While nobody was looking, the Miami Heat rattled off 11 straight wins at 10-0-1 ATS. Is there any value left on the NBA odds board, or is Miami all smoke and mirrors?
Remember that team LeBron James was on a few years ago? What was their name... oh yeah, the Miami Heat. Hell of a team: four straight trips to the NBA Finals, two championships. I wonder whatever happened to them.
If you're a “real” basketball fan, you know all about the Heat. First James went back to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Then Chris Bosh developed blood clots; his career is likely over. Even Dwyane Wade, the heart and soul of the team since 2003, left in free agency for the Chicago Bulls. That, plus a string of injuries, had Miami in big trouble at the start of the 2016-17 campaign. So people stopped paying attention, and they stopped putting the Heat in their NBA picks.
The Johnson Administration
See how important paying attention is? The Heat still have some injury problems – Justise Winslow (–2.8 BPM) and Josh McRoberts (–2.4 BPM) are both out indefinitely – but that hasn't stopped Miami from putting together an amazing 11-game win streak, crushing the NBA odds at 10-0-1 ATS. They even beat the Golden State Warriors 105-102 as 11-point home dogs.
Turns out there was more to the Heat than just the Big Three of James, Wade and Bosh. Hassan Whiteside (–1.4 BPM) is a defensive beast and a volume scorer down low. Goran Dragic (+2.6 BPM) is still one of the better offensive point guards in the league. Tyler Johnson (+1.6 BPM) continues to impress, and our old pal James Johnson (+2.3 BPM) is back to playing efficient basketball now that he's getting the meaningful minutes he wasn't getting with the Toronto Raptors.
This doesn't mean Miami is title-bound or anything. This 13-game run featured eight home games, five of those against losing teams. They also got to play the Brooklyn Nets twice. But as long as people continue to ignore what's happening on the court, there's money to be made on the NBA odds board.