How to bet on Friday’s must-see game for Atlanta (April 8)

Hawks vs. Heat Odds

Falcon ratings -1.5
Heat Ratings +1.5
More less 228.5
Weather 7:30 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds via BetMGM. Keep up to date NBA odds here.

The Miami Heat host the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night in an important game for the Hawks. The Heat clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference on Thursday, and as a result, the Heat listed quite a few players in their injury report for Friday, as it’s unclear how many players they’ll be resting.

On the other hand, the Hawks occupy the ninth seed in the East as the Brooklyn Nets hold the tiebreaker on them for the eighth seed. Atlanta needs to win and secure a Cavs victory over the Nets tonight in order to have a realistic chance of finishing eighth. Will the Hawks prevail in a must-win game, or will the Heat play the shorthanded spoiler like they’ve done so many times already this season.

Will the Hawks reach their Open 3?

The Hawks only have one player, Lou Williams, listed on their injury report, so they’ll have a pretty full roster of players available tonight in Miami.

No matter who the Heat trots down the field, they’ll have to hit their open 3s against a Heat defense that likes to scramble and change to avoid looking at the rim but is susceptible to bursts from beyond the arc.

Per Cleaning The Glass, the Heat’s defense allows the highest frequency (41.8% of shots) of 3-point attempts. However, the Heat defense has the fourth-best defensive rating (excluding trash time, according to Cleaning The Glass), thanks in large part to the lowest 3-point accuracy (34.1%) in the NBA.

The Hawks will need shooters like Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and Bogdan Bogdanovic, among others, to mobilize as a group and hit those shots the Heat’s defense will give them. If the Heat are out of key players due to rest, the Heat’s defense could be a bit sluggish without key connectors, as we saw during the Heat’s four-game losing streak a few weeks ago.

Strus is loose for warmth

If the Heat win and cover as home underdogs, it will be because their shooters step in and they have enough key defenders available to keep their stingy defense intact.

The Heat have a lengthy injury report. PJ Tucker is out and the following players are all listed as questionable: Gabe Vincent, Dewayne Dedmon, Omer Yurtseven, Caleb Martin, Haywood Highsmith and Markieff Morris.

Although they’re not on the injury report, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see the Heat pull Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, or Kyle Lowry before the first tip, so if you want to support the Heat, make sure they play first. .

A key player in this match who is not on the injury report: Max Strus. Strus has been a key part of the Heat’s recent surge since that four-game losing streak as he was inserted into the starting five for Duncan Robinson, and the Heat have won five in a row since.

Strus, along with Tyler Herro, is one of the Heat’s only real three-tier scoring threats, and he’s not shy about shooting. Strus’ minutes normally hinge on the Heat of him, Robinson and Herro after the first quarter, but with the Heat likely without several rotational players on the wing, he should have plenty of opportunities to make big numbers tonight.

Hawks-Heat Pick

With so much uncertainty surrounding who will play for the Heat, I’d prefer either a little game about the Hawks or a game about Max Strus’ player props. The Heat have been outnumbered and have seen their replacements come in at home several times this season, so I wouldn’t bet against them for more than half a unit here.

Because the Hawks have the shooters to punish the Heat’s defense, especially if the Heat are shorthanded and rotations aren’t as clean, I think they’re worth a little play in this must-have scenario.

Alternatively, if Strus’ odds appear before game time, cause him to exceed his point total, with a value up to more than 14.5 points, or above his 3 point marks, with a value of up to more than 2.5 marks.

To take: Hawks -1.5 (bet at -3)

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