Heat vs. Warriors Best Bets for Thursday: First Quarter and Full Game Picks

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Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP.

We’ve got a clash of styles as the Golden State Warriors host the Miami Heat. It’s very early in the season to make any definite statements about any teams.

That said, the Warriors are the highest-scoring team but their defense is way off the pace. As for Miami, they are having a very hard time finding consistent offense which is the main reason they’ve started off slowly.

Which way to lean at the best sportsbooks?

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Miami Heat vs. Golden State Warriors

Thursday, October 27, 2022 – 10:00 PM EDT at Chase Center

Both Teams Trying to Find Consistency

The Golden State Warriors are not off to an ideal start to the season with a 2-2 record. It’s still very early, but it is a little concerning that their 2 wins are against 2 teams that have started a combined 0-7. Losing to the Suns and the Nuggets is not a reason to panic, but they’ll want to get back on track at home against the Heat.

As for Miami, they’ve had a very hard time putting the ball in the basket which is one of the main reasons they’ve gotten off to a 2-3 start to the season. It’s a major part of the reason they come into this game as +7.5-point underdogs.

The Heat are one of those teams that are hard to judge because their defense hasn’t kicked into gear as yet. Offensively, they’re more of a by-committee team with their top 2 scorers so far this season, Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro, only averaging a combined 41.4 per game.

Warriors First Quarter -2 and Under 58.5

I like this play because it is not over a full possession which is usually a cut-off point for me in terms of laying points in the first quarter. Don’t be surprised to see this line move up to -3 by game time with the Warriors looking to get back on track at home.

The Warriors are coming off an emotional loss against the Phoenix Suns that saw Klay Thompson get ejected. Part of that has to be frustration as he started off the season very poorly by his standards.

I expect him to come out with a chip on his shoulder, but more importantly, the Warriors' defense will have a point to prove. The headlines always go to Steph Curry, Jordan Poole, and Thompson for their scoring exploits, but this is a defensive team.

They won the championship as the number-one-ranked defense in the league last year. They currently sit 20th in defensive rating.

Why the First Quarter?

The reason I like the first quarter is that the Heat always brings that defensive effort and are one of the best-coached teams in the league. They know very well that if they play at Golden State’s current pace (Warriors are number 1 in the league in pace), there’s no way they can keep up. If Miami turns this into a half-court game closer to their pace.

While it might seem counter-intuitive to go Warriors and the Under, I firmly believe if there’s a message that Steve Kerr will be trying to deliver, it will be that the obvious weakness this team has shown to start this season is allowing teams to get so many easy baskets.

They currently lead the league in opponent fast break points at 21.3 per game. The Heat play at the 5th slowest pace in the NBA in this early part of the season.

Under 227 Unless It’s a Blowout

I think if this game goes over 227, Miami will lose by double digits here. The only average is 106.6 on the season so as previously mentioned, the ideal scenario is to not allow this game to turn into the track meet that the Warriors want it to be. In his prime, Kyle Lowry was one of the best defensive point guards in the league.

Lowry is no longer in his prime and will absolutely want no part of Curry and Poole in the open court. As for Tyler Herro, he’s really stepped up his game the last 2 seasons although it’s too early to draw too many conclusions this season.

The eye test tells me Herro is ready to step up and be more of a leader of a lackluster season 2 years ago. That said, he’s still a bad defender and will need guys like Bam Adebayo to offer him rim protection.

Final Picks

With the defensive focus I believe the Warriors will bring, combined with Miami’s unwillingness to get out and run, I think this game plays to the Under. So take it for your NBA picks.

NBA Pick: 1st Quarter Warriors -2 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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1st Quarter Warriors -2 (-110)
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NBA Pick: 1st Quarter Under 58.5 (-110) at Bovada

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1st Quarter Under 58.5 (-110)
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NBA Pick: Under 227 (-110) at Bovada

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Under 227 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.