NBA Betting Wednesday Picks: Miami Heat at L.A. Clippers

Blake Griffin is averaging only 15 points per game this season

Miami Heat at Los Angeles Clippers
Time: 10:30 PM EST, Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
Spread: LAC -1.5
Total: 197
M/L: LAC -125, MIA +105

Betting Odds from Bookmaker

The Miami Heat have been rolling, and have won five of their last six games since beginning the season 1-1. They’ve lost to both the New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies this season, but have notched wins over Boston, Denver, Phoenix, Brooklyn, Atlanta and Houston. The last of those was Monday night when the Heat defeated the Rockets 113-110 in Houston.

LeBron James had a monster game in that win over Houston, scoring 38 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, while also dishing out six assists. The other two-thirds of the Big Three, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, chipped in 43 points combined and the Heat held the potent Rockets backcourt of Jeremy Lin and James Harden to just 31 points on 9-of-26 shooting.

The Heat will need a similar defensive effort tonight against the L.A. Clippers, to escape with a with, and NBA oddsmakers set the line 1.5 points in favor of the home team Clippers.

The Clippers do it with an inside-outside combo of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. The tandem will challenge the Heat, as they have neither a premier point defender nor a true inside presence. That’s not to mention the fact that the Clips have been hot.

They’ve won their past three games, with victories over the San Antonio Spurs (by 22), Portland (by 13), and Atlanta (by 13). Their streaking may be part of the reason Vegas oddsmakers favor them, and Jamal Crawford has been on fire this season.

Crawford is averaging a team high 20.3 points per game in just 28 minutes a night, while shooting 50 precent from the floor and 41.5 percent from behind the arc. The only Clipper with a higher Player Efficiency Rating is Chris Paul (26.4).

Crawford’s 22.8 PER ranks significantly higher than Blake Griffin, who has had his struggles this year.

Griffin is averaging just 15.7 points per game and is shooting under 50 percent from the floor, which isn’t acceptable for a player who makes his living on finishing easy lob passes and getting putbacks.

Griffin has had good games three of the last four, with the win over Portland being a notable exception. It was just that he started the season by hitting 14 of his first 37 shots, so his percentage will take time to lift out of that depression.

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  • Ken Langston: thanks for letting me know, it was a typo. I fixed it.
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