Cavaliers vs. Heat Betting Preview for Friday Night: Miami Avoids Mini-Sweep

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Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives against Caleb Martin #of the Miami Heat on March 08, 2023. Megan Briggs/Getty Images/AFP

NBA Pick: Heat +1.5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Heat +1.5 (-110)
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Picks Summary:

  • Heat +1.5 (-110)
  • Under 213.5 (-110)

The Cleveland Cavaliers won in Miami on Wednesday night and go for the two-game sweep in south Florida on Friday.

Which side of the 1.5-point spread has the best value at the top-rated online sportsbooks? We also have a total play. 

Remember, fans from the Sunshine State who want to wager on this game should check out our top-rated Florida betting sites.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat 

Friday, March 10, 2023 – 08:00 PM EST at Miami-Dade Arena 

One thing that the NBA took from the COVID-shortened seasons was scheduling baseball-type series at times where a team would play back-to-back games in one city – like a playoff series. Not sure how I feel about that setup, but the players seem to like it as it’s one less plane flight. That’s what we have Friday as the Cavs look to complete a two-game sweep in Miami. 

This also concludes the season series with Cleveland currently leading 2-1. Friday marks the eighth and final occurrence this season in which the Heat will play the same opponent in consecutive games. Those eight such instances are the second-most scheduled in the league this season behind Houston’s nine.  

Not to give my ATS pick away, but it’s generally not easy to win back-to-back games in a series like this, especially on the road. I think a bit of boredom almost sets in with clubs seeing each other again so quickly and the game rather meaningless in the grand scheme of things as opposed to a playoff series. 

Even with Wednesday’s loss, Miami is 13-6 against the spread on the NBA picks in the past 19 meetings. 

When Allen Double-Doubles, Cavs Win 

Cleveland closed Wednesday’s game as a 1.5-point favorite despite a 13-19 road record and beat Miami – which was 20-13 at home – 104-100 for a third straight win. Despite having one of the NBA’s best offensive backcourts in Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, the Cavs win with defense most nights.  

They lead the league in defensive rating at 109.4 points per 100 possession and are allowing the fewest points per game at 106.5 ppg. Cleveland has held its opponents under 100 points a league-best 21 times and is 20-1 in those. The Heat got to 100 on a Tyler Herro three-pointer with 20 seconds left to cut the Cavs’ lead to 102-100.  

Mitchell was rather quiet with 18 points and was just 1-for-7 from deep, but that was his 205th made three-pointer of the season, breaking the single-season franchise record of 204 by J.R. Smith in 2015-16. That J.R. Smith held any team record anywhere is shocking.

Strong Backcourt Fuels Cavs

Garland had a strong game Wednesday with 25 points and seven assists, including 3-for-6 from deep. He is shooting a stellar 53.0% from deep since Feb. 1, the third-highest three-point percentage in the NBA over that span. Consider that when looking at props.  

Jarrett Allen had his 29th double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 boards as the Cavs improved to 22-7 this year when he has a double-double and 48-13 the past two seasons. Among all players with at least 60 double-doubles in the last two seasons, Allen is second in the NBA for team winning percentage when recording a double-double as Phoenix is 49-13 when Deandre Ayton has one. 

Thanks in large part to Allen and fellow twin tower Evan Mobley, the Cavs won the battle in the paint 50-40 and on the glass 49-30 on Wednesday. No apparent major injury concerns on Friday for Cleveland. 

  • The Cavaliers are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 Friday games. 
  • The under is 5-1 in the Cavalier’s last 6 vs. a team with a winning straight-up record.

Heat Stellar At Free Throw Line 

One link the Heat and Cavs have this season is the Cavs bought out former All-Star forward Kevin Love weeks ago, and he signed with Miami. Love has been solid in seven games with the Heat, averaging 7.6 points and 7.4 rebounds while starting all of them. He had eight points and eight boards in 21 minutes on Wednesday. He generally only plays about 22-25 minutes per night. 

Jimmy Butler had 28 points in the loss and Tyler Herro had 22. Gabe Vincent had as many points as you and I did in 18 minutes. He continues to start with Kyle Lowry still out.  

Miami had a bit of an off night at the free throw line Wednesday in hitting 22-for-29. The Heat are shooting 82.8 percent from the line this season, currently the highest for a single-season percentage in team history. Herro is shooting a career-high 91.8 percent from the stripe, the highest single-season percentage in franchise history.

Yet when attempting more free throws than the opponent, the Heat are just 15-19. That makes no sense. When attempting fewer than the opponent, they are 17-9 

Miami’s Super D

The Heat also are nearly unbeatable when they hold teams under 100 points, going 12-1 this year. It took Cleveland until under two minutes remained to get there Wednesday. 

Frankly, I wasn’t surprised the Heat lost on Wednesday because they have been terrible ATS after a win this season (beat Atlanta on Monday), going 9-23-2 ATS. Only Dallas is worse in that situation. There may be some urgency Friday as it’s the end of a season-long six-game homestand and Miami is trying to avoid the play-in tournament. It is (-215) at BMR’s top-rated books to compete in that. 

Note that it’s also the front end of a back-to-back as the Heat go upstate to Orlando on Saturday. It marks Miami’s 11th back-to-back of the season after previously winning both three times, splitting four times, and losing both on three occasions. On the first night overall, the team is 4-6

We think some of the Cavs players may have been enjoying South Beach since late Wednesday night. While basically, no betting trends at the current NBA odds agree with me, I’m on Miami to get the split.  

  • The under is 7-1 in the Heat’s last 8 vs. a team with a winning straight-up record. 
  • The under is 4-1 in the Heat’s last 5 games following an ATS loss. 
  • The under is 9-4 in the Heat’s last 13 home games. 

NBA Pick: Under 213.5 (-110) at BetOnline 

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Under 213.5 (-110)
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