What Bettors Need To Know About Miami’s Home/Road Splits

The Heat have performed differently in and away from AmericanAirlines Arena, which is concerning

Phillip Pessar, Flickr
  • The Miami Heat are 36-22 and have been one of the surprises in the Eastern Conference this season.

  • Miami’s win total of 36 may be significantly inflated due to playing in the bottom division (win%-wise) in the NBA. Other than the Heat, the rest of the division boasts an average win rate of .361.

  • Although Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic are both more than formidable on offense and the team has a balanced attack, the Heat seem to be without a pure, go-to scorer: someone who can get their shot at any time.

  • After a recent atrocious West-Coast road trip that ended in Atlanta, the Heat have deteriorated their road record.

  • At home, Miami owns a +10.4 plus-minus (2nd among NBA home teams), 116.4 Offensive Rating (2nd) and 106.5 Defensive Rating (9th). On the road, Miami owns a -3.0 plus-minus, as noted above (16th among NBA away teams), a 108.2 Offensive Rating (18th) and 111.3 (18th). 

  • At the moment, their road woes are enough to create a valid reason to doubt their playoff potential. According to FanDuel, the Heat are +2400 to win the 2019-2020 NBA Championship: the seventh-best odds in the league, perhaps a little less than a puncher’s chance.

Per usual, the heat is on in South Beach; the NBA season is more than half-complete, and the Miami Heat have shown quite the range of results. They are 36-22 overall, and despite leading the league’s worst division (Southeast) while currently holding the four-seed in the Eastern Conference, the Heat have not traveled well. Their record is 23-4 (17-9 ATS) at home and a disappointing 13-18 (11-19 ATS) when away from AmericanAirlines Arena. What could be the cause for such disparaging performances?

Under the leadership of former champions Pat Riley and head coach Erik Spoelstra, respectively, Miami has had a solid season to date. They are leading their division and are a half-game up on Philadelphia for the Eastern four-seed, while trailing in the standings only to more talented teams: Milwaukee, Boston, and Toronto. With a winning rate of .621, the Heat have earned 23 of their 36 wins at home as opposed to only 13 wins on the road. Miami has been fortunate to have hosted their subpar divisional foes (Washington, Orlando, Atlanta, and Charlotte) seven times thus far; they’re 7-0 in such instances. The Heat are a scrappy team, so why aren’t they traveling well?

Road Woes

Miami is scoring 8.8 points per game less on the road while surrendering 4.5 points per contest more: not an efficient recipe. Their two main scorers in Butler & Dragic average 3.1 points per game less when playing outside South Beach: approximately the same as their road-total-point differential of -3.0. The Heat often find themselves losing by only a bucket or two when on the road: buckets that you need your two best scorers to be able to go out and get regardless of the venue.

  • At home, Miami owns a +10.4 plus-minus (2nd among NBA home teams), 116.4 Offensive Rating (2nd) and 106.5 Defensive Rating (9th). 

  • On the road, Miami owns a -3.0 plus-minus, as noted above (16th among NBA away teams), a 108.2 Offensive Rating (18th) and 111.3 (18th). 

It is worth noting that Miami returned from a six-game cross-country road trip last week, a trip that depleted the Heat’s visiting record, they traveled to Los Angeles, Sacramento, Portland, San Francisco, and Salt Lake City all before making a final pitstop in Atlanta. The Heat were only victorious against the Warriors, going a dismal 1-5. Although basketball players must be well acquainted with life on the road (since they play so often and never in a series prior to the postseason), it is known that athletes tend to do worse when traveling East-to-West, rather than West-to-East; Miami put that on full display last week.

Will The Struggles Continue?

At this point in the season, there's a large enough sample size to determine which teams are road warriors and which teams aren't. Unfortunately for Miami, they aren't. Do not expect the Heat’s splits to stabilize anytime soon. Although they are well-coached, Miami is still overmatched on the talent-scale by several teams in the East. They will go on to win the Southeast Division, but may fall as low as the six-seed. Look for Miami to make a first or second round playoff-exit this season, unless they can find a way to rally the troops on the road in a consistent fashion.

Miami hosts the Dallas Mavericks in what should be a close-fought battle on Friday night. Unlock the best bets by clicking the button below!