Heat vs. Warriors Preview: Can Shorthanded Miami Cover Double-Digit Spread?

Action Network NBA betting analyst Roberto Arguello previews how to bet Monday's late matchup between the Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors.

Heat vs. Warriors Odds

Heat Odds +11
Warriors Odds -11
Over/Under 215
Time 10 p.m. ET
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Miami Heat face the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco on Monday night in what could be a potential NBA Finals preview.

The Heat face a tall task on Monday on the road against the NBA’s best team so far this season on the second leg of a back-to-back while they have a depleted roster with just five full-time players.

Is there value on the Heat as heavy underdogs in this spot? Let’s take a look at both side of the matchup.

>> Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds, track your bets and follow all of our experts’ picks.

Shorthanded Heat Need Starters to Excel

If the Heat cover or pull the huge upset on Monday night, they will need a big game from Jimmy Butler while new faces step up with a myriad of players unavailable.

The Heat are expected to remain without several key contributors, including Bam Adebayo (thumb), Duncan Robinson (COVID-19 protocols), P.J. Tucker (COVID-19 protocols), Dewayne Dedmon (knee), Max Strus (COVID-19 protocols), Gabe Vincent (COVID-19 protocols) and Victor Oladipo (quadriceps).

With so many key players out, the Heat’s starting five players will need to play heavy minutes on the second leg of the back-to-back after losing at the buzzer against the Kings on Sunday night. The Heat need Butler to attack and get to the rim while Tyler Herro gets hot shooting jump shots and continues to flash as a facilitator – he had a season-high nine assists in Houston on Friday.

The Heat also need Kyle Lowry to continue to put the rest of the roster in positions to be successful while continuing to push the pace and get as many easy looks in transition before the Warriors’ league-leading defense is set in the halfcourt. Omer Yurtseven is the Heat’s only big man who poses a scoring threat, and he will look to continue his momentum after posting career-highs in points (22) and rebounds (16) on Sunday.

Will the Warriors Make Enough 3s to Cover?

If the Warriors win and cover as heavy favorites, it will be because they take advantage of the Heat’s bench lineups and knock down open 3-pointers. The Warriors will remain without Klay Thompson (Achilles) and James Wiseman (knee, health and safety protocols). Draymond Green cleared health and safety protocols on Sunday afternoon and is expected to play on Monday for the first time since Christmas day.

The Heat are in a tough spot as beyond their five starters, every player coming off the bench was signed to the team last week. Conversely, this Warriors team not only has top end talent with the likes of MVP and Defensive Player of the Year frontrunners Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, but they also have a deep bench full of smart players who know their role on this team.

If the Warriors beat the Heat by double digits, it will be because they overwhelm the Heat’s bench unit with their chemistry and flow on offense and take advantage of the Heat’s lack of cohesion defensively with these new faces mixed in.

The Warriors also need to knock down open looks on the perimeter against a Miami defense that is designed to limit shots at the rim and force opponents to take jump shots. Per Cleaning The Glass, the Heat have limited opponents to the seventh-fewest shots at the rim (29.2% of opponent shots), but opponents are taking the most 3s against them of any NBA team (43.6% of opponent shots).

Led by Curry, the Warriors take the second-most 3s in the league (43.4% of their shots) and make them at the fifth-most efficient rate (37.3%). If they capitalize on open perimeter looks, they could run the Heat out of the building early.

Heat-Warriors Pick

The Warriors should win on Monday, but the value lies with the Heat and the points as heavy underdogs. Expect Miami’s starting five to put up a fight, and if the Warriors come out flat against what should be an overmatched opponent, the Heat could give them a real scare.

If you want to bet on the Warriors, I recommend doing so on the live spread (or moneyline if they fall into a deep early deficit) when Yurtseven leaves the court for the first time as the Heat don’t have big man depth available with Chris Silva as their only other big available.

The steep price on the Warriors means that the books are making bettors pay a premium for the Warriors’ shooting against this Heat team that allows a high volume of perimeter shots, but I’ll take a chance on the Heat getting some shooting variance luck while players like Yurtseven, Caleb Martin and Kyle Guy  step up.

I am expecting big nights from Butler and Lowry in this opportunity to make a statement against the league’s best team while Herro shows off his bucket-getting ability against Curry.

Take the Heat and the points with value down to +9 on Monday night.

Pick: Heat +11