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Miami Heat Odds - Wade can't carry Miami to the top on his own

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/4/2014 4:02:45 AM

Miami’s NBA odds are directly linked to one man: Dwyane Wade, the man who led them to the 2006 title and then came back with a vengeance after an injury-plagued period of his career. A healthy Wade is one of the best players in the league on both ends of the floor, but for Miami to join teams like Cleveland, Orlando and Boston in the East, Batman needs a Robin.

Miami Heat odds: +4000 to win NBA Championship

  • Will anyone step up to help Dwyane Wade?
  • O’Neal’s health is key to this season
  • Bench depth needs to be addressed

Miami Heat odds maker breakdown: STARTING FIVE
Dwyane Wade is back to lead the way after pacing the NBA with 30.2 points, and he showed what he could do when he’s healthy for an entire season. Wade carried the Heat at both ends of the floor, as he was the shortest player in history to block 100 shots. However, to keep him healthy (and happy), the Heat need Michael Beasley, last year’s No.2 overall pick, to step up. He spent the summer in rehab for a drug problem, so it may be too much to ask for a major jump from the sophomore. The sturdy Udonis Haslem returns at the four, while another second-year player, Mario Chalmers knocked down his jumpers when Wade found him. The x-factor is Jermaine O’Neal in the middle; after years of knee trouble, he expects to return to his All-Star form. If he does this, Miami can challenge the top teams in the East as a solid online betting dark horse.

Miami Heat odds maker breakdown: BENCH
Daequan Cook was the leading scorer for the Heat off the bench in his rookie season, and he won the Three-Point Shootout during All-Star weekend. He’ll be expected to do so again, because there isn’t much after him. Quentin Richardson was traded four times over the offseason before ending up in Miami, while Carlos Arroyo was brought in from Israel to push Chris Quinn at the backup point position. James Jones had the lowest numbers of his five-year career, while veteran Jamaal Magloire is their first big man off the bench. A lack of depth definitely hurts the Heat’s sportsbook odds.

Miami Heat odds maker breakdown: OFFENSE
It’s the Dwyane Wade show, as No.3 was a one-man wrecking crew last year. Not only was Wade the leading scorer, but he had 7.5 assists as well, and his rebounding ability allowed him to start a fast break by himself. Beasley will be counted on to add more, and a rejuvenated O’Neal would give the Heat a viable low-post option. Chalmers, Cook and Quinn are the long-range bombers, and Miami shot just under 36% from three-point land.

Miami Heat odds maker breakdown: DEFENSE
The Heat were 12th in the NBA in points allowed, and it’s no surprise that Wade was also the team’s best defender, coming in just behind New Orleans’ Chris Paul with 2.19 steals, and he was the team’s leading shotblocker before O’Neal was brought from Toronto in exchange for Shawn Marion. The Heat played good team defense, anchored by O’Neal in the middle and Wade out on the perimeter in the passing lanes, and there should be more of that this year.

Miami Heat odds maker breakdown: COACHING
Erik Spoelstra, the youngest coach in the league at 38, had a good debut as an NBA head coach, but it surely didn’t hurt to have one of the top three players in the NBA on your side. Spoelstra knows he has to lighten Wade’s load to keep him fresh for the playoffs, but if he doesn’t play him a lot, the Heat may not make it that far. Look for Spoelstra to take more risks in his offensive schemes this year as he is now used to the rigors of being a head coach.

Miami Heat odds maker breakdown: SEASON OUTLOOK
The Heat fought their way to a No.5 seed in the East before falling to Atlanta in seven games, but someone else on the Miami squad needs to score. The most obvious solutions are Beasley and O’Neal, but the young Beasley needs to get his head right (a knock on him coming out of Kansas State), while O’Neal just needs to stay healthy. With Wade leading the way, the Heat should have enough to finish around where they did last year, but that’s as good as it gets if Wade doesn’t get any help.

You want NBA betting previews?’s The Betting Edge has the most comprehensive coverage in the sports betting industry with previews of all 30 NBA teams.

Craig Parsons is's college basketball expert.



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