A rematch of the 2020 NBA Finals takes place on Wednesday night when the Los Angeles Lakers host the Miami Heat at Crypto.com Arena. See below our Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers prediction, betting picks, and detailed matchup preview!
Miami Heat Vs. Los Angeles Lakers Prediction
Our confidence in this Los Angeles Lakers team isn’t abundant, but the matchup and situation are undeniable. The Lakers enter this game having lost three of their past four; however, their losses were to Boston (at home), Minnesota, and New Orleans on the road. There are much worse losses a team could have.
Meanwhile, Miami is still trying to cling to its fourth place in the Eastern Conference in the absence of Jimmy Butler, who just suffered another injury a few days ago. This time, it was an injury to his foot. Butler does not have an immediate timetable for return, and he is already listed as out for this game. The Heat have played in nine games without Jimmy Butler this season and boast a 5-4 record and a -1.3 net rating in that span (they have a +1.9 net rating with him.)
Even though Los Angeles has underwhelmed this season, especially after such an impressive 2023 playoff run, it has protected its home floor quite well. The Lakers are 11-4 at Crypto.com Arena and hold the eighth-best net rating in the NBA at home. Miami has a winning record on the road, but many of those wins came with Butler available.
Additionally, the Lakers match up extraordinarily well with Miami. Anthony Davis, one of the best interior defenders and rim protectors in the history of the NBA, will be tasked with defending Bam Adebayo. Adebayo is talented offensively but does not have a wide array of counters and isolation moves to freeze Davis; he will instead be forced to take mid-range jump shots and contested post shots over or around AD.
Further, LeBron James and Jarred Vanderbilt can trade off on rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr., who has been playing well in extended minutes but stands little chance of putting on a scoring clinic against two quick and lengthy defenders. Taurean Prince and Austin Reaves can trade off on Tyler Herro, who will put points on the board but not nearly enough to push Miami past the Lake Show.
Look for the Lakers to pull away in the second half, as long as James and Davis play, of course.
Miami Heat Vs. Los Angeles Lakers Prediction: Lakers -6.5 (-110)
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Miami Heat Vs. Los Angeles Lakers Best Odds
The Los Angeles Lakers are 6.5-point home favorites when they host the Miami Heat for a non-conference clash. Miami has Moneyline odds of +200 to go into Crypto.com Arena and snag an impressive road win, while Los Angeles is -245 to take care of business on its home floor and beat the Heat outright. The point total for this game sits at 226.5 points, with -110 odds for both the Over and the Under.
Miami Heat Starting Lineup
Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
Miami Heat Vs. Los Angeles Lakers Injuries
Miami will have several players missing for tonight’s game against the Lakers, including Jimmy Butler (foot), Caleb Martin (ankle), Haywood Highsmith (concussion), and Dru Smith (knee.) The Heat have Josh Richardson also listed on the injury report, but he has a questionable designation.
Los Angeles also has a laundry list of injuries: Rui Hachimura (calf), Gabe Vincent (knee), and D’Angelo Russell (tailbone) will not suit up for the Lakers’ Wednesday night game. LeBron James (illness) and Cam Reddish (groin) are questionable and will most likely be game-time decisions.