NBA League Pass Betting Odds: Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks

Miami at Dallas

Time: 7:30 PM (CT), NBA LP

Spread: MIA -2

Total: 197

Odds c/o 5dimes

The Miami Heat have won six of its last 10 games and are 15-11 on the road where it will take on the Dallas Mavericks tonight at 7:30 PM (CT) on NBA League Pass. The Heat are 2-point favorites over Dallas, with a low betting total set at 197 points according to NBA oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.

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Miami currently resides No. 4 in the Eastern Conference and trails No. 3 Cleveland by just 1.5 games in the standings. The Heat snapped a two-game skid last outing with a 95-91 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. The Heat got 47 points from its quartet of bench players, led by Wayne Ellington’s 17 points on 6 of 14 shooting. Josh Richardson led all Heat scorers with 19 on 6 of 13 shooting, along with dishing out five assists. Miami limited the Hornets to just 34 percent shooting in the game, including just 5 of 24 from three-point range.

It enabled Miami to get by with the ‘W’ despite shooting just 44 percent itself. The Heat get it done with defense, and are limiting opponents to just 101.3 points per game this season, which is the second-best mark in the East behind only Conference leading Boston.

Offensively, the Heat get it done with one of the most balanced offensive attacks in the league. Team-leading scorer Goran Dragic averages ‘only’ 17.3 points per game, but Miami boasts a league-best eight players who average 10 points per game or more. The depth the Heat have has mitigated the effects of a somewhat disappointing season from Dion Waiters, who is averaging just 14.3 points in 25 minutes a night.

Swingman Josh Richardson, combo guard Tyler Johnson, sharpshooter Wayne Ellington, stretch-5 Kelly Olynyk and versatile forward James Johnson all are a part of that double-figure-averaging core, and the team has fit together nicely with great chemistry, which has to in part be credited to the deft coaching of one of the league’s best, Erik Spoelstra.

But Miami’s calling card is still defense. Miami has several lock down defenders, and Johnson’s ability to swing on rotations and come up with blocks and steals can hardly be ignored. Even if Justise Winslow is failing to become an adequate offensive threat (just six points per game), his defense has been paramount in the reasons the Heat are able to control the league’s best perimeter scorers. As Miami continues to gel together, its defense will be what puts it over the top if it is to be successful in advancing to the second round of the 2018 playoffs.


Dallas, while probably out of realistic contention for the 2018 playoffs, has several reasons to be excited about the progress of what has to be called one of the stranger rebuilds in recent history. While still clinging to what is left of Dirk Nowitzki’s career, the Mavs are nevertheless in something of a tank mode, bent on developing their young talents and positioning themselves for another high pick in the 2018 draft. And that is not all bad. The No. 8 overall pick from the 2017 draft has thus far panned out brilliantly for Dallas, as Dennis Smith Jr. is becoming a household name on a horrible team, which is something of a task in and of itself.

Smith has only been getting more aggressive and better as his rookie season has worn on. Over the Mavericks last five games (three of which were losses), he has averaged 18.8 points, 4.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds while shooting 43 percent from the floor. His three-point stroke still leaves some room for improvement at just 32 percent on the season, but what he lacks in marksmanship he makes up for with extra-worldly athleticism.

Smith’s highlights should keep him on everyone’s radar until the Mavericks build a team around him, but in the meantime, it is difficult to ignore what he is doing already. Smith had 25 points on 11 of 18 shooting in the 105-102 loss to the Denver Nuggets Tuesday, and while outside of swingman Harrison Barnes, not much surrounds him, he does look to have the makings of a true superstar to cede Nowitzki after he finally decides to hang it up.

Dirk still has started all 45 games this season, but he is just playing 25 minutes a night and averaging a very humble 12 points and five rebounds per game. Perhaps the most telling part of his decline, however, has not been the reduction in minutes and usage, but the fact Nowitzki is shooting just 46 percent from the field and attempting just under 10 shots per game. While his guile and skill should enable him to remain at least this effective a little longer, there is no delusional Mavericks fan that is waiting nor expecting him to return to the MVP-caliber play by which his career became known for.

Nevertheless, Barnes (18.7 points per game) and Smith should keep Dallas relevant once Dirk does retire, and the Mavericks may ultimately look for a front court replacement this year in the NBA Draft. It is a rebuild certainly that has more promise than others around the league, despite the fact it is hard to just call it a rebuild while rostering a Hall of Fame talent, still. The L.A. Lakers just rebuilt that way, however, so to say it is entirely uncharted ground would be a bit inaccurate, too.

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