Heat vs. Suns Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The last time we saw the Miami Heat, they suffered one of their worst losses of the season to the Los Angeles Lakers, who were playing without LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Miami will have a golden opportunity to get back on track here against Phoenix, a team which looks lost at the moment.
Despite the Suns’ recent struggles, they’re still garnering plenty of respect here from oddsmakers. Might that mean a win is in the cards? Find a betting pick and prediction for Heat vs. Suns below.
Heat Looking to Bounce Back
Things certainly didn’t look that bleak for the Miami Heat just a couple of days ago when they had won four out of their last five, but that aforementioned loss to the Lakers really changed all that. Miami posted just a 110.1 Offensive Rating as it struggled to concoct a gameplan on that end of the floor, and the defense, while good, wasn’t nearly good enough to make up for it.
It’s a shame because the Heat had just started to figure it out offensively. In the last 10 games, they’re 13th in Offensive Rating, a big improvement considering they’re down in 23rd for the season. To no one’s surprise, the scoring has been done inside, with Miami ranking sixth in the NBA over its last 10 games in field goal percentage inside of 10 feet. The Heat are also fourth in paint touches per game in that span, according to Second Spectrum.
The last time these two sides met, Miami outscored Phoenix in the paint 44-42, though the Heat were outrebounded 45-42. Bam Adebayo had 30 points on 9-of-18 shooting and got to the line 14 times. It was a commanding performance, and if not for 21 points off the bench from Duane Washington Jr., the Heat probably would have blown the doors off the Suns; the Heat still managed to win by one.
Can CP3 and Ayton Level Up for the Suns?
Devin Booker featured in that game but will be absent from this one. If you wanted to know what’s wrong with the Suns these days, that’s your issue right there. Phoenix is now 2-8 straight up without Booker and is 1-4 since he was lost for an extended period of time on Christmas Day. The Suns are now 1-7 in their last eight and have covered just three times in that span, including last time out against the Cavaliers.
Now, that may have some folks believing in the Suns here. After all, Chris Paul had 25 against a team which has defended the point guard position brilliantly, and he’s now averaging 17.5 points on 52.3% shooting from 3 over his last 10 games. On top of that, Phoenix’s defense looked stunning against a solidly-constructed Cavs offense.
There’s one big issue here, and that’s Deandre Ayton. His defense has taken a step back this season, and he’s now allowing 63.8% shooting as the nearest defender. For context, that number was 55.5% last season. He needs to step up if the Suns want to have a chance here, and Paul needs to continue to percolate against a very stout perimeter defense.
Far be it for me to handicap this matchup based off of the one game these two sides played earlier this year, but I do think we can learn quite a bit from it. The Suns had no business being in that game given the way Adebayo scored at will inside, and now without Booker and (most likely) without 21 points off the bench from Washington, I think Miami should take back control here and assert its dominance.
The x-factor of course is Paul, who missed that Heat game earlier in the season, but the Heat rank second in field goal percentage allowed to opposing point guards. I’m not quite certain he will be able to carry the Suns like he’s done in the last couple of weeks, and I definitely don’t feel good about the Suns winning the battle inside. I’d lay up to three here with Miami.
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