Miami Heat vs Houston Rockets Preview (12/15/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

Miami will hope to secure a third-straight road win when it battles the Houston Rockets on Thursday night. Below, we cover in detail the projected starting lineups, game predictions, current odds, and updated injury reports for both teams.

Miami Heat Vs. Houston Rockets Betting Odds

The Miami Heat are 3.5-point road favorites when they travel to Houston. Omer Yurtseven is still recovering from an injury and will not dress, while Gabe Vincent and Jimmy Butler are questionable at the time this article was written. Houston will only miss one of its rotational players in forward Jae’Sean Tate.

Miami Heat Vs. Houston Rockets Prediction

If you aren’t paying attention, it might go unnoticed that the Houston Rockets have won four of their past six games, including wins over the Phoenix Suns (twice), Philadelphia 76ers, and Milwaukee Bucks. That is some steep competition! Houston also held its last two opponents to under 100 points, which is borderline unheard of for this squad. Jabari Smith was masterful on defense against the Milwaukee Bucks; he held Giannis Antetokounmpo, a two-time MVP, to just 16 points in 37 minutes of play. He may not score that low again all season.

Miami decided to stick with its core group from last season, which makes sense, considering it was merely one game away from another NBA Finals appearance. However, the decision has not proved to be the right one thus far, as it is just 14-15. The Heat have time to turn their season around, but it will require a much-improved offensive output. Currently, they rank 27th in offensive efficiency, 24th in offensive rating, 24th in eFG% (effective field goal percentage), and 24th in 3P% (three-point percentage.) Miami has won two-straight home games, but its streak could come to a screeching halt in Houston if it doesn’t put up points because the Rockets will certainly do that.

When it comes to betting on this game, I want to wait until I get updated news on Jimmy Butler’s status. Without Butler, the Heat have gone 5-6 this season. Considering their meager 14-15 record, that may not sound like a big deal, but the wins they had without Jimmy were against Washington (twice), Oklahoma City, Atlanta, and Sacramento. Additionally, the Heat’s offensive rating plummets from 112.5 to 107.1. If Butler doesn’t play, I’ll bet the Houston Rockets against the spread; they have amassed a 7-3-1 record ATS at home so far this season.

Betting Trends

  • Miami is 6-8 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • Houston is 7-3-1 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 28-28 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

The key matchup in the Heat versus Rockets game belongs to Miami’s perimeter defense and Kevin Porter Jr. See which player/team has the advantage when the ball tips off on Thursday night!

Miami Heat’s Perimeter Defense vs. Kevin Porter Jr.

The Miami Heat have struggled this season, lacking the consistency and intensity on the defensive end of the floor that made them so tough to beat last year. One area where they have had success, though, is defending the perimeter. Miami has allowed the sixth-fewest points to opposing point guards. Most recently, it held Tyrese Haliburton, a young, All-Star-caliber guard, to just one point on 0-for-9 shooting from the field!

The Heat also force the seventh-most turnovers to opposing points guards, and Kevin Porter Jr just so happens to be a turnover machine, ranking second in the NBA in turnovers per game, only behind Joel Embiid. KPJ will have his highlight moments in this game, but ultimately, the Miami defense has the advantage. Advantage: Miami Perimeter Defense.

Miami Heat Starting Lineup

PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: Tyler Herro
SF: Caleb Martin
PF: Jimmy Butler
C: Bam Adebayo

Houston Rockets Starting Lineups

PG: Kevin Porter Jr
SG: Jalen Green
SF: Eric Gordon
PF: Jabari Smith Jr
C: Alperen Sengun

Key Injuries

Miami Heat Injuries: Gabe Vincent (Out), Omer Yurtseven (Out), Jimmy Butler (Q)

Houston Rockets Injuries: Jae’Sean Tate (Out)

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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