The highly surprising 28-12 Miami Heat are scheduled to take on the also surprising 23-18 Oklahoma City Thunder tonight at 8:00 P.M. EST. Miami is currently sitting in 2nd place in the Eastern conference shocking many who thought the spot would be occupied by the Sixers or Celtics.
Oklahoma City also is raising eyebrows in the Western conference, as many considered them to be in rebuild mode after trading away key pieces and taking on an aging Chris Paul with a bloated contract. Well the Thunder are currently 23-18 and sitting in the 7th spot in the Western conference.
Oklahoma City has dominated this matchup, winning the last 8 of 10 games that these two teams have met. That was most likely when OKC still had Russell Westbrook and Paul George, and before Miami had acquired Jimmy Butler and rookie Tyler Herro.
The Heat are a two point underdog according to Vegas. This probably a fair spread as the Heat have been very wishy-washy as of late. The Heat are coming off of a 106-100 win against the Spurs, but lost 124-121 the previous game against the Knicks on the road. The Heat also lost on the road to the Nets recently.
Oklahoma City could be considered inconsistent at this point. Some matchups they win that they shouldn’t win, and some matchups they lose that they shouldn’t lose. OKC is 7-3 in their last 10 games which shows them trending in a positive direction as of late.
This is a tough game to handicap. Vegas is matching these teams fairly evenly and giving OKC the home court advantage 2-3 point advantage, which is fair given Miami’s recent troubles against teams on the road. Overall though, the Miami Heat are a much better team with a deeper roster.
The Heat are also a highly perplexing 18-1 at home and 10-11 on the road. Talk about home/away win disparity, that’s pretty crazy. It clearly shows that the Heat play much better in their comfortable Miami home environment and are pretty much .500 on the road making the 2 point underdog line against OKC a fair assessment.
I would say take Oklahoma City and buy the half point to make the line -1.5, so you cover in case of a two point win. OKC plays better at home, Miami plays abysmal on the road. This will likely be a close game as these teams are evenly matched but believe the home court advantage in this case and take OKC -1.5.