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Miami Heat Betting – Breaking Down The Heat’s Chances

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/6/2014 9:45:20 PM

Sports betting players have had conflicting thoughts on Miami all season, although the odds have had them near the top of the league. A lot of people said they couldn’t win a title with their newly-assembled group this season, but here they are, four wins away from the championship in this rematch of the 2006 Finals. Here is a look at Miami’s strengths and weaknesses, and what they need to do.

Why Bet On Miami Heat

Strengths

Having two of the top 10 players in the game in LeBron James and Dwyane Wade is never going to hurt your chances, and the Heat look like they’re finally starting to gel after what has been the most scrutinized season, arguably, in the history of the league. It looks like the Heat have sorted out the late-game offensive woes that troubled them for most of the season, and it looks like James has taken control of the team, which was always going to happen. James is the best player in the game today, and he looks more comfortable as the team’s closer, although having Wade as your second option isn’t bad at all. Chris Bosh was fantastic during the conference finals against Chicago, and when he is hitting his shots, that creates space for James and Wade. Even Mike Miller stepped up during the second half of the Bulls series, and that is going to be key because the Heat need someone to step up other than their Big Three.

One major reason Miami has been an NBA betting favorite all season is their defense, which has been one of the best in the league, and even when they’re not hitting their shots, they can fall back on that. When he wants to be, James is one of the top five defensive players in the NBA and he can guard a variety of players; he did a great job on MVP Derrick Rose in the last series when he got a chance to guard him, and he’ll probably see some time on Dirk Nowitzki as well. Wade can also be a fierce defender as well, and the Heat can really disrupt you on the perimeter. Miami is allowing 88.3 points per game on 41.9% shooting, and it has to be just as good to slow down the Mavericks.

Weaknesses

The Heat obviously don’t get much scoring outside of James, Wade and Bosh; no one on the team is averaging more than James Jones’ 6.5 points, and he hasn’t played in essentially four games because of a toe injury. Miller has been doing his part, but you still have to be skeptical about him. The Heat are basically a three-man team with a bunch of role players, but those role players know their role and they stick to it, especially on defense. As long as they can occasionally hit an open shot, which there will be plenty of when one of their Big Three has the ball, Miami’s role players are useful.

The Heat also don’t have much of a post game as Bosh is more of a face-up power forward, but they counter that with their ability to get to the free-throw line, which is going to be under the magnifying glass after the officiating controversies of 2006. The Heat also have a tendency to go back to their isolation roots on offense when things get rough, although they’ve done a much better job at moving the ball around than in the past.

Outlook

NBA betting odds have the Heat as a -175 favorite in this series, and they also have home court advantage. The Heat are 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS at home so far in the postseason, so the Mavericks will have to break through that. Six of those games have gone over the posted total, so watch carefully as the Heat tend to get low totals due their defensive intensity.

This is going to come down to a battle of Miami’s defense versus Dallas’ offense, especially when the Mavericks’ subs coming into the game. If the Heat can keep them under wraps, they’ll beat the Mavericks for the second time in five years the NBA Finals and prove the online betting odds correct.


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