Southeast Division foes will collide when the Washington Wizards (23-39) go head-to-head against the Miami Heat (40-23) at Capital One Arena. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 230.5 points with Miami opening as a 5.5-point favorite. Action begins at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 8, 2020.
Miami Heat vs. Washington Wizards Free Preview
In the Heat’s last outing, they lost to the New Orleans Pelicans, 110-104. They were unable to cover as 1.5-point underdogs. With 28 points on 8-for-17 shooting, Jimmy Butler was the top scorer from either team. New Orleans had an offensive rebounding percentage of 30.0 (above their season average of 24.2). Miami, on the other hand, had a free throw rate of 0.244 (above their season average of 0.233). The two teams combined to put up 214 points, which was well under the projected point total of 232.
The Wizards come in on a high note after covering the 5.5-point spread against the Atlanta Hawks in their last matchup, 118-112. Washington rallied around Bradley Beal, who was the game’s leading scorer with 35 points on 13-for-21 shooting. Washington dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a fantastic free throw rate of 0.408 (above their season average of 0.207) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 23.1 (above their season average of 22.2). For those same stats, Atlanta was 0.093 and 17.1, respectively. The two squads collectively scored 230 points, which was under the projected point total of 240.
Opposite tempos will be on display in this matchup. Washington prefers a fast-breaking style of play (sixth in possessions per game), while Miami is more half-court-oriented (21st in possessions per game). Additionally, the third-ranked offense of the Heat (offensive efficiency of 111.3) will try to take advantage of the 29th-ranked defense of the Wizards (defensive efficiency of 113.9).
Games featuring these teams tend to go over the O/U total. Miami games have gone over 60.3 percent of the time, while 58.1 percent of Washington games have gone over. The Heat have the better straight up (SU) record (40-23 vs. 23-39), but both teams are near the .500 mark against the spread (ATS).
These two teams have already met three times this season, with the Heat leading the series two games to one. In the most recent game, the Wizards lost 134-129 but covered as 10-point underdogs. Beal led both teams with 38 points and also put up nine rebounds and five assists. The two teams combined to score 263 points, which was 34 points above the projected point total of 229 points. Miami did an excellent job of getting and making free throws (31-36; 86.1 percent). Washington, meanwhile, had a better turnover percentage (9.3 vs. 13.7).
Heat at Wizards Prediction
Prediction: SU Winner – Heat, ATS Winner – Wizards, O/U – Over
The Heat rank ninth in second chance points allowed per game (12.5) while the Wizards rank 28th (14.9).
Miami ranks fifth in blocks allowed per game (4.3) while Washington ranks 18th (5.0).
Miami ranks seventh in assists per game (26.0) while Washington ranks 23rd in assists allowed per game (25.3).
Washington averages 8.1 steals per game, which ranks 11th in the NBA. Miami ranks 14th in steals allowed per game (7.5).
Miami is 12-19-1 ATS on the road with 17 overs, 14 unders and 1 push.
At home, Washington is 17-13 ATS with 15 overs, 14 unders and 1 push.
Miami is 8-1 when they hold opponents under 100 points, while Washington is 4-0.
The Heat are 39-17 when they reach 100 points, while the Wizards are 21-37.
The Wizards rank 13th in three pointers allowed per game (33.4) while the Heat rank 28th (37.9).
Miami ranks third in rebounds allowed per game (42.3) while Washington ranks 25th (46.5).
The Heat rank sixth in points allowed in the paint per game (45.0) while the Wizards rank 25th (51.9).
The Heat rank second in fast break points allowed per game (11.6) while the Wizards rank 10th (12.7).
Washington averages 18.5 points off turnovers per game, which ranks fifth in the league. Miami ranks 24th in points off turnovers allowed per game (17.8).
Washington is 2-2-1 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in its last five games.
Over its last five games, Miami is 2-3 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
The Wizards’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 3.6, down from 4.1 for the season.
During their last five games, the Heat have scored an average of 113.4 points per game (0.8 above their season average) and allowed an average of 108.6 points per game (0.6 below their season average).