Pro Basketball Handicapping: Miami Heat at Boston Celtics Betting Picks

Miami Heat at Boston Celtics
Sunday, 2/13/11, 1:00 PM EDT, TV:  ABC
Opening Point Spread:  Pick
Current Betting Line:  Miami -1
Opening Total:  190
Current Total:  189.5

The Boston Celtics have won the first two meetings with the Miami Heat and look to win another Sunday afternoon

Miami will try to continue leading the Eastern Conference standings and pick up its first victory of the season over Boston on Sunday afternoon.  “We just want to see where we’re at,” guard Dwyane Wade stated.  The Heat are a dominating 26-7 versus conference opponents this year, including an 11-4 mark on the road.  The team is coming off a solid 106-92 win over Detroit in a game that saw Wade finish with 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.  Miami is 26-25 ATS on the season and currently listed as a road favorite on the NBA lines page.

The Heat and Celtics will be meeting for the third of four match-ups this season, with both games being decided by single digits.  Miami dropped an 88-80 contest to open the season in Boston and then fell 112-107 at home on November 11, 2010.  Star LeBron James knows that he must continue his strong play in order to pick up a victory in this spirited series.  “We’re still trying to get better every day,” said James.  “We’re taking every practice and every regular-season game like it is the playoffs because we can’t afford to lose an opportunity to get better.”  The squad has won eight-straight games and previously won 12 consecutive games earlier in the year.

Boston will look to bounce back from a disappointing 92-86 home loss to arch rival Los Angeles Thursday night and pick up a third victory over Miami.  “I just thought mentally we were not a very good team tonight,” said head coach Doc Rivers.  The Celtics enjoy an incredible home court advantage, especially against Eastern Conference opponents, coming into the game with a perfect 17-0 record against such foes.  They will need the help of the fans to get past the hottest team in the league due to losing four of the last seven games.  Boston is 6-2 ATS as an underdog this year and 33-22 ATS when getting points the last three years.

The Celtics fell to the Lakers mainly due to scoring just 33 points in the second half and shooting 30.2 percent from the floor during that time.  It was a surprising result when considering that Boston leads the league in overall shooting percentage.  The team is shooting 49.5 percent this season and today’s opponent ranks second in hitting 47.4 percent of its shots from the field.  Forward Kevin Garnett connected on just 4 of 13 shots in the loss and will need to contribute in a big way if the squad plans on winning against Miami.

Bettors will likely back the Heat due to their 15-5-1 ATS mark on the road, while the Celtics are 2-5-1 ATS versus the Eastern Conference.

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