Golden State Warriors vs. Miami Heat – April 01, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| April 1, 2021 6:43 am PDT

The Warriors come into this game clinging on to the final pre-playoff spot, and they will have to fight like Warriors to hold onto it. Similarly, the Heat is narrowly inside the playoff spots in the east, but with the Hawks and the Celtics snapping at their heels, every match seems like a must-win one right now.

Although four positions separate them both in their respected divisions, they have an almost identical record this season, highlighting that the west is more competitive this year.

There also wasn’t much between them when they met a little over a month ago as the Warriors picked up an overtime win. The Heat will be particularly disappointed with the loss seen as they let a 15-point lead slip from halftime.

The win for the Warriors ended a run of four straight defeats against Miami, and they will now be hoping to get their own win streak going tonight. However, they have lost on three of their previous four visits to Miami, so it won’t be easy.

The game a month ago followed a similar pattern to previous matches between these two as over their last ten meetings, the Heat have averaged five more points at halftime, but the Warriors have averaged four more points at full-time. Golden State won’t panic if they go behind early tonight.

Warriors vs. Heat Odds

Warriors +2.5-110
Heat -2.5-110
Warriors To Win-110
Heat To Win-129
Over 219.5 Points-110
Under 219.5 Points-110

At first glance, both the spread and the points total look bang on for this encounter, and therefore we will have to dig deep to find some value in this one.

The Warriors have a poor record of 9-19 as underdogs this season.

Both teams have identical records of 4-4 when playing home or away against opponents from the opposite coast.

Warriors Analysis

The Warriors beat the Bulls last time out to end a run of four straight defeats. What’s more disappointing about those defeats is two of them were against teams above them and below them in the Western Conference (Grizzlies and Kings).

However, the Warriors put in a solid performance against Chicago and didn’t lose a quarter in the match.

What changed after suffering two heavy defeats by margins of 22 and 16? It’s a simple answer, Stephen Curry returned. He missed all four of their losses but returned with a bang against the Bulls by scoring 32-points.

Golden State hasn’t traveled well this season as they have a poor record of 9-15 from their 24 away fixtures. They have only picked up two wins from their previous eight road trips, and therefore a win tonight will be difficult.

Here are the latest betting trends for Golden State:

  • They have only won one of their previous five games against the spread.
  • Five of their last seven matches have gone under the betting total.
  • The Warriors have lost four of their previous five games against the spread when facing Miami.
  • Golden State is 9-4 in their last 13 matches against the Heat.
  • Only two of their last 11 games on the road have failed to go under the points total.
  • They have only won one of their previous five games against the spread in Miami.
  • The total has gone under in five of their last seven matches against Eastern Conference opposition.
  • The Warriors have a record of 6-12 in their previous 18 games against teams from the Southeast Division.

The Warriors has a decent offense this season that has averaged 112 points per game. They have shot well from deep more often than not, and that will need to continue tonight if they want to leave Miami with the win.

However, perhaps unsurprisingly, their attack hasn’t been as potent on the road, and they have averaged a couple of points less per match.

Golden State’s offensive rebounding is a fundamental area of weakness, and the seven rebounds they are averaging per game is by far the worst in the NBA this season.

If we look at the positives, you would have to say that you would be hard-pushed to find a better passing team than the Warriors this season. They are averaging 27 assists per game which is the best average in the league.

Their defense has been lacking despite reducing their opponents to a field goal percentage of 45%, which is good by anyone’s standards.

The Warrior’s discipline has been a particular area of concern defensively, and this will certainly need to improve if they are to make the playoffs this season.

Golden State will miss Thompson and Paschall tonight as they are both ruled out with injuries.

Heat Analysis

The Heat ended a run of six straight defeats by winning a couple of extremely low-scoring games against the Knicks and the Pacers. It appears defense is key for Miami as in their last five wins, they have reduced their opponents to scores of 98-points or less. Their defense was particularly mean in those two recent wins as they only conceded 88 and 87 points.

They have a split record of 12 wins and 12 defeats from their 24 games played at the American Airlines Arena. However, they seem to have lost their way at home recently after losing their previous four games in a row.

Here are the latest betting trends for Miami:

  • The Heat have lost six of their previous eight games against the spread.
  • Ten of their last 15 matches have gone under the betting total.
  • Only one of the previous five games between these two teams has failed to go over the points total.
  • They have only won one of their last seven matches at home against the spread.
  • Five of their last seven games against Western Conference opponents have gone under the betting total.
  • Miami has a record of 6-12 in their previous 18 matches against teams based in the Pacific Division.
  • They have only won one of their last nine games played in April.

It’s no wonder Miami has recently relied heavily upon their defense, as their offense has been terrible this season. Their shooting has been abysmal, and they have been awful from distance which is an area the Warriors certainly have an advantage in.

The Heat also can’t rebound very well in attack this season, and they are only marginally better than the Warriors in this department.

However, as mentioned, they have a fantastic defense that defends in and around their basket with their lives.

Despite their excellent defending this season, they aren’t making many blocks per game, so there is always room for improvement.

Miami fans will be delighted with the announcement that their new recruit signed from the Rockets, Victor Oladipo, will make his debut for the franchise tonight. It will be interesting to see what the talented guard brings to the table.

The Heat have three players listed as questionable to feature tonight, and they are Haslem, Nunn, and Okpala.

Warriors vs. Heat Betting Pick

Pick
  • Over 219.5 Points
    -110

I was tempted to take the Warriors to win this one as they match up well against the Heat. Miami is weak where Golden State is, so the Warriors will feel they won’t get exploited tonight. However, they’re not in the best form right now, and although Curry looked back to his best against the Bulls, he still appeared to be feeling the effects of his recent injury.

I think a cautious, low-scoring game will suit both teams tonight as they look to get back to winning ways, and I will take under the points total tonight.

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