Warriors vs. Heat NBA Odds and Free Picks for March 23

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat. Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP.

The Miami Heat are definitely good enough to beat both the Golden State Warriors and the NBA odds this Wednesday night.

Golden State Warriors vs. Miami Heat

Wednesday, March 23, 2022 – 07:30 PM EDT at FTX Arena

Who’s more important to the Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry or Draymond Green? In the real world, the answer is Curry, but when you’re making your NBA picks, it might actually be Green.

The Warriors went 16-13 SU and 11-16-2 ATS in the two months Green sat out with a sore back. He was the rug that tied the whole room together.

Unfortunately for Golden State, they only got two games out of their Big Three of Curry, Green, and Klay Thompson before Curry sprained his left foot. It’s not believed to be serious enough to keep Curry from returning before the postseason starts, but the Warriors (47-25 SU, 35-33-4 ATS) have already dropped two games SU and ATS without the former two-time MVP, including Tuesday’s 94-90 loss to the Orlando Magic as 7.5-point road faves.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Dubs will be up against it Wednesday night when they visit the first-place team in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat (47-25 SU, 40-31-1 ATS). Miami opened as 5.5-point home faves on the NBA odds board at BetMGM; that’s where things stand at press time, and unless those odds have changed dramatically by the time you read this, the Heat is the easy pick for this matchup.

Strus or Consequences

While the Warriors endure their latest injury setback, the Heat are at full capacity – almost. Victor Oladipo played just four games before returning to the injured list with back spasms; Oladipo is considered day-to-day, as is fellow guard Gabe Vincent (toe), who has already been ruled out of Wednesday’s contest. Don’t be surprised if Oladipo joins Vincent in sickbay.

Not to worry. Oladipo and Vincent were both playing at about replacement level for Miami, which by definition isn’t bad, but they’ve gotten better results from Caleb Martin and Max Strus, who saw their minutes shrink when Oladipo made his long-awaited season debut. They’ll provide capable backup for the Heat, who have their entire starting rotation intact for a change.

Miry Klay

The same can’t be said for the Warriors. Not only is Curry missing, but Thompson will also be out of the lineup Wednesday night – assuming the Dubs stick with their plan of not playing Thompson in back-to-back games.

The former All-Star has cooled off a bit since his return to action, but he’s still been a valuable player on offense, scoring 23.4 points per 36 minutes. Only Curry (26.5 points) has provided more.

There is a Plan B, though. Gary Payton II came off the injured list Tuesday night in Orlando; Andrew Wiggins and Moses Moody both played despite being listed as probable and questionable, respectively. With Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica also healthy, that leaves Golden State with enough capable warm bodies to put up a decent fight in Miami.

A decent fight, yes, but not enough to put Golden State in your NBA picks. This is too good of a situation for Miami, with both the health and the rest advantage for Wednesday’s contest – and maybe a hint of betting value as the smaller-market team of the two. Bet accordingly.

NBA Pick: Heat -5.5 (-110) at BetMGM