The Oklahoma City Thunder head to South Beach to take on the Miami Heat at the American Airlines Arena on Tuesday night.
OKC is 18-22 SU on the season and they are at the bottom of the Northwest Division team standings. The Thunder are third from the bottom in the Western Conference team standings but are just 1.5 games from the 10th and final play-in tournament spot. Oklahoma City has won back-to-back games and is coming off a 120-109 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
Miami is 21-20 SU this year and they are the top team in the Southeast Division team standings, 1.5 games ahead of second-place Atlanta. The Heat are 8th in the latest Eastern Conference team standings and are just 2 games from an outright playoff spot at no. 6. The Heat lost to the Brooklyn Nets 102-101 in their last assignment.
The Thunder travel to Miami armed with a two-game winning streak. OKC defeated Washington 127-110 last Friday night and then went on to beat the Dallas Mavericks 120-109 on Sunday night. The victories however came without their opponents’ top players in Bradley Beal and Luka Doncic, respectively.
Most Improved Player betting favorite Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 33 points while Lu Dort added 18 points. Kenrich Williams also contributed 14 points while Josh Giddey and Jalen Williams each had 10 points for OKC as all five Thunder starters scored in double-digits.
OKC is 6-4 SU in their last 10 games played. However, they have been terrible when playing on the road with a subpar 5-13 SU record. The Thunder head to Tuesday’s game having lost their last five games played on the road. OKC is 5th in the NBA in scoring at 116.5 points per game.
The Heat lost a close game the last time out. Miami engaged the surging Brooklyn Nets in a back-and-forth contest. The Heat had a chance to win the game but Jimmy Butler missed the potential game-winner and the Nets escaped with a 102-101 win in Miami. That was the 4th straight close call for the Heat whose previous losses were by 3 to the Lakers, 5 to the Nuggets, and 3 to the Pacers.
Jimmy Butler led Miami with 26 points but he missed the potential game-winning basket at the buzzer. Tyler Herro added 24 points for Miami while Haywood Highsmith, Max Strus, and Bam Adebayo added 10 points apiece. Victor Oladipo shot just 2-10 for 8 points after scoring 26 in their previous game against the Phoenix Suns.
Miami is just 11-9 SU at home this season and they have won just half of their last 10 games played and only 2 out of their last five at their home floor. The Heat are allowing just 109 points per game this season, 2nd-best in the NBA this season.
The Thunder are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games played against the Thunder. OKC is also 1-3 SU in their last four games played in Miami.
OKC Thunder SU trends:
Miami Heat SU trends:
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has improved in every NBA season played. This year is no different as he has averaged 30.9 points, 5.6 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game. SGA has recorded 24 30-point games this season and is the odds-on favorite to win the NBA’s Most Improved Player award.
OKC also leans on Lu Dort who is averaging 14.3 points and Josh Giddey who is contributing 15.3 points, a team-best 7.8 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game.
On the other hand, another former Kentucky Wildcat Tyler Herro is having a career season in Miami. Herro is putting up 21.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. Another former Wildcat is Bam Adebayo who is averaging 21.4 points and 9.9 rebounds for the Heat this season.
These will be the players to watch on Tuesday as the Thunder take on the Heat in Miami.
OKC has won three out of their last four games played, including a win over the Luka-less Mavericks last Sunday. The Heat meanwhile have lost two out of their last three, including a one-point defeat to the Nets the last time out. Jimmy Butler had a chance to win the game at the buzzer however but his shot did not go in.
This should be a great opportunity for the Heat to get back on track. I think Miami’s defense is going to limit SGA here. Meanwhile, the Heat will lean on Butler, Herro, and Adebayo to score the points needed to win this game.
Prediction: Miami Heat
The Thunder are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games played against the Heat. OKC is also 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Miami.
OKC Thunder ATS trends:
Miami Heat ATS trends:
The Heat have not lived up to expectations this season but then this should be a very winnable game for them. The Thunder are winless in their last 5 road games and are just 5-13 SU in 18 road games played this season. Those five losses have been by an average losing margin of 11 points per game.
Miami is 6-2 SU at home against the Western Conference. OKC scores nearly four points fewer when playing on the road and they are playing the team with the 2nd best scoring defense in the NBA this season.
I will have to go with the Heat here. OKC is too miserable on the road to give the Heat problems on Tuesday night.
Prediction: Heat -4.5
The total has gone under in four out of the last five games played between these two teams. The under is also 5-2 in their last 7 games played in Miami.
OKC Thunder over/under trends:
Miami Heat over/under trends:
The Heat play at a slow pace of 98.3 which ranks 27th in the entire NBA. Miami is also just 24th in offensive efficiency but 7th in defensive efficiency. With one of the best defenses in the NBA and a slow and deliberate style of play, the under is 22-18-1 in the Heat’s 41 games played this season.
The Thunder meanwhile, are the top OVER team in the NBA this season and plays at a pace of 102.8, 5th highest in the league. However, the Thunder score fewer points on the road than they do at home. The Heat also have one of the toughest defenses to score on as they are no. 2 in scoring defense at 109.0 PPG allowed.
Miami has allowed 102 or fewer points in three out of their last four games played. The Heat defense will dictate the pace of this game and it will turn out to be a low-scoring affair.
Prediction: Under 224.5
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