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NBA Free Pick | Nets at Heat

 

After losing six straight, the Miami Heat have won six of their last nine games. They have dropped their last two games though, to Denver and Phoenix. 

Sunday offers another tough test for the Heat. Brooklyn comes to town and has beaten the Heat twice already this season. With the Heatís playoff future hanging in the balance, bettors can find value in Sundayís total.

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Game: Brooklyn Nets (37-18, 27-28 ATS) at Miami Heat (28-27, 23-31-1 ATS)

When: 3:30 PM ET, Sunday, April 18, 2021 

Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida

Current Line: OFF†††† Total: OFF

TV Coverage: ESPN

We nailed our last pick when we took the Fighting Illini in our Illinois at Ohio State betting preview.

Brooklyn has won just five of its last 14 games. The Nets have battled injuries to their Big Three all season long. Kevin Durant just recently returned to the lineup. He actually sat out the Nets most recent game, a loss to Eastern Conference leader Philadelphia.

James Harden, who has a hamstring issue just like Durant, has been out of the lineup since April 5 when he played just four minutes in a win over the Knicks. Harden will not play Sunday. Durant remains questionable but is likely to play.

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With Durant and Kyrie Irving in the lineup, Brooklyn looks to claim win No. 3 over the Heat this season. Besides playing without Harden, the Nets will find a win difficult to come by because of Miamiís defense.

The Heat rank sixth in defensive efficiency rating and third in points allowed per game (107.5). Miami lost two of its last three games, but they held Portland to 107 points and Phoenix to 106. 

In Miamiís last game against Brooklyn, the Heat defense allowed just 98 points to the Nets. Remember, Brooklyn is second in the NBA in scoring averaging 118.8 points per game.

What also plays to the Heatís advantage is returning home. In their last home stand, Miami held Cleveland to 101 points, Golden State to 109, and the Lakers to 104. That defense is something that has helped the total go 29-26 in Heat games this season.

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On the other end, Miami is one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the NBA. They rank 28th and shoot just 34.5 percent from behind the arc. In the previous two games against Brooklyn, Miami shot 28.3 percent and 25.6 from three-point range. The Heat ranks just 26th in scoring (106.2 ppg) for the season.

The key in playing in the Under in this matchup on Sunday will be where the total comes in. In the first two games, the totals were 232 and 237. Those totals reflect the Nets proficiency for scoring. Plus, Brooklyn played with Irving, Harden, and Durant in those two games.

Expect Sundayís total to be a bit lower and possibly lower than 230. While Brooklyn can fill it up, they will be without one of their stars and said star - Harden - averages 25.4 points per game. It wonít be easy making that up. 

With Miamiís ability to defend - plus the fact that they are finally healthy - expect the Heat to control the pace of the game and keep this a low-scoring game. Our free pick is to play the Under down to 230.

NBA Free Pick: UNDER down to 230





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