The Miami Heat have a solid chance for a road win as they visit the ailing Portland Trail Blazers. The latest news, stats and injury reports place both squads without several key players but none bigger than Portland’s Damian Lillard and Miami’s Jimmy Butler. Still, the Heat could win this tight matchup per the NBA odds.
Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard (abdominal) will miss his second consecutive game on Wednesday versus the Miami Heat, league sources tell @YahooSports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 5, 2022
Heat Look to Reignite vs Sputtering Trail Blazers
Portland Nearing Point of No Return
Call it an overreaction if you will, but the Trail Blazers are nearing the point where they will have to mail it in and prepare for next season. Injuries have hampered this team and now with Lillard, CJ McCollum and Cody Zeller, Portland could just drop to 4-14 in its last 18 games.
As bad as that is, Portland is still be within striking distance of the final play-in spot in the conference. But this team is quickly becoming the worst in the conference due to the worst defense and an offense that is now just average at best.
It would be tough to propose a bet online for Portland. The team is just 10-11 against the spread (ATS) at home. Perhaps facing another shorthanded team will improve that.
Plenty of Fire Left in Heat
Miami finds itself in a similar situation t0 Portland with its two best players on the shelf in Butler and Bam Adebayo. Miami will also be without sharpshooter Duncan Robinson. The return of Max Strus should help with Miami’s offense, which it will need against Portland.
The Heat tend to outperform their paper version thanks to the coaching of Erik Spoelstra. Miami gave Golden State a good fight and it will also have an uphill climb against Portland with Butler and Co. hurt. Overall, though, the Heat are the better team defensively.
Miami still ranks in the top 10 in both offense and defense. It is sixth overall in net rating thanks to giving up the fewest two-point field goals while forcing the fourth-most turnovers. But the Heat’s bottom-four three-point defense remains an Achilles heel that can be exploited and bet against on the online sportsbook.
Heat vs Trail Blazers Head to Head
Heat vs Trail Blazers Game Information
Time: 10 p.m. ET
Location: Moda Center at the Rose Quarter
Miami Heat vs Portland Trail Blazers Live Stream: NBA Game Pass
Heat vs Trail Blazers Betting Lines
Heat vs Trail Blazers Prediction
We have slim pickings in this battle between depleted squads, but Miami should be the superior team here. It is better coached and a more physical team that can wear out Portland. The Blazers’ edge is their three-point shooting. Portland is hitting the sixth-most threes.
Even without Lillard and McCollum, Portland has plenty of sharpshooters that can carve up Miami. But the Heat are not without their shooters, either. Tyler Herro and Strus can return fire and beat Portland at its own game, especially with the Blazers allowing visitors to shoot 37 percent from deep.
Pick: Miami Heat -130
The total has gone over in five of these teams’ last seven games against each other. Even with the injuries, there are plenty of shooters here and not a lot of defense on one side. Miami will be hard-pressed to contain most of Portland’s long-distance shots while the Blazers will let Miami score at will.