Washington Wizards vs. Miami Heat Betting Predictions

Wizards vs Heat NBA
Washington vs. Miami, NBA Betting Predictions, January 9

The Washington Wizards are playing the second night of a back-to-back at home Saturday night as they host the Miami Heat. Miami is hoping to find a good rhythm after struggling to start the season and looking on the outside of the playoff picture early in the season. The Heat have had a few days to work on some things and should be able to handle the Wizards

Wizards vs. Heat Betting Odds

Both of these teams probably started the season with playoff aspirations, and the first two weeks of the season have been major disappointments. The Washington Wizards dropped to 2-7 on Friday night with a loss in Boston while the Miami Heat are 3-4 to start the season. Miami, the defending Eastern Conference champions, has alternated wins and losses through the first seven games of the season while never settling into a good rhythm.

The offense is the biggest problem Miami has right now as the Heat rank 26th out of 30 teams in points per game and 25th in offensive efficiency. The Heat might have seven players averaging 10 points per game and the eighth-best shooting percentage in the league, but they rank last in field goals attempted and second-to-last in turnovers. Miami just hasn’t found a consistent leader on that end of the floor, though Jimmy Butler is starting to become that again. Butler scored a season-high 26 points in Wednesday’s loss to Boston at home, his second straight game with at least 18 points, and he seems poised to shortly take over the scoring mantle from Bam Adebayo, who is leading the team at 18.6 points per game.

The good news for Miami’s offense is it faces a Washington team that Bradley Beal said Friday night “can’t guard a parked car” right now. The Wizards are allowing almost 123 points per game, worse in the NBA, and they have the third-worst field-goal percentage defense and 3-point field-goal percentage defense in the league. Washington has already allowed 130 or more points in three games this season and it has kept a team under 115 points just twice. Saturday will be an interesting test with Miami preferring to slow down the pace and Washington being the second fastest team in the league.

Washington is at least making up for its defensive deficiencies on the offensive end with the second-ranked scoring offense in the league. Most of that is led by Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook, who are averaging more than 55 points per game now. Beal has become a force with the ball and is now averaging 35 points per game after dropping 41 in Friday’s loss at Boston. Westbrook has been a nice addition to the team, but he has not played both games of a back-to-back yet this season, so he is unlikely to play Saturday night. That puts even more onus on Beal, who has topped 30 points five times in nine games, and the rest of the Wizards to pick up the slack in his absence.

Miami settles into this game as five-point favorites at the New Jersey online sports betting sites, which seems like a bit of an insult. The Heat have certainly not played up to their standard, but Washington is a trainwreck right now and traveling back to Washington early the morning of the game. Meanwhile, Miami is sitting and waiting for the Wizards after having the last two days off after losing to Boston at home. So I honestly do not know what the NBA betting sites in New Jersey were thinking when they set the line this low in Miami’s favor. I wish I could hammer Miami harder on the spread, but I will settle for betting Miami to win by at least 11 points at +195 odds.

My Prediction

Miami -5

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

All Reviews by Josh Walfish

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