NBA Odds: Los Angeles Lakers at Miami Heat
Betting odds courtesy of Bovada
The Miami Heat are 30-12 on the season and 17-3 at home where it will host the L.A. Lakers, a team which has lost seven of its past ten. The visiting Lakers will be 11.5-point underdogs according to NBA oddsmakers at Bovada.
The Lakers have not fared well on the road this season and are just 8-15 away from Staples Center. The team has fallen out of playoff contention after playing .500 ball through its first 26 games. Since Dec 20, the Lakers have gone just 3-13 and when Kobe Bryant does finally return from injury, the hole may be too deep for Mike D’Antoni’s squad to emerge from.
Kendall Marshall, a discarded former lottery pick of the Phoenix Suns in 2012 (13th overall) has come in to flourish in L.A. The UNC product is averaging 10 points and nine assists per game for the Lakers in 32 minutes of play per night.
Marshall has struggled with his shot in the last two games, hitting just 5-of-14, but he has dished out 19 assists with just six turnovers over that span, as well. With good size at 6’4″ and great pedigree, the Lakers may have found itself one of the true gems via the waiver wire.
Nick Young has done an admirable job of scoring the ball and providing excitement to Laker fans in the wake of Bryant’s injury. “Swaggy P,” as Young refers to himself, has scored 17.1 points per game in 28 minutes a night.
Pau Gasol is still effective, though the center may be best served playing for a contender. Expect Gasol’s name to be mentioned heavily as the trade deadline approaches in February. The Spaniard is averaging 16.4 points and 10 rebounds per game this season.
The Heat won 93-86 over the Boston Celtics Tuesday night as LeBron James scored 29 points and grabbed eight boards. James’ numbers are down across the board this season, with averages of 26.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game. The two-time NBA champ’s PER is below 30 this season, but few expect this to matter much.
Dwyane Wade has been nursing injuries, and Chris Bosh has been failing to pick up the slack. But the Heat are still the Heat, and even at the club’s worst, winning six of its past ten, the Heat are talented enough to coast on many nights.
The reason for this may lie outside the big three. The Heat have depth that isn’t always given its due, with Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen, Michael Beasley, and Norris Cole all contributing seven to ten points per game. Chris Andersen is nice energy off the bench and can body up with most NBA bigs. The Heat will face at least one very tough test in the East in Indiana, but Erik Spoelstra’s squad simply outclasses the rest of the teams in the East on talent alone.
LAL Trends: OVER 5-0 in last 5 following ATS win; OVER 4-0 in last 4 after scoring 100 or more in previous game; OVER 5-0 in last 5 after allowing 100 or more in previous game.
MIA Trends: 0-4 ATS in last 4 Thursday games; 1-4 ATS in last 5 at home; OVER 8-2 in last 10 when opponent allows 100 points in previous game.
Head-to-head: 0-5 ATS in last 5 meetings in Miami; UNDER 6-1 in last 7 meetings; 2-9 ATS in the last 11 meetings.