Heat vs Mavericks: Back Miami to Edge Out A Win

Action Network contributor Jessica Gonsalves details her betting picks and prediction for the TNT matchup between the Heat and Mavericks on Thursday.

Heat vs. Mavericks Odds

Heat Odds +4.5
Mavericks Odds -4.5
Moneyline +154 / -185
Over/Under 229.5
Time Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here’s everything you need to know about Heat vs. Mavericks on Thursday, March 7 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.

Tonight’s NBA showdown between the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks promises to be a fascinating encounter of two vastly different playing styles.

Tipping off at Dallas’ American Airlines Center, this game pits a reeling Mavericks team playing some of the league’s worst defense as of late against a Heat team known for being defensive stalwarts. The tables are turned when discussing the offensive side of the ball, however.

Let’s get to our Heat vs. Mavericks prediction and pick.

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Heat vs. Mavericks Prediction

Pick: Heat +4.5

Heat Betting Outlook

The Heat come into this game with a mixed bag of performances throughout the season. Offensively, they’ve been middle of the pack, ranking 19th in both Offensive Rating and Effective Field Goal Percentage.

However, they’ve managed to minimize turnovers (16th) and have excelled in getting to the free-throw line (fifth) with an impressive free throw percentage (fourth) when they get there. This ability to draw fouls and convert at the line could be crucial against a Mavericks team that has struggled mightily defensively.

Defensively, the Heat have been more robust, with an eighth-ranked Defensive Rating. Their ability to limit opponents’ second-chance points through stellar defensive rebounding (third) and maintain discipline without fouling (fifth) has been a hallmark of their play.

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Mavericks Betting Outlook

The Mavericks’ season has been powered by their offense, which ranks seventh in both Offensive Rating and Effective Field Goal Percentage. Dallas also does an uncanny job at taking care of the ball, ranking third in Turnover Percentage.

However, their offensive rebounding has been lackluster (24th), which could limit their second-chance opportunities against a strong defensive rebounding team like the Heat.

The Mavericks’ defense has been their Achilles’ heel, ranking 22nd in Defensive Rating and struggling to contest shots effectively (20th in eFG%). Their difficulties in securing defensive boards (27th) could give the Heat multiple opportunities on offense, potentially neutralizing Dallas’ offensive firepower.

These numbers have been even more atrocious as of late as they have allowed over 120+ points per game in their last six contests.

Heat vs. Mavericks Picks, Odds

Considering the recent trends and the narrative elements of this matchup, the best bet appears to be taking the Heat as underdogs to cover the 4.5-point spread.

Despite playing away from home, Miami’s defensive prowess and ability to limit turnovers, coupled with their efficiency at the free-throw line, position them well to keep this game close or potentially secure a win.

The Mavericks, despite their offensive efficiency, have shown vulnerabilities that the Heat are well-equipped to exploit, particularly on the defensive glass and in drawing fouls.

The combination of Miami’s disciplined defense and the potential for multiple scoring avenues through free throws and second-chance points makes them a compelling pick against the spread.

Back the Heat +4.5 tonight and expect a close game with even a potential for Miami to win outright.

Pick: Heat +4.5