After finishing one win shy of making the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals, the Miami Heat, old though they may be, have made one thing clear to the sportsbetting community: They aren't going anywhere. Even now with Dwyane Wade aging and Goran Dragic failing to play like the $90 million(ish) man that he is, you cannot count the Heat out of the futures game. They are Southeast Divsion plays. They are absolutely Eastern Conference Finals dice rolls. You can even make the case that they are deserving of some NBA championship attention.
The latter bet is a longer than long shot, and it should be treated as such. Furthermore, so much of the Heat's immediate potential rests on how they fare in free agency. Each of those caveats is a big one and must be considered when making any Miami centric wagers.
But the Heat will continue to field competitive outfits for as long as Pat Riley, the team's president, is at the helm. He has a knack for winning the offseason, even when he actually loses it. Just look at the work he did in the aftermath of LeBron James' departure in 2014.
Plus, the Heat do have some up and coming youngsters to watch. Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson, in addition to the slightly more established Hassan Whiteside, give them a core around which to build and on which they can sell prospective free agents.
Most other teams don't have that luxury—that ability to strike an enticing balance between the present and the future. And while the Heat still have serious obstacles standing between them and juggernaut status, all of which we will soon address, they must be kept in your back pocket as everything bets.
Division champs, Eastern Conference title chasers, championship contenders, win total overs and unders, single game plays—you name it, they deserve to be a part of it.
Miami Heat Betting Lines Today
These are the betting lines for the Miami Heat's next game. We have all the information you will ever need to begin the gambling process: tip off times, moneylines, spreads, overs and unders.
Do yourself a favor and keep checking and rechecking these odds until you actually submit your bet. The lines can change after being published. It doesn't happen much in the NBA, but you will nevertheless want to inoculate yourself against any potential shocks by staying as informed as possible.
This is a look at the Miami Heat's entire schedule, including their past games and scores. Turn to this whenever you're looking to plan ahead or detect certain betting patterns.
While moving ahead in the schedule can be difficult because you don't have official games lines off which to work, it still helps you craft a solid bet by studying the matchup in advance. So when the sportsbooks do release your odds, you will be able to jump at the earliest lines, unlike many other bettors who won't have done the necessary legwork beforehand.
Previous outings, meanwhile, are an effective way of seeing where the Heat thrive or struggle the most.
Are they prone to covering at home? What about on the road? How do they play against really good offensive teams? Have they been routinely torching bad defensive teams? What is their record against double digit point spreads? Are they better against Eastern Conference or Western Conference teams?
Frame your bets off this information, and you'll quickly notice an uptick in profitable wagers.
Miami Heat Standings Right Now
Take at look at the Miami Heat's current place in the standings. This goes double for all you futures bettors. Records can be a valuable way of making single game moneyline plays.
But their real worth lies with the futures game.
By looking at where the Heat stand in their division, the Eastern Conference and relative to the rest of the NBA, you can then tell what type of future play they are or aren't. Stack their record up against those of known contenders in a particular category, and poof! You'll have your answer.
How To Win At Miami Heat Betting
Much of the Miami Heat's future rests on Chris Bosh's own future. He has missed the latter parts of each of the last two seasons because of blood clot issues. Though the Heat expect him to be ready for next season, his career is in jeopardy so long as he has these problems.
Right now, as the highest paid player on the team, Bosh, who has three years left on his current deal, is extremely important to what Miami is trying to do. He spaces the floor enough to be considered a stretch 4, and that should allow him to succeed alongside center Hassan Whiteside, assuming the Heat re-sign him in free agency.
Head coach Erik Spoelstra will, admittedly, have to do a better job of staggering that duo's minutes should Bosh be healthy enough to roll next season. The Heat are instilling an offensive model built on pace and space, and no matter how well Bosh shoots, he won't have the same impact at the 4 in this system as, say, Joe Johsnon. He will be at his best while playing center, Whiteside's position, thus dilemma.
But it's a dilemma the Heat will welcome, because it means Bosh will be healthy and playing. And if he shows he can stay on the court, they become that much more attractive as everything bets.
Before you go liberally placing macro view bets on the Miami Heat, first wait to see how free agency unfolds. They will have a ton of cap space, like most other teams, but also have a bunch of free agents of their own that could end up being flight risks.
Dwyane Wade will be an unrestricted free agent, and while he should return at a discount, the extent of that discount will go a long way in determining whether they keep Hassan Whiteside, also an unrestricted free agent. He is in line for a huge pay increase, and since the Heat do not own his Bird rights, they will have to use cap space to re-sign him.
Luol Deng, Joe Johnson and Tyler Johnson (restricted) will each be free agents as well. And knowing Pat Riley, the Heat will also try to wedge their way into the conversation for any available All-Star free agents, perhaps by cutting bait with Whiteside or shopping Goran Dragic.
Once all the offseaosn dusts settles, usually sometime in August, and you have a concrete idea of what the Heat's roster will look like next season, that's when you should start pouring money into their futures.
There really isn't a scenario in which they take massive steps back between last season and next season, but their success in free agency, or lack thereof, could be the difference between ranking them as genuine championship or Eastern Conference investments and deciding to wait on all futures bets until midway through the regular season.