Houston Rockets vs. Miami Heat – NBA, April 19, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| April 19, 2021 7:38 am PDT

The Rockets are in the rebuilding process for next season, and to be honest, they have been for a large part of this season ever since they lost James Harden. They will want to avoid finishing last in the Western Conference, though, and it appears to be a straight shoot-out between them and the Timberwolves to see who avoids the wooden spoon.

At present, the Rockets are winning that battle, and they will want to keep things that way. Although the Heat finds themselves in second place of the Southeast Division, they sit outside the automatic playoff spots and need to get a run going to secure one of those berths.

When you look at the recent head-to-head record between these two, tonight may not be the walk in the park that many are expecting for Miami tonight as they have split the previous six games between them. However, they did win comfortably enough when they last met in Houston two months back. It was a relatively close game, but Houston blew their chances in the third quarter when they only racked up 10-points, and they eventually went on to lose by seven.

Things have been close with these two, and they match up well, but the Heat have dominated things when it comes to rebounding, as they did last time out. Look for them to once again dominate the boards tonight.

They have alternated wins in Miami against each other over the last five meetings there, and it would mean that it’s the Rocket’s turn to win tonight if that trend continued.

Rockets vs. Heat Odds

Rockets +10 -110
Heat -10 -110
Rockets To Win +425
Heat To Win -500
Over 216.5 Points -110
Under 216.5 Points -110

The spread looks about right for this one. It’s perhaps a point higher than I anticipated but nothing out of the ordinary. When they met two months ago, the spread was only two points, but much has changed since then. The points total looks about right also, and therefore I will have to delve deep into the stats to find some value tonight.

The Rockets have only won two of their 12 visits to any Eastern Conference teams this season.

Rockets News

The Rockets ended a run of five straight defeats with a win over the Orlando Magic last time. However, Houston fans don’t get too excited as the two previous times the Rockets have won a game, they went on to lose the next five.

Their form on the road has been terrible as they have only won eight of their 29 road trips. With that said, it remains marginally better than their home form, where they have only picked up seven wins. The win over Orlando was only their second in 17 away fixtures. Their only other win came against the team bottom of the Western Conference, Minnesota.

Here are the latest betting trends for Houston:

Bet Type Trend
ATS They have only won two of their previous six matches.
Total All of their last six games have gone over the betting total.
ATS The Rockets have lost four of their previous five matchups against Miami.
Total Five of their last six visits to Miami have seen the points total go under.
SU Houston is 2-17 in their previous 19 matches against Eastern Conference opposition.
ATS They have only won one of their last six games against teams based in the Southeast Division.

The Rockets have a poor offense that can’t shoot, especially from range where they have the worst figures in the NBA this season. They can’t even shoot from the free-throw line, which tells you all you need to know about their offense this season. However, the free-throw they are making is going to good use so let’s hope we see plenty more.

With that said, they are still averaging more points per game than the Heat is at present.

Where they can’t match up, the Heat is in defense, where the Rockets are ranked fourth-last, and the Heat are third.

Their rebounding unit is dreadful and amongst the worst in the league. When you can’t shoot, and you can’t rebound, there is very little hope of picking up a victory.

The Rockets have a list of absentees that could almost make up a roster, and therefore you have to feel for them right now. Tonight they will be without Gordon, Augustin, Exum, and Nwaba. There are also doubts over Wall, House Junior, and Brown.

Heat News

The Heat have been more lukewarm than hot as of late, having lost three of their previous five games. They lost three games in a row during that run, with the last of those defeats coming against the struggling Timberwolves, who are last in the Western Conference. However, they bounced back in tremendous style to beat the Brooklyn Nets in a close contest.

It was a fantastic win not only because they faced quality opposition but also in the way they went on to win the game. They trailed by six with seconds rather than minutes left, and seemingly we’re on their way to a fourth straight defeat. But they had other ideas and rallied to hit a jump shot at the buzzer to claim the victory.

Their form at home has been solid as they have won 16 and lost 13 of their 29 matches played in Miami this season. They have been outstanding as of late, winning four of their last five home games. The previous two came against the Lakers and the Nets, so they will be brimming with confidence tonight.

Here are the latest betting trends for Miami:

Bet Type Trend
ATS The Heat have lost five of their previous seven matches.
Total Six of their last nine games have gone over the betting total.
Total Only one of their previous five matches against Houston has failed to go under the points total.
Total The total has gone over in five of their last six home games.
ATS They have only won one of their previous six matches against west coast teams.
SU Miami is 12-5 in their last 17 games played on a Monday.
SU The Heat have won five of their previous seven matches they have entered as the betting favorite.

It’s no secret that Miami’s biggest problem this season has been their offense. However, they have been marginally better at home, averaging a couple of points extra per game.

Their rebounding has been awful, especially in attack where they have the second-worst figures in the league, narrowly behind the Warriors. Therefore, this will be a vital area of the game and could be where it is won or lost.

It hasn’t mattered too much, though, as their defense has bailed them out of trouble on multiple occasions this season. They are only conceding 107-points per game on average, which is largely down to how they defend the basket with their lives. They are reducing their opponents to a field goal percentage of 45%, which on this occasion the Rockets would be happy with seen as they are only averaging 44%.

However, for a team that defends so well, you would expect them to be making more than four blocks per game which is what they currently average.

Although the two-points extra they are gaining at home is canceled out by the two-points extra, they are conceding at home each night which must be frustrating for Miami fans.

Duncan Robinson has been the one shining star in attack for the Heat this season, and his three-point shooting has been amongst the best in the league. If he can replicate some of what he showed against the Nets last time out, then the Heat will have every chance of winning tonight.

Miami will miss Oladipo through injury tonight, while Butler will face a late fitness test.

Rockets vs. Heat Pick

Pick
  • Heat -10
    -110

I think it’s safe to say that the Heat will win this matchup, but the big question is can they cover such a big handicap? Only one of their previous seven wins have come by such a margin, and that was against the Cavaliers a couple of weeks ago. However, the win over the Nets will mean they enter the court with a bounce in their step tonight, and the Rockets are severely depleted right now. Take the Heat to cover this big spread tonight.

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