Mavericks vs. Heat NBA Preview and Best Bet for February 15

Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat shoots. Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images/AFP

The Dallas Mavericks’ curious deadline deal makes them the wrong NBA pick for Tuesday’s game with the red-hot Miami Heat.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat

Tuesday, February 15, 2022 – 7:30 PM EST at FTX Arena

Well, that was unexpected. The Dallas Mavericks blew up their roster at Thursday’s trade deadline, sending Kristaps Porzingis to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans. It was easily the biggest head-scratcher of the day, and it’s likely to have a negative short-term effect on the Mavericks as they chase down a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Miami Heat must be licking their chops right now. Already, winners of five straight games, the Heat will host Dallas this Tuesday night, and they were early 5.5-point favorites on the overseas NBA lines before opening at –2.5 on our side of the pond – BetMGM, to be specific. This might be a good time to throw some cash at Miami at their new price.

You Ain’t Gonna See No Unicorn

Everyone’s still trying to figure out what’s going on in Big D. Porzingis never quite lived up to that gigantic five-year, $158-million contract he signed in 2019, after sitting out a year to rehabilitate his torn ACL, but he was playing the best basketball of his career this season – and Porzingis is still only 26 years old.

In return, the Mavericks (33-24 SU, 30-27 ATS) get some roster balance and flexibility. However, they also get two flawed players in Dinwiddie, who fell out with his teammates in D.C., and Bertans, who turned into a pumpkin after signing his own lucrative five-year, $80-million deal in late 2020. Both men are expected to make their Dallas debuts Tuesday night. Things could get ugly.

Heat Check

The Heat (37-20 SU, 33-24 ATS) weren’t nearly as active at the deadline, but they did some business, sending KZ Okpala to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of a pick swap that also netted Miami a trade exception. Okpala was on a minimum salary playing minimum minutes; his departure won’t impact Tuesday’s game, but it does open a roster spot for the Heat’s playoff drive.

There isn’t much they need. Miami has gone 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS since Kyle Lowry came off the inactive list, reuniting their Big Three with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Unfortunately, Butler is now listed as questionable for Tuesday’s matchup with a strained right shoulder, which probably explains why the NBA odds changed so dramatically for the Heat.

Caleb Martin (Achilles) is questionable, too, and Tyler Herro (knee) is out. Given that Butler is Miami’s best player, it’s probably a good idea to wait until the morning shoot-around (as usual) to see if he’s likely to play – and what price you can get on the Heat if he doesn’t. They could turn out to be a bargain if the betting market has overreacted to Butler not playing, as the market is wont to do.

NBA Pick: Heat –2.5 (–110) with BetMGM