Jimmy Butler looking to pass ball

Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat take on the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday night. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

  • The Miami Heat look for their fourth straight win as they host the Dallas Mavericks
  • Luka Doncic will likely be without fellow starters Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr again
  • Get the latest Mavericks vs Heat odds, betting preview and a pick below

Two teams trying to avoid the play-in tangle in Miami, with the Dallas Mavericks in town to battle the Heat.

Sitting in sixth in the West, the Mavericks are just a half-game up on the seventh-place Trail Blazers. Any stumble could easily slide them into the seventh-seed and a not-so-certain playoff future. Miami is also in sixth and only a game up on the Boston Celtics from having to win-to-get-into the playoffs.

The Heat will be looking for their fourth straight win. The Mavericks just saw their three-game win streak snapped. Both teams will be shorthanded in this tilt.

Mavericks vs Heat Odds

TeamSpread at FanDuelMoneylineTotal
Dallas Mavericks+3 (-110)+124TBD
Miami Heat-3 (-110)-146TBD

Odds as of May 1. Tipoff is Tuesday at 8pm ET

Struggle vs SacTo

It was an off-night for the Mavericks, who had won six of seven before taking a thumping in a 111-99 loss to the Kings last time out. Both Luka Doncic and head coach Rick Carlisle were ejected late. Two more techs for Doncic means he’s just one more away from an automatic 1-game suspension — unless the league rescinds any T’s from Sunday night.

Of bigger concern than the loss was the lack of firepower around the 22-year-old Doncic, who put up 30 points, six rebounds and six assists on 11-for-22 shooting. Only three other Mavs cracked double digits, and none had more than 17 points.

Kristaps Porzingis missed his second straight game and five out of the last six, as he battles knee soreness. Tim Hardaway Jr also missed the game with an ankle injury, and it doesn’t appear either will be available Tuesday in Miami.

While that means more on Luka’s shoulders, he’ll be in tough against a Miami defense that surrenders the third fewest points per game in the NBA at 107.3, and hold teams to just 45.4% shooting from the field – which ranks fourth overall.

Miami also has plenty of able bodies to throw at the Dallas star: Trevor Ariza, Andre Iguodala, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo should all have turns making life tough for him.

Heat Rising

The Heat are starting to resemble the lunch-bucket group that ripped through the Eastern Conference en route to the NBA Finals a season ago. They’ve won seven of their last 10, and will try to make it four straight wins Tuesday.

Last time out in their win  121-111 win against the Hornets, six Heat players scored in double digits. Bam Adebayo led the way with 20 points, 10 assists and seven boards, while Jimmy Butler chipped in with 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.  Kendrick Nunn had 19 and Goran Dragic scored 18 off the bench.

2021 NBA Eastern and Western Conference Odds Tracker

Defense has never been the Heat’s issue, but lately they’ve been getting buckets, averaging better than 120 points a game during their win streak, a bonanza when comparing to their regular season struggle of 107, which is fourth-worst in basketball.

Miami is also not operating at full strength. Victor Oladipo is still out with a knee injury, while Tyler Herro is out with a foot injury.

What’s the Best Bet?

The Mavericks won the first meeting against the Heat in a 93-83 slugfest. Doncic led the way with 27 points and 15 rebounds. We should be seeing a different Jimmy Butler than the one we saw in this January matchup. He had only two points on 0-for-6 from the floor in 27 minutes. He was making his first appearance since the Christmas opener because of an ankle injury.

Despite that win, Dallas is 0-5 in their last five trips to Miami, and 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games against the Heat overall.

That’s enough for me to take the better functioning home side, and when that total points get released, grab the under as well.

The pick: Heat -3 (-110)

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Eric Rosales

Sports Writer & Editor