Heat vs. Thunder NBA expert prediction and odds for Friday, March 8 (OKC rolls at home)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Oklahoma City Thunder-Miami Heat matchup in the NBA on Friday.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder have a chance to stake a claim on the No. 1 seed in the West with Karl-Anthony Towns getting hurt for the Minnesota Timberwolves, but they’ll have a tough matchup on Friday night with the Miami Heat. 

Miami is coming into this game off of a loss to the Dallas Mavericks, and the team is 4-4-1 against the spread on the second night of back-to-backs this season. Miami looked to be in line for a cover against Dallas, but the team squandered a lead in the second half and ended up losing by six points as a 4.5-point underdog.  

Meanwhile, OKC won – but did not cover – against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night. Can the team improve upon its impressive record at Paycom Center against an Eastern Conference contender?

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Let’s dive into the latest odds and my best bet for this matchup: 

Heat vs. Thunder odds, spread and total

Heat vs. Thunder how to watch

  • Date: Friday, March 8
  • Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Paycom Center
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports Sun, Bally Sports Oklahoma
  • Heat record: 35-27
  • Thunder record: 43-19

Heat vs. Thunder injury reports

Heat injury report

  • Not submitted yet

Thunder injury report

  • Adam Flagler – out

Heat vs. Thunder key players to watch

Miami Heat

Bam Adebayo: An All-Star this season, Adebayo entered Thursday’s game against Dallas averaging career-highs in both points and rebounds per game this season. He proceeded to put up 14 points and nine boards in the loss. This should be an interesting matchup for him against rookie Chet Holmgren, who is quickly becoming one of the best shot blockers in the NBA. 

Oklahoma City Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: After a down game against the Los Angeles Lakers (20 points), SGA bounced back to score 37 points in the team’s win over the Trail Blazers. SGA was magnificent in the team’s previous meeting with the Heat, shooting 11-for-17 from the field and scoring 28 points in an eight-point win. 

Heat vs. Thunder prediction and pick 

There is very little margin for error for Miami with Tyler Herro out of the lineup, as the team’s offense has far fewer options to get going on a nightly basis.

Even with Terry Rozier playing one of his best games in a Heat uniform last night, the team still came up short against Dallas. 

Miami ranks 27th in the league in points per game, and it plays a much different style than OKC (second in the NBA in points per game).

I’m worried about the Heat on the second night of a back-to-back, and we know that Herro and Kevin Love won’t play in this game, as neither player made the road trip with the team. 

The Thunder have thrived at home this season, going 18-7 against the spread as home favorites and 24-6 straight up overall. Only the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets have better straight up records at home this season. 

Miami has been playing some better basketball as of late, but I don’t know if the team can keep up with OKC’s offense. The Thunder won the first meeting between these teams in Miami, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see the team pull out a cover and sweep the season series tonight. 

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.