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Cavaliers vs. Heat Prediction: Heat Look for Second Cavs Win in Two Weeks

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published December 8, 2023
10 min read

The Cleveland Cavaliers (12-9) are in South Beach to take on the Miami Heat (12-9) for the second time in as many weeks on Friday.

The Cavs overcame Paolo Banchero’s career-best 42-point effort on Wednesday to secure their fourth win in five games. The Heat, meanwhile, split games with the In-Season Tournament finalists, the Indiana Pacers, then beat the Toronto Raptors on the road a couple of days ago.

Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite picks for the Cavaliers vs. Heat matchup.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat Prediction

Cavaliers vs. Heat Betting Odds for Friday, Dec. 8

The Cavs are slight favorites on the road against the Heat. Cleveland, strangely, is better on the road (6-3) than at home (6-6), while Miami is 5-3 in its home arena.

TeamsSpreadMoneylineTotal
Cleveland Cavaliers-1.5 (-105)-115Over 219.5 (-110)
Miami Heat+1.5 (-115)-105Under 219.5 (-110)

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The Cavs have been a revolving door for players as injuries have robbed them of any sort of early-season consistency with their lineup. 

They’ve finally started to enjoy some stability recently, which just so happens to coincide with their winning streak. While we don’t expect them to continue winning 80% of their games, it’s a sign that they are still a strong team in an Eastern Conference that is overflowing with contenders and young stars.

Donovan Mitchell is getting the job done on both ends, averaging 27.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.0 steals. Darius Garland has pitched in another 19.7 points and 6.1 assists per night, though he’s shooting a career-low 32.9% from three.

The Cavs had the best defensive rating in the league last year. A slow start caused them to rank ninth for the season, though they’re up to fourth over their last 10 games.

Despite that, the Cleveland defense has been a mixed bag. They rank eighth in field goal percentage and ninth in points in the paint allowed, but they’re also 19th in fastbreak points surrendered and 25th in opponent points off turnovers.

The Cavs don’t have a ton of ball movement on offense. Part of that is a sacrifice they have to make to maintain such a strong interior defense with Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, though it has resulted in them being one of the most careless teams in the league.

The struggles to generate efficient halfcourt offense have been felt late in games. They’re 23rd in clutch net rating and usually find themselves waiting for Mitchell to try to create for himself in isolation or off a high pick-and-roll.

On the other side, the Heat’s two recent wins in three games ended a three-game losing streak. They were one of the hottest teams in the league just before that, however, and look like they’re going to be even better than they were when they made the Finals last year.

Bam Adebayo is the central hub of the offense and defense and averages 22.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.2 steals, and a block. But while he and Jimmy Butler (22.2 points, 5.2 rebounds) dominate the headlines, it’s Miami’s less-heralded players that are once again proving to be the difference.

Rookie Jamie Jaquez Jr. averaged close to 30 minutes per game and 13.7 points since the start of November. Eastern Conference Finals hero Caleb Martin also put up a season-high 24 points and a career-high 12 rebounds in the win against the Raptors on Wednesday, while Duncan Robinson (15 points, 2.9 assists) is now a real playmaker out of the pick-and-roll and not just a three-point shooter.

Miami doesn’t jump off the page in any category but has a high mark of fourth in three-point shooting (38.5%), a significant improvement from when they finished 22nd a year ago (35.1%). They too have been poor in late-game situations and are at their best when they can control the tempo and wear their opponents down.

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Cavaliers vs. Heat Prediction and Betting Pick

Adebayo has already been ruled out with a hip injury, which is a major blow for the Heat against a team that has several interior players who score in the paint and dominate the glass. Second-year pro Orlando Robinson started the last two games in his place (one win and one loss) and averaged 15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists.

Miami blew Cleveland out 129-96 when they played on Nov. 22. Adebayo also missed that game, but Kyle Lowry’s 28 points (9-15 FG, 7-10 3PT) were enough to overcome his absence. The bench also combined to score 64 points, led by Jaquez Jr.’s 22.

We don’t expect this game to be anything like the reverse fixture. Aside from Caris LeVert, all of the Cavs’ priority players are expected to suit up (minus Mobley, who is questionable). Even though their offense isn’t the smoothest in the league, they have scoring. The Heat often struggle to match and will exploit Adebayo’s absence.

Take the Cavs to win and cover here.

  • Pelicans vs. Heat pick: Cavaliers -1.5 (-105)

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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

407 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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