NBA Betting Picks: Brooklyn Nets at Miami Heat

Brooklyn Nets at Miami Heat
AmericanAirlines Arena – Miami, Florida

Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: Miami -5
Current Line: Miami -7
Opening Total: 190
Current Total: 191
Opening Money Line: Heat -255 / Nets +212
Current Money Line: Heat -300 / Nets +250 

Miami looks to beat Brooklyn for the first time this season. The Heat are 7 point home favorites.
Miami looks to beat Brooklyn for the first time this season. The Heat are 7 point home favorites.

With only 6 games left in the regular season, teams are jockeying for playoff position. The 53-23 Miami Heat host the 42-34 Brooklyn Nets in a key Eastern Conference game. The Heat currently lead the slumping Indiana Pacers by one game for the #1 seed in the East. Miami has already clinched the Southeast Division, but obviously the two time defending champs have bigger goals in mind.

Brooklyn is 2.5 games behind the Toronto Raptors in the Atlantic Division. The Nets are currently the #5 seed in the East, and are also 2.5 games behind the Chicago Bulls for the #4 seed and home court. Brooklyn is 2.5 games up on the #6 seed Washington Wizards.

Brooklyn has won all three meeting with Miami this season. All three games have been very close though. The Nets won 101-100 in Brooklyn November 1, 104-95 in double overtime, January 10, and 96-95 in Miami March 12. Brooklyn is the only team in the league Miami has yet to beat at least once this season. The Nets haven’t swept the season series against the Heat since the 2002-03 season. Prior to this season, Miami had taken 13 straight from Brooklyn.

Brooklyn is coached by Jason Kidd. After some early season struggles, Brooklyn is finally playing up to the potential that led many experts to peg them as a dark horse title contender at the beginning of the season. The Nets have won 5 of the last 6 games including a 105-101 win at the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday. Brooklyn is 41-35 ATS and the total is 38-34-4 this season.

Brooklyn is being outscored 99.4-98.8 this season. The Nets are #9 in points allowed and #20 out of 30 teams in scoring. Brooklyn is shooting 45.9% from the field and 37% from 3 point range. The Nets are #11 or better in both categories. Brooklyn makes 75.9% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 45.5% from the field and 36.8% from 3 point range. The Nets average 38.1 rebounds a game and opponents average 43.1 per game. Brooklyn is #29 in rebounds and #20 in rebounds allowed. the Nets average 20.9 assists, 14.3 turnovers, 8.6 steals and 3.9 blocks per game. Opponents average 21 assists, 15.9 turnovers, 7.2 steals, and 4 blocks per game.

Guard Joe Johnson averages 15.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Point guard Deron Williams averages 14.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Forward Paul Pierce averages 13.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Center Andray Blatche averages 11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1 steal per game. Shaun Livingston, Mirza Teletovic, Alan Anderson, Mason Plumlee, Kevin Garnett, and Andrei Kirilenko will also get significant minutes. Garnett will not play against Miami as he will rest. Center Brook Lopez is out for the season with a broken foot. He averaged almost 21 points, 6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game in 17 games before the injury.

Miami is coached by Eric Spoelstra. The Heat have been a little inconsistent due to boredom waiting for the playoffs to begin, and due to some nagging injuries to key players namely Dwyane Wade. He has only played twice in the last 10 games due to a hamstring injury, and is questionable tonight. The Heat have won 5 of their last 6 games, and beat the New York Knicks 102-91 Sunday in Miami. The Heat conclude a 5 game game home stand tonight and play 3 of their last 5 on the road. Miami is 36-38-2 ATS and the total is 41-35.

Miami is outscoring teams 103-97 this season. The Heat are #11 in scoring and #6 in points allowed. Miami is shooting 50.4% from the field and 36.5% from 3 point range. The Heat lead the league in field goal percentage. Miami makes 76% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 45.3% from the field and 35.6% from 3 point range. The Heat average 37 rebounds per game and opponents average 40.6 per game. Miami is last in the league in rebounding and #2 in rebounds allowed. The Heat average 22.8 assists, 14.7 turnovers, 8.9 steals and 4.6 blocks per game. Opponents average 21.2 assists, 16.7 turnovers, 8 steals and 3 blocks per game.

Miami forward LeBron James is having another stellar season. James averages 26.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Wade averages 19.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Center Chris Bosh averages 16.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, a steal and a block per game. Point guard Mario Chalmers averages 9.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Guard Ray Allen averages 9.7 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. Miachael Beasley, Chris Andersen, Norris Cole, Rashard Lewis, and Shane Battier will also get significant minutes. Andersen is questionable with a back injury, as is center Greg Oden.

Brooklyn is 8-0 ATS against teams with  winning records, 14-2 after failing to cover, 8-2 in Tuesday games, 8-3 when the opponent scores 100 points or more in the previous game, 2-6 on two days rest, and 0-4 in road games. The last four games in Miami in this series have gone under the total.

Miami is 6-0 ATS against Eastern Conference teams, 6-1 overall, 5-1 on one day rest, 4-1 after a win and a cover, 6-2-1 after a straight up win of 10 points or more, and 5-2 at home. The home team is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 games between the Heat and the Nets.

Obviously, Miami is much better with a healthy Wade than without. He could play tonight, but I don’t know how much he be able to contribute. Miami and Brooklyn are the two worst rebounding teams in the league. However, in the three wins against the Heat, the Nets have outrebounded them by an average of 8 boards per game. That is something Miami needs to improve on tonight. I think Miami comes out motivated tonight because they don’t want to get swept by Brooklyn. These teams could meet in the second round of the playoffs.

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