The Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat find themselves in very similar positions as they head into their matchup in Miami on Tuesday night. Both teams are ranked No. 6 in their respective conferences and look to remain inside the top 6 by the end of the regular season to avoid the play-in tournament. The Heat are 35-30, 1.0 game ahead of the Boston Celtics, while the Mavericks are 38-28, a 0.5 game in front of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Both teams are dealing with injuries at the worst possible time with Kristaps Porzingis expected to miss his third straight game for Dallas. In addition, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Maxi Kleber are both questionable to play. For the Heat, Tyler Herro remains out with a foot injury, and reserves Nemanja Bjelica and Andre Iguodala are questionable.
Update: Iggy will play but Jimmy Butler has been ruled out due to an illness.
Pick ATS: Heat -4
Both teams had the night off on Monday and will play their third game in four days, so there’s not much of an advantage to be had here scheduling-wise for either team. Be sure to check the injury report to confirm who’s in and who’s out, but our lean is toward Miami, which will only have one key player out while the Mavericks could see three key players on the bench on Tuesday night. Against the spread trends favor the Heat, which have covered at 6-2-1 in their last nine games, and Dallas is 4-9 against the spread in their last 13.
Player Prop: Luka Doncic O3.5 3-pointers (+118)
The Heat defend the three-point line fairly well as opponents make just 36.4% from deep, the 13th lowest mark in the NBA. However, Miami’s defense allows teams to attempt shots from long range at a high rate. Opponents shoot 39.4 3-pointers per game against the Heat, the second most in the league. For that reason, we’re going with Luka Doncic, who is averaging a team-high 8.3 long range attempts per game, which should go even higher without Porzingis and potentially Hardaway Jr. out of the lineup.
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