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NBA Betting Picks: Miami Heat vs. Houston Rockets Preview

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On Friday, the Miami Heat (22-13 SU, 19-16 ATS) will travel to Houston to face the Rockets (10-25 SU, 16-18-1) at the Toyota Center. Will the Heat get by without most of their normal roster? Or will the Rockets snap their losing streak? 

Miami Heat vs. Houston Rockets Betting Odds and Lines

Sportsbook: BetUS

Over/Under: 217

Point spread: Rockets +3.5 (-110)

Moneyline: Rockets +140  / Heat -165

Miami Heat vs. Houston Rockets Injury Report

All injury reports are at the time of writing. Keep an eye on any late changes as the injury reports are fluid until tip. 

For the Heat, Duncan Robinson, P.J Tucker, Kyle Lowry, Marcus Garret, Gabe Vincent, Udonis Haslem, Max Strus, Zylan Cheatham and Marcus Garret are all in Health and Safety Protocols. Jimmy Butler (ankle) is questionable. 

For the Rockets, D.J Augustin, Jae’Sean Tate, DeJon Jarreau, D.J Augustin and Garrison Matthews are in the league’s health and safety protocols. Kenyon Martin Jr. is a game-time decision. 

Miami Heat vs. Houston Rockets Preview

Heat Dealing With Absences

The Miami Heat have been hit hard by a recent Covid outbreak, forcing them to reach hardship deals with Kyle Guy, Mario Chalmers, Nik Stauskas, Aric Holman and Haywood Highsmith. 

Even with these additions, the Heat are still doing everything they can to scrap together at least nine players. If Butler doesn’t play, it will practically be an all-hardship exception team on the court. 

It’s nearly impossible to handicap a game properly with this many absences. But on the season the Heat are 5th in Adjusted Net Rating, 6th in Adjusted Offensive Rating and 8th in Adjusted Defensive Rating. 

Prior to having their game against the Spurs on December 29th canceled, the Heat had won 4 straight games, all at home, against the Magic, Pacers, Wizards and Pistons.  

Rockets One of the League’s Worst 

The Rockets have lost 7 of their last 10 games, including their last 5. They were, though, on a long road trip without two key parts in Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. 

Those two should be fully back into the lineup today, as this will be their second game off of injury, and have been mostly ramped up. 

While the Rockets have actually been solid offensively over their last 10 games, ranking 12th in Offensive Rating, where they’ve been terrible is defensively. They are 30th in Defensive Rating over the last ten games. I don’t see that being a major factor Friday night, however. 

Miami Heat vs. Houston Rockets Prediction

While the Heat have won four straight games, we are still getting a good spot to fade them here and back a Rockets team getting healthier. 

The Rockets have been serviceable offensively, and should have relative ease scoring with Christian Wood, Sengun, Porter Jr and Jalen Green against the Heat’s hardship exception team. 

Defensively, while the Rockets have been terrible, I struggle to see how the Heat have nearly enough chemistry to score consistently in this one. While Kyle Lowry may still play, it seems unlikely. 

That will leave Mario Chalmers, Kyle Guy, Tyler Herro and Caleb Martin as the main offensive pieces for Miami. Butler is questionable. 

While the Rockets have struggled, they have had two days off and will be playing on their home floor on New Year’s Eve. The Heat, on the other hand, are struggling to field a team. Back the Rockets in a nice spot for them to grab a win or at least keep it within a possession. 

All betting lines were retrieved from BetUS. Click below to claim a free bet, if you’re a new customer.  

Born and raised in New York, Robert's (@rcoles0206) fandom lies with the Brooklyn Nets, New York Jets and New York Yankees. He graduated from Colgate University with a degree in History and Political Science, and has taken the research skills honed from writing long history papers into finding an edge in the betting markets.

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