Nets vs. Heat Preview: Line Flips in Brooklyn's Favor

Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and the Nets have been scoring like crazy, while the Heat are in the midst of a slump. Action Network analyst Joe Dellera breaks down how to bet Saturday's clash.

Nets vs. Heat Odds

Nets Odds -3.5
Heat Odds +3.5
Over/Under 228
Time 8 p.m. ET
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Nets head down to Miami to take on the Heat in what may be a first-round playoff matchup.

Since Miami played Friday night it will be interesting to see how engaged they are for this contest and if they rest some of their stars.

Let’s break down the intricacies of this contest.

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Nets Offense Posting Ridiculous Numbers

The Nets received the excellent news that Kyrie Irving no longer needs to be a part-time player and he can participate in Nets’ home games moving forward despite not being vaccinated.

Additionally, the Nets have listed Seth Curry (ankle) and Goran Dragic (knee) as probable but they remain without LaMarcus Aldrige (hip) and Ben Simmons (back).

The Nets have been very difficult to predict this season because of the instability in their roster but the one thing that has been consistent is the dominance of both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. In all lineups this season where Kyrie and KD share the floor, the Nets have an absolutely absurd offensive attack.

The Nets are scoring 130.6 points per 100 possessions with a team eFG% of 63.3% and even though they allow 114.6 points per 100, this still results in a +16.1 point differential which is in the 99th percentile of lineups, per Cleaning the Glass.

We’ve seen more of this over the past few weeks. Over the last two weeks, the Nets’ defense has continued to be well below league average yet it has not mattered. They are 4-2 and have the league’s seventh-best point differential (+6.2) over this stretch.

The one concern is those two losses were both against top 10 defenses in the NBA and Miami is a team with a top 10 defense.

Heat In Serious Slump

The Heat played Friday night and suffered a relatively embarrassing loss to the New York Knicks despite a 30-point effort from Jimmy Butler. They missed Tyler Herro (knee) in that game, and his status along with Gabe Vincent’s (toe) are questionable for this game.

One thing to keep in mind is this is the second game of a back-to-back and Jimmy Butler (ankle) has now played in three consecutive games — it may be a spot that the Heat decide to rest some of their stars even though they are not on the injury report.

Miami has been solid all season, regardless of who has been in the lineup. Miami has the sixth-best Adjusted Net Rating (+3.9), the thirteenth-best Adjusted Offense (112.5), and the fifth-best Adjusted Defensive Rating (108.6). That being said, they are obviously at their best when Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, and Tyler Herro can all play meaningful minutes.

One concern is Miami’s struggles in the last two weeks. They are just 2-4 with a -2.6 point differential while scoring just 114.1 points per 100 possessions yet allowing 116.7 points per 100, per Cleaning the Glass.

They’ve hit a bit of a wall, and it’s been capped off by consecutive losses to the 76ers (without Harden and Embiid), the Warriors (without Curry, Green and Thompson), and now the Knicks. The only wins during this stretch were against the lowly Pistons and Thunder.

Nets-Heat Pick

Miami has been struggling a bit lately and may lose its grip on the No. 1 seed, while the Nets are looking to stay in the first play-in game against either the Raptors or Cavaliers.

Considering the Heat’s struggles lately, and the offensive firepower that the Nets bring to each and every game, I think that Brooklyn is undervalued here. This line opened at Nets +2.5, moved to +1.5, then overnight flipped to Brooklyn -3.5.

Not only do the Nets have a scheduling advantage due to rest, but it is possible that Miami may be shorthanded because of the back-to-back.

I think the Nets win and were undervalued when this line opened but the market has sucked up most of the value.

Pick: Nets or pass