The Dallas Mavericks will play host to the Miami Heat tonight as they look to end a three-game losing streak. We’ll preview the game before going over why I’m targeting a team total as my best bet in this one.
It has become almost surprising when the Miami Heat has a short injury report listed, but as of late, they have been able to remain healthy and put together a 7-3 record over their last ten games. Miami will enter tonight off a 124-98 victory over the Pelicans, in which they shot 53% from the field.
During their recent ten-game stretch, the Heat managed an offensive efficiency rating of 116 and an overall NET rating of 5.7, the 5th best in the league in that span. Over their last ten games, 46.9% of their scoring has come inside the paint, and 16% has come from points off turnovers, as both percentages rank 7th in the league during that stretch.
Miami will likely be relying on their paint scoring again tonight against a Mavericks team that just lost forward Christian Wood to an injury. Dallas was already struggling on the defensive end and had the worst defensive efficiency rating in the league over the past ten games, so this injury will be challenging for the Mavs to overcome.
The Mavericks went 4-6 over their last ten games and put up a NET rating of -8 in that span which was ranked 26th. Offensively the injury to Wood will only make things harder on Luka Doncic on that end of the floor. Wood was the Mavericks' second-leading scorer, so with him out of the lineup for a while, guys like Spencer Dinwiddie will need to step up even more.
Dallas has had the opposite approach on offense to the Heat, as they rank 30th in points in the paint this season, and over the last ten games, they’ve gotten 36.2% of their points from three, which is 3rd in the league.
For my best bet in this game, I’ll be taking the Miami Heat team total over of 109.5. The Mavericks have allowed 130 or more points to be scored in their last three games and 113 or more in nine of their last ten games. The Heat have gone over this total in four of their previous five games, so with the direction both teams are currently heading, I think this is the best way to profit from this game.
Miami should be able to continue their interior scoring barrage tonight since, over the past ten games, the Mavericks are allowing the 6th most points in the paint to be scored a game. Bam Adebayo has done a large majority of the Heat’s interior scoring and is coming off a game in which he had 26 points, so I’m expecting another big night from him.
The Heat will also likely be able to come up with a large amount of second-chance points tonight since Dallas is allowing the third most second-chance points per game over the last ten games and will now be without Christian Wood, who was averaging 8.4 rebounds per game. With Miami's current momentum, I think they can go into Dallas and dominate tonight on the offensive end.
Miami Heat Team Total Over 109.5