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The Brooklyn Nets have pushed their way into the backend of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. The Nets have dropped three out of their last four games.
Meanwhile, the Miami Heat have held one of the better records in the Eastern Conference. The Heat have also hit a bit of a skid falling in their last two games.
Nets hoping to find success on the roadIt has been a tough season for the Nets to find their footing in the Eastern Conference. Much of that has been coupled by their struggles with notable injuries to the roster which has seen their two best scoring talents being out of the mix for the rest of the year. That began with star forward Kevin Durant already expected to miss the entire season due to his recovery from a torn Achilles tendon. Meanwhile, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving was sidelined for the rest of the campaign due to shoulder surgery. That has all put them in a tough spot to pick up the slack in that regard on a consistent basis this year.
The Nets have had plenty of production from veteran point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who has picked up the slack in that huge offensive void as he's excelled with the role of being their primary scoring option. Dinwiddie is currently heading the charge with team-best numbers with 20.8 points and 6.6 assists per contest. That has seen him tally a pair of 20-point outings in the last five games played. Meanwhile, guard Caris LeVert has also picked up the pace offensively as in his last five games he has notched more than 15 points in each contest while totaling more than 20 points three times. LeVert is coming off a 34-point outing against the Wizards. The Nets will need their backcourt to head the charge to pull out the win on the road.
Heat looking to bounce back at homeIt has been a highly encouraging season for the Heat that has seen them emerge as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. They have risen their way to the top of the standings in the conference that has them well in the position to secure homecourt advantage in the first-round playoff. However, they have stumbled a bit over the last few games that has seen them experience some troubling losses to the likes of the Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Atlanta Hawks over the last five games. That alone has put some pause on their outlook this season, given that they have dropped three games to some of the teams with the worst records in the league. However, that should push those away from them entirely.
Competing for an NBA title this season may not be in the picture, but they have plenty of promising talent on the roster. It has seen All-Star forward Jimmy Butler make a significant impact in his first campaign with the franchise that has helped guide them to being one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference this season. Butler is heading the charge with 20.5 points along with 6.8 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per contest. In his previous four games, he has tallied more than 15 points in each contest with a pair of 20-point outings during that span. Ultimately, it will need the Heat to get back on track defensively and return to dominance at home where they are have won 23 out of their first 27 games on their home court. Expect them to return to that on Saturday night.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Oddsshark.com, are:
- Miami is 16-3-1 ATS in their last 20 games against an opponent in the Southwest Division division.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Although the Heat have struggled over their previous five games that have seen them come back down to earth a bit, they should get back on track on their home floor on Saturday night. Yes, it's a bit concerning that they couldn't cover the 14.5-point spread against the Timberwolves or a 12.5-point spread against the Cavaliers, they should be back on track towards dominating at home. It has been their bread and butter this entire season, and it also helps they are facing a team without their best-scoring option on the court. All of this seemingly points to the Heat getting back to showcasing why they are one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
Full-Game Total Pick
At the same time, these two teams can't be genuinely trusted defensively given what they have shown over the last few games. The Heat have allowed teams like the Cavaliers and Timberwolves both score north of 120 points against them. If that doesn't suggest this will be a higher-scoring affair on Saturday, then I don't know what does. They are a team that is in the middle of a rough patch that doesn't look like it will have any ending soon. Meanwhile, they have notched more than 110 points in each of their last four games played. That seemingly suggests that the Heat will dictate how the game is played on both ends of the floor.