Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat will be looking to end a three-game losing skid on Sunday against the Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
- The Nets and Heat face off in an Eastern Conference showdown on Sunday, April 18th
- Brooklyn is 5.5-point favorites against Miami
- Get the odds, preview, and best bet for this contest below
The Brooklyn Nets begin a three-game road trip on Sunday, April 18th in Miami where they face the slumping Heat, tip-off 3:30 pm ET at American Airlines Arena.
Brooklyn is rolling as they currently sit just one game behind the Sixers for top spot in the East. With Kevin Durant starting to find his groove and Kyrie Irving already cooking, this team is 7-3 in their last 10 games. The Heat, meanwhile, are looking to end a three-game losing skid, but are still in a playoff spot.
These two teams met twice back in January, with the Nets coming out victorious on both occasions.
Nets vs Heat Odds
|Team||Spread at DraftKings||Moneyline||Odds|
|Brooklyn Nets||-5.5 (-110)||-240||TBD|
|Miami Heat||+5.5 (-110)||+198||TBD|
Odds as of April 17th.
Nets Almost at Full Strength
Despite their 38-18 record, Brooklyn hasn’t had much luck this season with their Big 3 all being healthy at the same time. However, it looks as they could be ready to take the court together soon enough.
KD is back and getting buckets, while Irving is showing out on a nightly basis. James Harden is traveling with the Nets on this current road trip but he’s still not quite ready to return from a hamstring issue.
Steve Nash made it clear that he shouldn’t be out any longer than a couple of weeks. That means we’ll finally see the superstars building some much-needed chemistry ahead of the playoffs, barring any other injuries.
The Nets are coming off an all-around strong performance against the Hornets Friday night, with Durant dropping 25 and dishing out a team-high 11 assists. Sharpshooter Joe Harris actually led the squad with 26 points, going 6-for-9 from downtown. Brooklyn was lights out from all over the court, shooting over 50% from three-point range and the field while draining 15 of their 16 shots from the charity stripe.
Since KD’s return to the lineup, he’s averaging 26 a night through three games. The 11-time All-Star really hasn’t missed a beat and with Kyrie having a cold night vs Charlotte, Durant picked up the slack alongside Harris.
📼 @KDTrey5 at work last night 📼 pic.twitter.com/Jr4konxmlE
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) April 17, 2021
Although Wednesday’s meeting with East foes Philly ended in a loss, there were some clear positives. The Nets trailed for most of the night as Durant sat out due to injury management, leaving Irving to do the heavy lifting. The team made a late comeback in the fourth quarter though against the full-strength Sixers, which really showed the brilliant depth Brooklyn has.
Miami Needs a Win
The Heat endured an awful start to the campaign with injuries playing a vital part, but then began to make a bit of a run pre-All-Star break. But since the festivities in Atlanta, Miami is just 10-10 and are dead smack on .500 with a 28-28 record.
DraftKings Sportsbook Promo Offers 100-1 Odds for Your Team to Hit a 3-Pointer
In a rather underwhelming Eastern Conference that’s still good for a spot in the postseason, but considering Erik Spoelstra’s team was in the Finals last year, they simply aren’t playing well enough.
Amid their losing streak, Jimmy Butler even came out on Friday night after a defeat to the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves, calling his team “soft” and claiming they need to play with more toughness.
Given the performance against the worst team in the league, Butler has a point. The Heat were out-rebounded 45-33 and completely dominated in second-chance opportunities, with Minny outscoring them 23-5.
Miami has lost their last three contests by an average of 15 points, falling to the Nuggets and Suns prior to Friday. In the midst of a cold streak, Brooklyn will not be an easy opponent. But, their sixth-ranked defense is capable of much better and will need to do their best to contain Irving and Durant.
📊 Final Box
➡️ Butler 30 Pts, 10 Rebs & 8 Asts
➡️ Ariza 21 Pts & 7 Rebs
➡️ Bam 17 Pts
➡️ Dragic 15 Pts pic.twitter.com/a1ZWQrqf7i
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 17, 2021
Offensively, the supporting cast of Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic, and Tyler Herro, among others, must get it going as Butler is questionable due to an ankle sprain. Considering Brooklyn’s very average defense, it’s possible this could be a close one.
I think Butler’s comments are going to be a reality check for the Heat. After all, he is their leader and the heart of this team. After such a disappointing night on Friday, Miami is going to bounce back here with a much better performance.
However, I’m not going to say they’ll win since Butler could miss out. The Nets also boasts the top offense in the league and is tough to stop. Taking the Heat ATS is a good choice though, victory or not.
Pick: Miami Heat ATS +5.5 (-110)
This article contains links to external sports betting services. SBD may receive advertising revenue from these links, however editorial has hand-picked each individual link based on relevance to the article, without influence on the coverage.
Quinn Allen is a sports journalist, with a background and education in broadcast journalism (BCIT ’17). He writes about European Football, Basketball, and Baseball for numerous sites across the globe.