NBA Eastern Conference Betting Preview: Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets

joe johnson-nets-2013Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets
Time: 8 PM ET
Spread: MIA -6
M/L: MIA -230; BRK +190
Total: 195

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada

The Miami Heat are 27-9 on the season but have lost two of its past five games, to Golden State on Jan 2 and last outing against the New York Knicks last night (Thurs Jan 9) 102-92. The Heat got 23 points from Dwyane Wade and 32 from LeBron James, but only Norris Cole scored in double figures outside of that tandem with 12 points, while Chris Bosh shot 3-of-10 and finished with just six points. The Knicks had five finish in double figures, led by Carmelo Anthony’s 29. It was just one win for a Knicks team that is now 13-22, but very much in the playoff hunt of the dismal Eastern Conference.

The Heat visit the other New York team, the Brooklyn Nets, tonight in a game NBA oddsmakers at Bovada are favoring the Heat by six-points. The team is 11-6 on the road and ranks 7th in the NBA in scoring (104.5 points per game) while also boasting the 7th stingiest defense, surrendering just 98 points per game. LeBron James’ numbers are down slightly this season, but his PER still is close to 30, which is insanely efficient.

Wade has started to fall off even further, but the real issue is Chris Bosh, who needs to be scoring more than 15 per game for the Heat given the lack of other options. The Heat get just about enough from its bench, but it wouldn’t hurt to have another guy who could put it in the basket in the second unit.

The Nets are riding a four-game win streak that has included wins over Oklahoma City, Atlanta and Golden State, so it’s not unreasonable to think the team could upset the Heat tonight. The Heat played last night and the Nets rested, and this team may finally be turning the corner.

The Nets snapped a seven-game win streak for Golden State and Joe Johnson had a huge game with 27 points and 9-of-11 from the free throw line.

With the glut of veteran talent on the team, it seems to have paid off to have inserted another playmaker into the lineup and Shaun Livingston is that man: Livingston had 13 points, four steals, four rebounds and an assist in the win over Golden State and though he never did reach the heights he could have if not for the injuries, he still has a great skill set and helps facilitate offenses. Deron Williams is out still until at least Saturday, so Livingston can take this opportunity to show he’s worth the minutes.

Miami Trends:
OVER 7-1 in last 8 Friday games; OVER 5-1 in last 6 following SU loss; OVER 5-1 in last 6 when opponent scores 100 or more in previous game.

Brooklyn Trends: OVER 4-0 in last 4 Friday games; 4-0 ATS in last 4 overall; 5-0 ATS in last 5 games on 1 days rest.

Head-to-head: Heat 9-3 ATS in last 12 meetings; Heat 11-4 ATS in last 15 in Brooklyn; OVER 19-7-1 in last 27 meetings in Brooklyn.

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