Miami Heat at Phoenix Suns
Thursday, 12/23/10, 10:30 PM EDT, TV: TNT
Opening Point Spread: Miami -6
Current Betting Line: Miami -6.5
Opening Total: 209
Current Total: 209
Miami has won its last three trips to the US Airways Center and will look to make it eight straight wins away from home against the Phoenix Suns Thursday night. “All year, we’re going to continue to get better, to improve to get to the elite level,” said guard Dwyane Wade. “We’re 30 games in. These elite teams, they’ve been playing together for a long time.” Wade has picked up his scoring in a big way over the last 10 games by averaging 27.7 points. The Heat did have their 12-game winning streak snapped last time out in a 98-96 home loss to the Mavericks, as the team settled for shooting 31 3-pointers and attempted just 25 free throws. Miami is 1-5 ATS off a upset loss as a favorite and is currently laying points on the NBA lines page tonight.
The Heat have gone 21-9 overall on the season and compiled a 9-5 road record, including an even 3-3 mark away from Miami against Western opponents. Miami will be facing off against Phoenix for the second and final time tonight, grabbing a 123-96 home victory in the first meeting on November 17. The team has won 10 of its last 13 games by double-digits. Forward Chris Bosh is starting to get acclimated in the offense and it started with a 35-point effort against the Suns, which was expected as he averaged 28.1 points and 11.7 rebounds in his last seven games against them.
Phoenix will have a few new parts that will be making an appearance in the lineup tonight, including Vince Carter due to a trade that was completed Sunday with Orlando. “We should be optimistic,” said point guard Steve Nash. “We got a lot of guys comine in that give us size, depth, scoring and defense. We should be a better team.” The Suns will look to move back to .500 in their 28th games this season and have garnered a 7-5 home record on the year. The team dropped a 118-110 contest versus the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center last time out, playing for the third time in four days at the end of a difficult road trip. Phoenix is 11-15 ATS on the season and 4-8 ATS at home.
The Suns have dropped the three most recent meetings in the Valley of the Sun, but have won eight of the last 12 overall at tonight’s venue. Phoenix won the first 16 meetings between the teams and carry an overall advantage of 31-14 in the series. The schedule has been incredibly difficult of late and tonight the squad will be playing its fourth consecutive games against a 20-win team. By comparison, Miami has played just three 20-win teams all season and gone 1-5 in those six games.
Bettors will be interested in knowing that the Heat are 0-5 ATS on two days rest, while the Suns are 4-1 ATS in the same situation.
The NBA handicappers at Maddux Sports are rolling along and can’t wait for you to join them tonight!