Miami Heat Win Season Preview, Win Total Prediction and Playoff Odds

Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are looking to take the Heat back to the Finals.
Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are looking to take the Heat back to the Finals. / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The new-look Miami Heat are aiming to find their championship swagger in the 2021-22 season. 

After making a surprise run to the NBA Finals in the NBA’s Orlando, Fla. bubble in the 2019-2020 campaign, the Heat took a step back last season. COVID-19 and an ankle injury forced Jimmy Butler to miss several games at the start of the season, and the Heat were just 7-13 with him out of the lineup. 

Butler wasn’t the only one, as Goran Dragic dealt with injuries for a lot of the season and the Heat never were able to replace Jae Crowder (who left for the Phoenix Suns in free agency) despite trying Moe Harkless, Nemanja Bjelica, Trevor Ariza and Kelly Olynyk. 

Pat Riley and company set out to improve the roster this past offseason, and the Heat succeeded, adding All-Star guard Kyle Lowry in a sign-and-trade and bringing in P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris to fix the issues at power forward. 

What may be Riley’s most underrated move is retaining Victor Oladipo, who was injured following a trade deadline deal to the Heat last season. The All-Star guard should return at some point in the 2021-22 season, and he will provide a major boost offensively if he can even be a shell of his former self. 

Miami is trying to maximize Butler’s prime, especially after seeing how far he could carry it in the 2019-20 campaign, and there’s a chance they can sneak into the top three in the East if the Philadelphia 76ers can’t resolve their Ben Simmons issue. 

The oddsmakers at WynnBET have given Miami great odds to make the playoffs and a fairly high win total, but is either worth taking heading into this season? 

Miami Heat Win Total Prediction | Miami Heat: 48.5 (Over -108/Under -115)

Miami hasn’t won over 48 games since LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh were all in South Beach, which should show bettors how much oddsmakers believe in this Heat team. 

As good as Miami was in the 2019-20 season, it did still finish with the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference before earning the No. 6 spot last season. A small amount of the Heat’s success can be attributed to the unusual format in the bubble, and I think this prediction may be a little high.

Look, Lowry is a major upgrade over a Dragic or Kendrick Nunn in the starting lineup, but the Heat sacrificed both to get Lowry in town and re-sign Duncan Robinson. 

Gabe Vincent, Tyler Herro and Butler project as the primary ball-handlers behind Lowry, and the Heat will need Herro to continue to take a step forward if they want to reach their full potential. 

The University of Kentucky product shined in the bubble in 2020, but he took a step back as a 3-point shooter (38.9 percent to 36.0 percent) last season. With Dragic no longer in town to anchor the bench unit Herro and Morris will have to step up to make Miami a contender. 

This team has a ton of potential with a healthy Oladipo, but I’m not sure if the Heat are a 50-win team even with Lowry in the fold. 

Miami Heat Playoff Odds

Miami is -1000 at WynnBET to make the postseason (Bet $1000 to win $100) and it makes sense considering the Heat have made the playoffs in 10 of the last 13 seasons. 

The play-in tournament makes it even easier, but I’m not sold on the Heat as a top seed as the odds suggest. Miami underachieved in the 2020-21 season, and the rest of the Eastern Conference made major moves as well, including non-playoff teams like the Chicago Bulls and the Charlotte Hornets. 

The Sixers very well could take a step back to allow a new team to climb into the top three in the East, but the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and maybe even the Bulls will all have their fair shot as well. 

Miami is an older team (Butler and Lowry) with a thin bench until Oladipo returns. The Heat are going to make the playoffs, but we should pump the brakes on them being title contenders (+2200 odds, good for ninth) until we see some of their role guys step up this season.

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