Heat vs. Nets Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds.|
The new-look Miami Heat with Kyle Lowry at the point have started 2-1, but they have won both games that Lowry has played in comfortably by double-digits. Miami’s lone loss came in an overtime rock fight with the Pacers on Saturday night.
The Nets, the preseason favorites to win the NBA title, are 2-2 with two double-digit losses to the Bucks (127-104) and the Hornets (111-95) already. Brooklyn did pick up an impressive win on Friday night in Philadelphia when it finished the game on a 16-1 run and overcame a 14-point deficit to steal a win from the 76ers.
Adebayo Has Great Matchup vs. Brooklyn
Victor Oladipo (quad) is the lone Heat player on the injury report and remains out indefinitely.
The Heat have won with defense through three games, as their 91.9 Defensive Rating (excluding garbage time, per Cleaning The Glass) leads the league. The addition of Lowry not only gives Miami a true point guard to get it into offensive sets quicker, but he also gives them a legitimate point-of-attack defender, which the Heat have both sorely missed over the last few seasons.
Expect Lowry and Jimmy Butler to spend the majority of their time defensively guarding James Harden, trying to limit his ability to get to the free throw line and create easy shots for his teammates.
Offensively, if the Heat win or cover as 4.5-point road favorites, it will be because Bam Adebayo has a big night offensively while their best shooters — Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro — make shots efficiently from beyond the arc.
Miami is still a work in progress on offense. The Heat rank 28th in the league with a 28.6% clip from 3-point range this season, and they will need to shoot the ball better in Brooklyn to cover. Robinson and Herro (and also Max Strus) will need to play a big role in knocking down open 3s at an efficient rate for the Heat to win, especially because the Heat’s lineups around them are littered with below-average perimeter shooters.
Herro has looked comfortable in his role as an offensive focal point coming off the bench, but Robinson still hasn’t found his groove yet in the starting five next to Lowry.
Adebayo will be the key player for the Heat offensively since he always has a favorable matchup against whichever bigs the Nets throw at him. Brooklyn’s frontcourt won’t have anyone with the size/athleticism combination that Adebayo possesses, and he exposed this last season with a career-high 41 points against the Nets.
💥 @Bam1of1 drops 41 💥
Career-high for Bam Adebayo. pic.twitter.com/9nyqi6GJX5
— NBA (@NBA) January 24, 2021
Pair the facts that Adebayo has a true point guard to set him up in more comfortable spots offensively and that he has put on 15 pounds of lean muscle since then, and he could have another big night against the Nets on Wednesday. Adebayo’s on-ball defense will also be important, especially if the Heat choose to put him on Kevin Durant coming down the stretch.
Brooklyn Still Figuring Out Spacing
If the Nets win and cover against the Heat, it will be because their offense gets back into rhythm after starting the season slowly.
Last year, the Nets offense was historically great with a league-leading 119.4 Offensive Rating. However, Brooklyn hasn’t quite kicked it into gear yet this season at a middling 19th with a 106.8 Offensive Rating.
The Nets started the season with bigs Blake Griffin and Nic Claxton starting alongside Durant in the frontcourt. This has hurt the spacing of their offense, which may be a contributing factor in why Harden has taken fewer shots at the rim and thus drawn fewer fouls.
In Monday’s win over the Wizards, the Nets inserted Bruce Brown into the starting five for the first time.
Although Brown doesn’t provide Claxton’s size and isn’t a prolific shooter, he is a capable short-roll passer and someone who can make smart plays from the dunker spot to take advantage of Harden, Durant and the rest of the Nets’ shooters.
The key players for Brooklyn offense are obviously Harden and Durant with Kyrie Irving out for the foreseeable future. Harden has yet to score more than 20 points in a game as he is shooting just 36.4% from the floor. His 43.9% Effective Field Goal percentage ranks in the 25th percentile among point guards, per Cleaning The Glass.
Without Irving, Harden needs to be a more potent scorer and get to the rim more often to unlock the next level in this offense, which is clear given that he’s averaging just four free throws per game.
Alongside Harden, the Nets have an embarrassment of shooters. Durant remains an unstoppable offensive force with his size and scoring combination. Patty Mills has been on fire, making 64% of his 3-point shots and singlehandedly carrying this bench unit. Joe Harris has started the season slowly by his lofty standards but also remains a potent threat from beyond the arc.
With both teams still shaking the rust off of their half-court offenses, I lean toward the Heat and their elite defense in this matchup. Miami has the defenders to make Harden and Durant’s lives tough, while the Nets simply don’t have the necessary frontcourt to counter Adebayo.
Consequently, I like the value on the Heat’s spread at +4.5 and moneyline at +155 on BetMGM. This line opened at +5 and slid as low as +3.5 before settling at +4 on most books at the time of writing on Wednesday morning. I recommend betting 0.6 units on the spread on 0.4 units on the moneyline.
While I like the Heat’s side tonight, I believe there is even better value on the board with props. Because of Lowry’s addition to the Heat as a point-of-attack defender, Miami has been able to play more drop defense and prevent themselves from over-switching like they did much of last season.
This is significant because this allows Adebayo to stay close to the basket to contest more shots and grab more rebounds.
Last year, Adebayo grabbed 9.0 rebounds per game. Now that he is closer to the basket defensively, he’s at 14. This is a small sample size, but he has grabbed at least 13 boards in each game.
DraftKings currently offers Adebayo Over 9.5 Rebounds at +100, and I absolutely love this bet with value up to Over 11 rebounds at -110 or better for 1.5 units (I also like this Over 9.5 with value down to -135). Books clearly haven’t caught on to Adebayo’s increased rebounding role this year, and I don’t expect his rebounding total to be this low for many more games.
I also love the value of Adebayo’s Points + Rebounds Over 26.5 at +105, with value at -110 or better up to 28.5.
Pick: Bam Adebayo Over 9.5 Rebounds +100