The Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat both came into this season with some lofty expectations, but for some reason or another, neither team has really been able to live up to the hype yet this year. Despite their constant underperforming, both teams remain in the thick of the playoff race in their respective conferences so we should be in for a competitive clash on Thursday night in South Beach.
Free Picks: Miami Heat vs. Golden State Warriors
Heat Try To Keep Winning Streak Alive With Win On Thursday (Season Betting Record: 71-80)
After making a Cinderella run to the NBA Finals in the bubble last year, the Heat have been unable to match that magic again. Granted, they have had some serious issues with guys spending significant time in the health and safety protocols, but they have not been able to make a real run all year, hovering around the .500 mark for most of the campaign.
While the Warriors have a nearly identical record to the Heat, the Dubs find themselves in 10th place while Miami sits in eighth in the East, which once again goes to show the disparity between the two conferences. (Side note: how tough of a first round matchup would the Heat make for the Nets/Sixers/Bucks?) Both teams are in position to make their conference’s play-in tournament but surely they’d both like to get on a run and make it safe to the sixth spot.
After losing six in a row, Miami has won two straight and will look to keep the good times rolling against a Warriors team that just busted a five-game skid of their own during their last outing, a win over the Chicago Bulls on Monday. The Heat are just coming off a win against the Pacers on Wednesday night, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering Miami is 4-2 against the spread this season when they play on no rest.
This game is nearly too close to call so for our first NBA pick on this tilt we’re going to go with Miami’s moneyline at half-decent -140 NBA odds. Though the Heat likely won’t yet have new addition Victor Oladipo, the Warriors’ ugly display this season on the road—a 9-15 ATS mark—gives us heart that we’ve made the right pick here.
Golden State has also struggled against the Eastern Conference (9-12 ATS), as an underdog (10-18 ATS), and, perhaps unsurprisingly, especially as a road dog (5-11 ATS). The Dubs actually haven’t covered a spread as the underdog in any of their last four tries.
Our second pick for this matchup will be on the game total, and considering these two teams’ track records with totals this season, the pick seems pretty obvious here. Though it’s only offering -136 NBA odds, we’re still getting a great bet on the under considering the number is up at 221.5, which looks great for one of our best bets for today.
Miami games against West Coast teams just haven’t been the barnburners you might expect from the reigning Eastern Conference champs and the mighty West, with 12 of the 18 meetings going under the betting total this season. Similarly, Warriors games against the East have gone under 13 of 21 times this year, once again backing up our NBA pick.
Golden State has also had trouble scoring on the road, with 15 of 24 away games going under the total. Their rest advantage against the Heat also bodes well for the under, as 10 of 16 games where the Dubs had the rest advantage have failed to eclipse the betting total. Offensive consistency (and consistency overall) has also been an achilles heel for the Warriors this season, as evidenced by the under’s 14-8 record in games following a Golden State win.
- Miami is 4-2 ATS playing on no rest this season
- Golden State is 5-11 ATS as a road underdog this season
- The under is 12-6 when Miami plays the Western Conference
- The under is 15-9 when Golden State plays on the road
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The Los Angeles Clippers will renew hostilities with the Dallas Mavericks, who they dispatched in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets and the league’s presumptive NBA MVP will look to get off to a strong start against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1.
The Golden State Warriors will host the Memphis Grizzlies in the final play-in game, which will determine the Western Conference’s eighth seed.
The Washington Wizards will host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line.
Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve.