Heat vs. Cavaliers NBA expert prediction and odds for Wednesday, March 20 (Trust Heat as dogs)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Miami Heat-Cleveland Cavaliers matchup in the NBA on Wednesday night.

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) shoots a foul shot.
Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) shoots a foul shot. / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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The Miami Heat have slipped to the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference after losing to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night, but they have a chance to make up some ground against a banged up Cleveland Cavaliers team on Wednesday. 

The Cavs did not have Max Strus, Donovan Mitchell or Evan Mobley in their last game, and all three players are listed as out for Wednesday night’s matchup. 

That’s a good sign for the Heat, who have been without guard Tyler Herro for an extended period and haven’t had Jimmy Butler in back-to-back games. Herro is out for Wednesday’s game while Butler is listed as questionable.

The Heat are road underdogs, but is that an invitation to bet on the team to at least cover? One trend tells us that it is. 

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First, let’s get into the odds, key players and more for this matchup before I break down my best bet: 

Heat vs. Cavaliers odds, spread and total

Heat vs. Cavaliers how to watch

  • Date: Wednesday, March 20
  • Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports Sun, Bally Sports Ohio
  • Heat record: 37-31
  • Cavs record: 43-25

Heat vs. Cavaliers injury reports

Heat injury report

  • Bam Adebayo – available
  • Jimmy Butler – questionable
  • Tyler Herro – out
  • Nikola Jovic – questionable
  • Kevin Love – out
  • Caleb Martin – available
  • Josh Richardson – out
  • Duncan Robinson – out
  • Orlando Robinson – questionable
  • Alondes Williams – questionable

Cavs injury report

  • Ty Jerome – out
  • Isaiah Mobley – out
  • Evan Mobley – out
  • Donovan Mitchell – out
  • Pete Nance – out
  • Max Strus – out
  • Dean Wade – out

Heat vs. Cavaliers key players to watch

Miami Heat

Bam Adebayo: Jimmy Butler has missed back-to-back games for Miami, and it’s led to Bam Adebayo leading the team on offense, and he’s responded with three straight 20-point games, including a game-winning 3 against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday. Adebayo will need to bang with Jarrett Allen down low in this one, but the Heat All-Star has not played a game against Cleveland this season. 

Cleveland Cavaliers

Darius Garland: Donovan Mitchell is dealing with a knee injury and a nasal fracture, which has thrust Darius Garland back into the No. 1 role in the Cavs offense. Garland had just 13 points on 5-of-18 shooting in the team’s win against Indiana on Monday, but he did dish out seven assists. He’ll have to be better if the Cavs want to beat the Heat on Wednesday. 

Heat vs. Cavaliers prediction and pick

This season, the Heat have thrived in one spot against the spread – as road underdogs. 

Miami is 14-9 against the spread in that spot this season, the fifth-best mark in the NBA, and now it gets a Cleveland team that is a pedestrian 12-13-1 against the spread as a home favorite. 

Cleveland has basically been a .500 team without Mitchell (10-9 straight up), so I’m not sold on laying the points with the team – even at home – in this matchup. 

If Butler returns, the Heat could be in a good spot to earn a much-needed win as they look to climb out of the play-in tournament field in the Eastern Conference. 

It’s worth noting that Miami’s road defensive rating is the second-best in the NBA, which should be huge against a Cavs team down several starters tonight. I think the Heat can make this game a bit of a slugfest and at least keep it close. 

Pick: Heat +3 (-112)


Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.