The Big 3 welcomes the injury-plagued Miami Heat to the Barclays Arena looking for a statement victory in what should be Saturday’s most popular NBA game on online sports betting sites. Keep reading for all the NFL news and expert picks in our Heat vs Nets betting preview.
The Brooklyn Nets have shown some weaknesses on defense, but the Heat haven’t been so hot on offense. The jury is still out on whether Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving can be great defensively and how they will coexist on offense.
But even playing at 70% ability and 50% chemistry, they can be good enough to beat the best in the league. That is why the Nets continue to be popular bets regardless of their NBA odds and they should deliver against this chippy Miami team.
Heat vs Nets Betting Preview
Heat: Gutting Out Wins
Few NBA teams have been hit by the injury bug worse than the Heat. They are without star player G Jimmy Butler due to quarantine while also missing backup C Meyers Leonard and possibly the likes of G Goran Dragic, G Tyler Herro, and G Avery Bradley.
Miami is hanging on to the playoff picture with a 6-7 record but is on a mini-roll having won two straight. Credit coach Erik Spoelstra always gets the most of his team while C Bam Adebayo has been a rock in the middle posting 19 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 5.3 assists.
The Heat have stuck around by making the most of their scoring opportunities. Their 60.3 true shooting percent (TS%) is third in the league. However, they are one of the worst in the league in turnover differential. Their 18.3 turnovers per game is most in the NBA while their 6.2 steals are third-fewest.
As good as Adebayo and co. have been, they can get sloppy with the ball. Both he and Dragic average over four turnovers per 36 minutes. Against elite teams like the Nets, Miami will have to tighten up on their possessions.
Nets: Still Getting To Know Each Other
The Nets were exposed by the Cavaliers when they first played. The “lowly” Cavs took it to the Nets seemingly scoring at will. Cleveland, which usually ranks 30th in the NBA in offensive rating, shot over 50% against a disorganized Nets defense.
For all their offensive prowess, the Big 3 looked like a group of kids playing ball in their neighborhood court on defense. There was a lack of communication and the Cavs took advantage of it. If the offensively-challenged Cavs could do it, then other teams could.
But on offense, Brooklyn is just as advertised. The team ranked second in the NBA in TS% at 61 percent, fourth in offensive rating at 114.5, and seventh in assists with 26.2. Brooklyn can score on any team and the Big 3 may just be virtually impossible to stop.
Offense is only one-half of the equation in winning NBA games as the loss to the Cavs showed. Brooklyn will have to continue ironing out their defense. As they continue to play more, it will get better and they will be the juggernaut everyone thinks they will be.
Nets Will Rain on the Heat
We’re rolling with the Nets here for our NBA betting picks. I like Miami’s grit and depth and its players’ hustle. This is a team that will be a tough matchup regardless who they’re against and it’s almost the opposite of the Nets who are smooth and top-heavy. But Brooklyn is just too talented.
We saw Miami overcome more talented teams like the Celtics and Bucks in the playoffs, but the Nets are another level. Miami could look to exploit their gaps on defense like the Cavs did, but the Heat don’t have a Collin Sexton to take over a game.
Even with Sexton going nuclear, it still took two overtimes to beat Brooklyn. Miami will have to get hot to keep up with the Nets and they can eke out a win. But that’s unlikely given their own inconsistent play on offense.
Before heading to your favorite sportsbook to lay a wager, keep checking NBA news to find out the status of several of Miami’s players. Having even just Herro or Dragic back could move the needle for the Heat. Either way, Brooklyn should win.
Pick: Brooklyn Nets to win