Free NBA Picks ATS: Miami Heat at Washington Wizards

Miami Heat AT Washington Wizards
Mar 30, 2011 at 7 PM EST
Opening Line:  Miami -12
Current Line:  Miami -12
Opening Total: 203
Current Total:  200.5
Opening Moneyline:  mia -1100 / was +750
Current Moneyline:  mia -1100 / was +800

James and Bosh are ready for the playoffs now

Last game, Miami got a bitter taste of what it is like to lose to a bad team that is amped up to play.  Cleveland, for as dismal as this season has been, found a way to muster up the energy and motivation to end the Heat’s five game winning streak and exact a small measure of revenge against the player that once carried their franchise.

“Anytime we play anybody, we know we’re going to get the best out of them,” LeBron said.

The same might hold true tonight for the Wizards.  Though Washington is missing three of their better players in Andray Blatche, Rashard Lewis, and Nick Young, they are still a formidable team headed by John Wall.  Wall scored 28 last game against the struggling Utah Jazz to give Washington only their second road win of the entire season (!) and he is averaging 22.8 points per game over his last 4 games.

“The rookies definitely stepped up,” said forward JaVale McGee.  “But I don’t consider them rookies anymore. It’s the second half of the season. They’re damn near vets.”

Some betting trends:

Miami is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games and they are 5-1 SU In their last 6 games.  The total has gone OVER In 12 of Miami’s last 18 games on the road and they are 17-8 SU in their last 25 on the road.  Miami is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 on the road and the total has gone UNDER in 4 of their last 6 on the road.  Miami is 10-1 SU In their last 11 against the Washington Wizards and they are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 against the Wizards.  Miami is 5-0 SU In their last 5 road games in Washington.

Washington is 4-8 ATS in their last 12 games and the total has gone UNDER in 5 of their last 6 games.  Washington is 3-17 SU in their last 20 games and theya re 2-8 SU in their last 10 home games.  Washington is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 at home and the total has gone UNDER in 7 of their last 8 at home.  The Wizarrds are 1-10 SU in their last 11 against the Heat and they are 4-8 ATS in their last 12 against Miami.  Washington is 2-15-1 ATS in their last 18 home games against the Heat and they are also 0-5 SU in their last 5 games at home against the Heat.

Key Matchups:

Mike Bibby (Wade?)  vs John Wall

It absolutely perplexes me to no end how the Heat are going to cover Wall employing Mike Bibby.  One would have to assume that the Heat would put Wade on John Walla nd put Bibby on Trevor Booker (who is 6’4″ but would be less likely to dominate than Wall obviously).  Wade is the perfect defender for someone like Wall, and the Heat knew when they acquired Bibby that the boon of his great shooting would bring just as much peril on defense.  Bibby, at this point in his career, is too slow and too small to cover a lot of point guards, never mind big and physical ones like Wall.  Bibby did score 23 last game against the Cavs, hitting 7 of 11 threes, so the Heat are getting about what they expected from Bibby.  He’s been a little inconsistent, but consistency should come as a product of acclimating to the Heat’s offensive schemes.

LeBron James vs Trevor Booker

Booker, a late first round pick, has been a pleasant surprise for the Wizards.  He hasn’t provided a lot of scoring (though he has scored 20+ three times) but is coming back from sitting the last two games out with a foot injury.  His last game in actoin he recorded his third career double double with 10 points and 10 rebounds against the Nuggets.  He’s a decent defender, but it takes a lot more than “decent” defense to slow down James.  LeBron is averaging 30.6 points per game over his last 3 games and has scored 30 or more in 4 of his last 6 games.  He’s looking like he is primed for the playoffs and after the embarassing loss to his former team last night, he’s going to come out focused and firing.

Considering the Heat played last night, the Wizards might be able to take advantage of their slugglish legs and get off to an early lead. It probably won’t last as Wade and James loosen up and get into a groove, but if Washington takes enough advantage they might be able to build a big enough lead to encourage Spoelstra to rest his starters.

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