- The Miami Heat finished with a record of 39-43 last season and missed the playoffs
- The Heat acquired Jimmy Butler in the offseason but traded away Hassan Whiteside and Josh Richardson
- The Heat’s regular season win total is set at 43.5, so they’re barely projected to be above .500
The Miami Heat’s NBA Eastern Conference odds have dipped from +2400 to +1700. It’s clear that some bettors seem to think they have a chance of coming out of the East. Is there value with Miami now that they have Jimmy Butler in tow or are the Heat a team you should pass on?
2020 NBA Eastern Conference Odds
|Team||Odds at BetOnline|
*Odds collected Aug. 9, 2019. For more teams visit BetOnline
Butler Addition Elevates Heat
The Heat managed to pry away Jimmy Butler from the Philadelphia 76ers, which significantly impacted their chances of success in the 2019-20 season. Butler is an All-Star and gives the team a centerpiece to work with. Prior to his arrival, they had a lot of nice, young parts but they lacked the proven star power.
The other big move the Heat made was trading away Hassan Whiteside. He was a good player but clashed with the coaching staff and was never quite the right fit. That now elevates another quality young center in Bam Adebayo to the starting lineup.
Lastly, the Heat managed to keep Goran Dragic. He was rumored to be moved in a trade but ended up staying put. That gives the team either a quality starting point guard or a solid asset off the bench.
Heat Are Still Many Bricks Short of a Load
The Heat are still a long way from being a contender in the Eastern Conference. The rest of their starting lineup is Dion Waiters, James Johnson and either Dragic or Justise Winslow. If the Heat do manage to acquire another asset like Brad Beal – or another superstar – then they’re in the conversation.
Absent of that, this is just a decent team in the Eastern Conference that will make the playoffs but very likely won’t have home-court advantage.
Too Many Teams Are Better
The main reason to pass on the Heat’s odds to win the Eastern Conference is that too many teams are better. The Philadelphia 76ers, who traded away Butler, are arguably the team to beat right now. Their starting five of Ben Simmons, Jason Richardson, Tobias Harris, Al Horford and Joel Embiid is far superior.
Looking further than the list, the Boston Celtics should be better than the Heat – especially with Kemba Walker in tow. Then there’s the Brooklyn Nets, who added Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, although he’s expected to miss the season. The Milwaukee Bucks finished with the most wins in the East and should again be close to a 60-win team.
Even a team like the Indiana Pacers looks like they’ll be very strong after the quality offseason they had. That means the Heat are probably the fifth or sixth seed in the East, which means they have an uphill battle to make a run.
I’d rather take a shot with the Pacers or Nets (and hope that Durant is back in time) as I don’t see any value with Miami.
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