The Cleveland Cavaliers travel to the Sunshine State for a road matchup at FTX Arena against the Miami Heat on Wednesday. The Cavaliers (11-10) started the season on a hot note, but have cooled down losing five of their last seven games. The Heat (13-8) are back to playing their brand of basketball, winning six of their last nine contests. Miami opens this game as a considerable home favorite.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat Betting Lines
Point Spread: Miami Heat -6
Money Line: N/A
Total: Over/Under 206.5
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat Injury Report
Cedi Osman (back) and Dean Wade (calf) are both game-time decisions for the Cavaliers.
Tyler Herro (illness), Jimmy Butler (back), and Markieff Morris (neck) are game-time decisions for Miami. Victor Oladipo remains out until at least next week with a quad injury.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat Preview
Garland and Mobley Answering the Call Without Sexton
The Cavaliers welcomed back rookie center Evan Mobley in their 105-92 victory over the Magic two games ago. Mobley, who missed four games with a sprained right elbow, recorded 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists, four blocks, and two 3-pointers in 33 minutes. The 7-foot Mobley has emerged as a Rookie of the Year favorite while averaging 14.5 points and 8.1 rebounds. Expect the Cavs to slowly ramp his minutes up.
BOYS HAVING SOME FUN!
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) November 30, 2021
Darius Garland has expanded his role as a playmaker without fellow wingman Collin Sexton, who is out for the season with a knee injury. The 21-year-old Garland is averaging 21.3 points, 2.8 triples, 6.4 assists and 1.3 steals over the past 10 games for the Cavaliers, who are allowing 102.9 points per game. It’s an impressive feat for a Cleveland team that struggled mightily on that end a season ago. Cleveland has also received a spark from reserve forward Cedi Osman, but he is questionable for this tilt against the Heat.
Heat Dominating on the Defensive End
The Heat are off to an excellent start to the season, with their typical gritty defensive prowess taking center stage. They are allowing 102.5 points per game, good for second in the NBA. Their 104.4 defensive rating ranks fourth while controlling the glass better than any team in the Eastern Conference. Jimmy Butler is averaging 23.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 5.3 assists. The All-Star brings an element of toughness that his teammates feed off of.
The biggest issue for the Heat is the health of guard Tyler Herro, who is averaging 21.8 points. He remains a game-time decision for this home tilt. If Herro is unable to go, look for Gabe Vincent to get another large chunk of playing time. Miami’s depth is never an issue, as Vincent dropped 20 points and four threes when he was thrust into the lineup over the weekend. As long as Miami can stay healthy, they will be a major player in the East towards the end of the season.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat Prediction and Pick
The Heat are off to a scorching start to the season, with their usual gritty defensive prowess taking center stage. They are allowing 102.5 points per game, good for second in the NBA. The Cavaliers are still trying to navigate without injured guard Collin Sexton, who is out for the season with a knee injury. Evan Mobley returned from injury, but Cleveland is only scoring 103.1 points per game (ranked 25th). That’s simply not good enough to win most games.
Miami is 12-6 against the spread in their last 18 games this season. They are hoping Tyler Herro is ready to rock after being sidelined with an illness. Even if the young guard can’t go, Gabe Vincent and Miami’s extraordinary depth will make up for the 21 points per game they’re missing with Herro. Take the Heat to win and win big.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat Totals Pick
The Heat rank 26th in pace through the first 21 games of the season. Although the Heat and their stellar defense take all the headlines, they are still capable of scoring with the best teams in the NBA. Likewise, their totals have typically been much too low for their scoring potential. For that reason, the total number has gone over in nine of their last 12 games on the hands of Butler and Adebayo returning from injury. Take the over in this game with the utmost confidence.
Source: Basketball Insider