The eighth seed Hawks head to Miami to take on the seventh seed Heat in the first of three Eastern Conference NBA play-in games. The game is expected to tip-off at 07:30 PM ET, Tuesday, April 11th, 2023.
With both teams fighting to secure one of two remaining Eastern Conference playoff positions, the Heat head into this game marginal 5.0 point favorites.
It’s win or risk missing the playoffs for the Heat and the Hawks as they face each other in the first of three NBA Eastern Conference Play-In games. The victor will advance to the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, while the losing team will have to win a tough matchup against the winner of the Raptors vs. Bulls to secure the final playoff seed.
The Heat come into this game with a solid 10-6 record against the rest of their division, but it’s their 14-8 record in games decided by three points or fewer that demonstrates their clutch ability. Leading the charge for the Heat is forward Jimmy Butler, who has been the team’s top performer all season, averaging 22.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Point guard Tyler Herro has also stepped up recently, averaging 17.4 points over the last ten games.
The Hawks, on the other hand, have been inconsistent against their Southeast Division opponents with an 8-8 record. However, they are among the league’s top-scoring teams in the paint, averaging 54.3 points per game – partly thanks to Clint Capela, who is averaging 10.7 points in the paint. Leading the way for the Hawks is their point guard Trae Young, who is averaging an impressive 26.2 points and 10.2 assists per game. Dejounte Murray has also been a solid contributor, averaging 16.3 points and five assists over the past ten games.
Both teams are coming into this game with a 5-5 record over their last ten games, but the Hawks have been scoring at an impressive rate, averaging 124.7 points per game during that stretch. The Heat have been solid defensively, allowing just 110.8 points per game to their opponents.
Injuries could play a significant factor in this game. The Heat will be without Nikola Jovic due to a back injury, while the Hawks have several players listed as day-to-day, including Murray (ankle), Capela (calf), Bogdan Bogdanovic (knee), Young (groin), and John Collins (back), however all are expected to take the court.
Overall, this game promises to be a closely contested matchup between two talented teams vying for a spot in the playoffs. It will come down to who can execute down the stretch and make the big plays when it matters most.
ODDS AND PREDICTIONS
In this crucial matchup between Miami and the Atlanta, the Heat have a clear advantage. They have won three out of four games against the Hawks in the regular season, and with home court advantage, they are in a strong position to come out on top.
Furthermore, the Heat are known for their strong defense, which should allow them to shut down the Hawk’s primary offensive strategy of pick and roll opportunities with Young on the ball, Capela or Collins screening, and shooters spaced. The Heat have the athleticism and intelligence needed to cover these plays and force Young to make mistakes.
In fact, earlier this season, the Heat held Young to just eight points on 2-13 shooting in 32 minutes of play, resulting in a victory for the Heat. With coach Erik Spoelstra’s ability to scheme up a solid defensive strategy, the Heat are likely to repeat that success.
Miami also boast three players averaging over 20 points per game, all of whom are healthy. Butler and Bam Adebayo are forces on both ends of the floor, and Tyler Herro’s offensive game continues to improve. The Heat understand the significance of this game and will be playing with extra motivation to secure the win.
Therefore, betting enthusiasts should choose the Heat to win and cover. However, it’s important to keep in mind that sports betting always involves a degree of risk, and there’s no guarantee that this Heat lineup will perform as expected, nor that the Hawks will play their usual style of offense. As always, it’s essential to do your research and make an informed decision based on the available data.
Spread: Heat -5.0
Moneyline: Heat -215, Hawks+185
Pick: Heat -5.0
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