Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#537 Miami Heat 214.5 vs.
#538 Oklahoma City Thunder -2
Friday, January 17, 2020 at 8:05pm EST
Chesapeake Enery Arena, Oklahoma City
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#537 Miami
#538 Oklahoma City
28-12
23-18
22-16-2
26-14-1
24-15-1
18-23
111
109
107
107

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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: January 17, 2020, Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK, 8:00 PM ET

The Miami Heat hope to stay on the winning track in Friday’s road meeting at the Chesapeake Energy Arena against the Oklahoma City Thunder. After picking off the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves, the Thunder ran into a real life bully in the Raptors. They were ultimately defeated despite an impressive offensive effort. Meanwhile, the Heat bounced back from consecutive losses to the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets with a win over the San Antonio Spurs.

Road woes continue for the Heat

Watching the Heat dispatch of the Spurs didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know.

The American Airlines Arena is like Superman’s Fortress of Solitude for them. They are 18-1 on their home floor with their lone loss coming to the Los Angeles Lakers. The real test comes on the road against the Thunder on Friday. Miami is 10-11 in away games these season and coming off consecutive road losses to the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets—two teams with losing records.

The Thunder have a 13-8 record at home with a middle-of-the-road defense. Offense hasn’t been the problem for the Heat this season, and they rank seventh in the league in efficiency. Jimmy Butler has emerged as the fire-starter for a team that is not as one-dimensional as they were a year ago. Rookie Kendrick Nunn continues to play beyond his years as well. He dropped a team-high 33 points against the Spurs on Wednesday.

The road troubles for the Heat stem more on the defensive end of the court. They are allowing 111.0 points per game when playing away from their home building. Granted, Oklahoma City lacks the offensive explosiveness to take advantage of those issues on paper, but the Heat recently gave up 124 points in a loss to a Knicks team with the third-worst offense in the league.

Adams injury a big blow for the Thunder

The Thunder didn’t need to lose another big man, but it’s painfully obvious that needs and wants don’t factor into the equation when it comes to the basketball gods. Steven Adams saw the floor for only seven minutes in Oklahoma City’s 130-121 loss to the Raptors before injuring his knee. The injury has reportedly kept him out of practice and left his availability for Friday’s game in doubt.

That could essentially leave the Thunder without their best interior player. Center Nerlens Noel has also been sidelined with an ankle injury. So the Thunder could be down two enforcers with Bam Adebayo coming to town for a visit.

The Raptors are ranked second in defensive efficiency behind the Milwaukee Bucks. Oklahoma City hasn’t blown anyone away offensively, but they’ve managed to get by with the sudden emergence of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and reliable veteran playmaking from Chris Paul.

Things haven’t gone so well defensively for the Thunder at home as opposed to being on the road. They are allowing 110.0 points per game at the Chesapeake Energy Arena as opposed to 105.6 points on the road. The Raptors have slid to 18th in offense, but that number is sure to rise with them finally competing near full strength.

Justise Winslow has already been ruled out for the game, while rookie Tyler Herro is officially listed as questionable.

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The Heat have been a Jekyll-and-Hyde team all season long depending on where they’re playing. They have looked like a legitimate championship contender when playing at home at the American Airlines Arena. When playing on the road, however, they haven’t even looked like a playoff team. Look no further than the fact that they have lost four of their last five road games to all teams with losing records.

There is no talking around something is seriously wrong with the Heat when they don’t have a home-court advantage. They are averaging a 45.8 field goal shooting percentage on the road and only 108.0 points.

There’s a good chance Adams could still end up playing on Friday, which would shore up the glaring hole at center opposite of Miami’s Adebayo. The Heat remain one of the best rebounding teams in the league, while Oklahoma City ranks among the worst. Perhaps there’s a cure out there somewhere for Miami, but they won’t find it before their meeting with the Thunder. I’m taking Oklahoma City to put up a valiant fight that leads them to an opportunity to put the Heat away in the final quarter.

Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder

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I’d typically have more faith in the Heat’s defense making life tough on the Thunder, but the total will be swayed with Oklahoma City serving as the backdrop. The Heat are allowing 104.2 points per game on defense at home. However, that number jumps all the way up to 111.0 points on the road.

Paul is no longer playing like a hobbled veteran that can’t get buckets, and Gilgeous-Alexander looks to be emerging into a future star in the league. Throw Danilo Gallinari into the mix and the Thunder are sure to turn the heat up on Miami. Give me the over betting total here.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.