five affairs. The Nets are shooting 51.5% from the field over the five-game stretch and have shown no signs of slowing down despite the injury problems of late.
Why The Heat Could Cover The Spread
The Heat desperately need a win to start their home stand as they’ve lost four of their last six games coming in. Miami went 1-4 in its recent five-game road trip and can’t be in the best spirits after an eight-point loss against the lowly Timberwolves. The Heat played horrible defense in their last three games, allowing opponents to score an average of 116.0 points on 50.8% shooting. The good thing for Miami fans is that this is very uncharacteristic for a team that has been one of the best in the league on that end of the floor this season.
Miami has some weapons on the offensive side of the floor, which may prove fruitful against a subpar Nets defense. Brooklyn is 23rd in the NBA in team defense, currently allowing opponents to score 114.2 points per game against them. Miami tends to play at a slow pace, but will have to capitalize on the Nets’ inability to play great defense in transition. If he is able to go for this game, Jimmy Butler is certainly the team’s best transition player and will be looking to attack and get to the line early and often. He is averaging 21.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 7.2 assists on the season.
Final Nets-Heat Prediction & Pick
This may be an unpopular pick in this spot, but I’m riding with the Miami Heat to cover this spread. I’m aware of the fact that the Nets have been hot and the Heat certainly are not. Miami is dealing with some injury issues as well, which is creating increasingly great value for the Heat at home. The Heat will come ready to play in this game and will play up to the Nets’ level throughout. A home dog getting more than six points is enticing when that team is capable of beating anyone in the league on any given night.
FINAL PICK: Miami Heat +6.5 (-110)