Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Heat vs. Mavericks (1/20/2023) - Taking Vegas



Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Heat vs. Mavericks (1/20/2023)

By TakingVegas Staff Writer
January 20, 2023
Photo by: Kevin Jairaj - USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat vs Dallas Mavericks (1/20 @ 7:30 PM EST)

Spread: Mavericks -1
Money Line: Heat +100 / Mavericks -120
Total: 218.5

Overview and Betting Info

The Dallas Mavericks (24-22) will host the Miami Heat (25-21) on Friday night as they look to avoid a four-game losing streak. This is the first matchup between these teams, and they split their two-game series last season, with the road team winning both.

The Heat are 17-25-3 against the spread this season but have covered four of their last six. They have gone over the total 21 times but have been under in six of their last eight games.

The Mavericks are 15-28-2 versus the spread but have covered just three of their last five games. They have gone over the total 26 times, including in four of their last six.

Miami Heat

The Heat have won four of their last five and climbed back to sixth in the East. While it’s been a nice run to launch themselves out of the play-in-game territory, those wins came against teams missing significant players. Two were against the Bucks, who were without Giannis, and the Pelicans, who were without Zion and Ingram. If you go further back, you see this is more than just a recent trend. The Heat have benefited from a soft start to their 2023 schedule and injuries to opposing stars. Looking at their stats, you can see why they have struggled to stay above .500 this season. They are 29th in scoring (109.2 PPG), 25th in field goal% (45.5%), 26th in rebounds (41.4 RPG), 22nd in assists (23.8 APG), and 30th in blocks (3.1 BPG). They’ve been able to stay close in the East because their defense allows the 2nd fewest points per game (108.6). However, they are 27th in the league in 3-point% allowed.

Mami has been led by Jimmy Butler (22 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 5.2 APG, 2 SPG), Bam Adebayo (21.5 PPG, 10.1 RPG), and Tyler Herro (20.8 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.5 APG). The trio has been fantastic, and Butler’s 2.0 SPG is the best in the NBA (though he’s played just 32 games). Herro has been their best three-point shooter by making 37.5% of his attempts. The guard has struggled this month, averaging 17 PPG and making 28.6% of his three-point attempts. Bam and Jimmy have played better, especially Bam, who has been fantastic on defense with blocks (1.6) and steals (1.5). Those are two categories that the Heat have struggled in, so seeing Bam playing at this level is a promising sign for Miami.

The trio is joined by a great group of role players, including Max Strus (13.2 PPG) and Kyle Lowry (12.9 PPG, 5.6 APG). Strus is a talented shooter who is second on the team in making 33.9% of his attempts from three, which is what he’s been averaging for January. December saw Strus struggle from deep, so his resurgence has been a significant factor in the Heat’s recent success. Lowry has been a disappointment in Miami, but he still plays a crucial role for this team. He’s been awful this month, scoring 7.6 PPG and shooting 19.2% from three. Keep an eye on Victor Oladipo as well, as he is having a great month by averaging 14.2 PPG and making 36.2% from deep.

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs come into Friday’s game losers of five of their last six. It’s been a brutal stretch, including losses to OKC, LAC (sans Paul George), Atlanta, and twice to Portland. After a nice seven-game win streak, the Mavs would lose six of their next eight to erase the gains made. They’ve been around the middle of the pack in most major offensive categories, but they’ve struggled in physical games and are 30th in rebounds (38.7) and 29th in blocks (4.1). They have also struggled from the line this season, ranking 27th with a 74.4% free throw percentage. Their most impressive stat might be their turnovers, as they are 2nd in the league with just 12.5 per game.

Dallas is again led by the play Luca Doncic (33.7 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 8.8 APG, 1.6 SPG) this season. He currently leads the NBA in scoring, is fourth in assists, and is tenth in steals per game. Doncic is currently having a slow January by making 43% from the field and 25% from three. While he’ll always put up strong stats, it will be interesting to see if this slump continues. Without a fellow star to share the load with this season, Doncic is scoring almost a third of the Mavs’ points and leading them in rebounds and assists. He has the talent, but we’re only halfway through the season, and that load will undoubtedly take a toll.

The Mavs have a deep (though star-less) corps behind Doncic, led by Christian Wood (18.4 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 38.5 3PT%) and Spencer Dinwiddie (16.7 PPG, 5.3 APG, 40.5 3PT%). They complement each other well, and both can shoot from three. Wood is having a fantastic January by averaging 21.1 PPG and 10.5 RPG. His three-point percentage is down, but Dallas has enough options to compensate for that. Wood will play a vital role against a soft Miami team and could be in for his fourth double-double of the month. Dinwiddie has also had a strong month and has 73 points and 21 assists in his last three games. The Mavs will be without Tim Hardaway Jr, so look for Dorian Finney-Smith (8.4 PPG, 4.2 TPG) and Josh Green (7.1 PPG, 45.5 3PT%) to get more shots. Both are sharpshooters that have been limited by injuries but should play a more significant role tonight.

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