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Heat vs. Kings Prediction: No Butler, No Problem?

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published February 26, 2024
10 min read

The Miami Heat (31-25) will head from coast-to-coast for a cross-conference matchup with the Sacramento Kings (33-23) on Monday evening.

Jimmy Butler warned the league that this is the time of year that the Heat start to turn into the menacing threat the rest of the Eastern Conference knows them to be during the postseason. However, Butler, along with Thomas Bryant and Nikola Jovic, will miss Monday’s game as they serve a suspension stemming from a scuffle with the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Kings won both of their post-All-Star Game matchups and just took down the 37-19 Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, 123-107. They’re also 16-9 at home, though Miami is 16-12 on the road.

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

Heat vs Kings Prediction

Heat vs. Kings Betting Odds for Monday, Feb. 26

The Kings enter as 7.5-point favorites despite losing their only matchup with Miami this season 106-115 (on Jan. 31). They’re 29-26-1 (52.7%) against the spread but only 10-13 (43.5%) ATS as a home favorite and 5-7 (41.7%) ATS over their last 12 outings.

The Heat are 27-28-1 (49.1%) ATS overall but 11-7 (61.1%) ATS as a road underdog. They also won 11 of 18 and four of their last five games without Butler in the lineup 

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Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Miami Heat +7.5 (-105) +240 Over 224.5 (-110)
Sacramento Kings -7.5 (-115) -300 Under 224.5 (-110)

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Heat vs. Kings Prediction

Miami Heat Preview

The Heat enter the matchup well-rested having not played since Friday night. That’s a huge advantage with a coach such as Erik Spoelstra, who has the record to back it up.

Although Miami was not great at different stretches of the year, it won five of its last six games and made a statement beating the Pelicans by 11 points on the road. Their road net rating (+0.9) is also exactly the same as Sacramento’s home net rating, which ranks 19th in the league.

Last year’s Finals runner-ups have been outstanding on defense nearly all year and rank second in road defensive rating (110), ahead of even the Minnesota Timberwolves. They’re also third in defensive rebound percentage, fifth in points in the paint allowed per game, and seventh in opponents’ average fastbreak points.

While the Miami defense hasn’t been an issue, the offense has come and gone. They’re just 23 in points per 100 possessions over the last 15 games and shot 35.7% from beyond the arc (22nd) during that stretch.

Without Butler in the lineup, Tyler Herro (questionable) is going to need to have a big night scoring. He only put up 15 against the Pels but averaged 21.6 in 14 games without the former in 2023-24.

Duncan Robinson could also be someone to keep an eye on. The 29-year-old scored 17 against New Orleans and 15+ in five straight games without Butler, including 23 and 20 in consecutive games just before the All-Star break. 

Sacramento Kings Preview

The Kings assumed a low profile for most of the year after losing their element of surprise last year—that’s not to say that they haven’t been competitive, as their fifth in a crowded Western Conference and within striking distance of a top-four seed if they can rip off a win streak.

Sacramento shot 49.5% from the floor and 40.5% from three against the Clippers in their 16-point win last night. De’Aaron Fox scored 33 points and made it four straight games scoring 28+ points immediately after he had a four-game streak where he failed to crack 20 points.

The Kings aren’t an extremely efficient three-point shooting team (37.1% - 12th) and are actually behind the Heat (37.3% - 11th), but they are fourth in makes per game. They also have players in Fox and Sixth Man of the Year candidate Malik Monk (15.2 points, 5.2 assists) who are great at getting downhill and make plays flying to the hoop, which is partly why they are second in points per pick-and-roll possession when the roll man gets the ball.

Although there have been structural changes to the team’s defense, they are just 26th in points allowed per 100 possessions at home (118.1), well below Miami’s standard on the road.

Fox also struggled in his previous matchups with Miami, scoring fewer than his projected points on Monday (23.5) in nine of 11 career matchups. He also managed just 13 points on 25% shooting when these teams met in Miami on Jan. 31.

Domantas Sabonis (20.1 points, 13.2 rebounds, 8.4 assists) will have a huge task taking on Bam Adebayo. Although he’s been excellent, Bam is as versatile of a center as there is.

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Heat vs. Kings Betting Pick

The way we see it, this feels like a relatively 50/50 matchup, which leaves us wondering why the Kings are favored by as many points as they are. 

Do they have a home-court advantage? Yes, they do. But that advantage has not really translated into much, and Miami just beat a great Pelicans team on the road with relative ease. 

The Heat’s proven ability to win without Butler, added rest, and defensive solidarity is more than enough for us to back them here. We recommend waiting until Herro’s status is finalized, but we’d still bet on them without him. 

Heat vs. Kings pick:  Heat +7 at BetMGM

How to Watch Heat vs. Kings

  • When: Monday, Feb. 26 @ 7:00/10:00 p.m. PT/ET

  • Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA

  • TV: NBA TV

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Grant Mitchell

480 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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