The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips between the East-leading Miami Heat and West front-runners Phoenix Suns.
11:30 (AEDT), Thu 10th Mar @ FTX Arena, Miami
History: Played 66: Suns 36 V Heat 30
Last meeting: January 8, 2022: Heat 123 d Suns 100 at Footprint Center
Final Thoughts: Phoenix Suns have all but wrapped up the Western Conference’s top seed. Miami Heat hold a three-win lead in the East. Both heavyweights will be looking to make a statement at FTX Arena.
The 44-22 Heat have won 12 of their last 14 games. After a one-point loss to the Bucks last week – in which they blew a 14-point lead with six minutes left – Miami have regrouped with three straight victories over the Nets (113-107), 76ers (99-82) and Rockets (123-106).
Tyler Herro has been in outstanding form off the bench and hit six three-pointers in his game-high 31 points against Houston. Jimmy Butler (21 pts, 7 reb, 4 ast) and Bam Adebayo (18 pts, 10 reb) made strong contributions, too, but the game was perhaps most notable for Victor Oladipo’s long-awaited return. Oladipo had 11 points and 4 assists in 14 minutes as he took the court for the first time in 11 months. Kyle Lowry also returned from a four-game layoff.
After entering the All-Star break on a seven-game winning streak, the 52-13 Suns have gone 4-3. They went down to NBA Finals adversaries the Bucks 132-122 on Monday (132-122) before edging out the Magic yesterday (102-99). Phoenix were without a key trio for both games.
Chris Paul has not played since the All-Star Game, Cameron Johnson is day-to-day, while Devin Booker is set to return after missing four games due to COVID-19 protocols.
The Heat carved out a convincing 123-100 upset of the Suns in Phoenix in January – the Suns’ only loss in their first 15 games of 2022. Bench duo Herro and Duncan Robinson combined for 60 points for a line-up that was missing Butler and Adebayo. Booker (26 pts) top-scored for the full-strength hosts.
The Suns have won their last three in Miami. The Heat are a dominant 23-7 at home this season (17-13 ATS) and have won nine of their last 11 at home. The Suns are an NBA-best 24-6 on the road (18-12 ATS), winning five of their last six away.
The ongoing absence of Paul sees the Heat head in as warm $1.47 favourites at home. The Suns are 6-2 on a back-to-back but it’s been a busy week. An in-form, full-strength Miami line-up should be too strong.
Best Bet: Handicap – Heat -4.5 @ $1.80
Same Game Handicap: Result – Heat; Total – Under 219.5; Tyler Herro Points – Over 20.5 @ $5.51