Mavericks vs. Heat: NBA Betting Preview from AmericanAirlines Arena

Dallas Mavericks at Miami Heat
Thursday, 3/29/12, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  TNT
Opening Point Spread:  Miami -8.5
Current Betting Line:  Miami -8
Opening Total:  189
Current Total:  188.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Heat Celtics NBA Playoffs Game Preview
The Miami Heat return home after dropping two of three games on a recent road trip

Dallas enters tonight’s 2011 NBA finals rematch on a two-game win streak that includes a 90-81 win over the Houston Rockets as seven-point home favorites on Tuesday night.    The Mavericks will be looking to gain revenge from dropping a 105-94 decision as 4.5-point home underdogs to the Miami Heat in their season opener on Christmas Day.  “A bad taste in our mouth,” commented Mavericks guard Jason Terry about that result.  The franchise has still managed to win 14 of the last 15 regular-season meetings in the series.  Dallas is 10-5 ATS as an underdog this year and the “under” is 8-7 in that situation.

The Mavericks are still led by the offensive play of All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 21 points versus the Rockets and leads the team in averaging 21.0 points per game.  Dallas has registered a dismal 10-14 record on the road this season, but is 3-2 in that situation against Eastern Conference opponents.  There’s no question that head coach Rick Carlisle is going to mention the previous meeting between these two NBA heavyweights before taking the floor tonight.  “We’ve got to think back to Christmas Day because that was a miserable experience for us,” Carlisle stated earlier this week.

Miami returns home after dropping the last two games on a three-game road trip, including a 105-90 loss to the Indiana Pacers as 3.5-point favorites last time out.  The Heat have gone “under” the total in five of their last six games, as the offense has sputtered.  Since March 2, the team ranks 25th in the league in averaging just 93.1 points per game, which is far off from its 103.8 points it averaged before that point in time during the 2011-12 campaign.  Miami is 4-1 ATS as a home favorite of 6.5 to 9 points this year.

The Heat will still have revenge on their minds from losing in the finals last year to the Mavericks despite winning the first meeting this year.  Miami is 20-2 overall when playing at the AmericanAirlines Arena this year, including a spotless 5-0 mark versus Western Conference teams.  Star forward LeBron James will be playing with a minor injury to his non-shooting hand, as he dislocated the ring finger on his left against the Pacers.

Bettors will likely back the Mavericks due to their 13-3-1 ATS mark in Miami, while the Heat are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall.

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