Nover's View: Don't sleep on the Heat

by Stephen Nover

The Miami Heat come out of the All-Star break 38-21. That's tied with the Bulls for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Yet there are three teams with shorter odds than the Heat to win the Eastern Conference, according to current numbers at the Westgate.

The Nets are plus $2.75. The Bucks and 76ers are next both at plus $3.50. Then the Heat at plus $5.50.

I think that's a pretty good price to take a shot on the Heat especially considering their three best players - Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry - missed a combined 57 games.

The Heat check a lot of boxes: They have deep playoff experience having reached the NBA Finals just two seasons ago. They are strong defensively giving up the fifth-fewest points per game while ranking fifth in defensive field goal percentage and first in defensive rebounding. Miami shoots well, ranking in the top-four in 3-point accuracy and free throw percentage. The Heat also have an upper tier coach, Erik Spoelstra.

So, yeah, at plus $5.50 I'll take a shot on the Heat to capture the Eastern Conference.

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