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NBA Picks: Jazz at Heat Odds and Betting Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 12/21/2012

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Al Jefferson of the Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz’s current four-game road trip east takes them to South Beach this Saturday night for the first of two season matchups against the defending champion Miami Heat. This game is set to tip off at 7:30 p.m. (ET) and it will be available on NBA League Pass.

The Jazz are coming off a 104-84 loss to Indiana this past Wednesday as a 3.5-point road underdog with the total going “over” the 186-point totals line. They are now 14-13 straight up on the year and 12-14-1 against the spread. Utah has gone 5-11 SU (5-10-1 ATS) on the road this season and the total has stayed “under” in four of their last five games.

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Miami returns home after posting 110-95 victory over Dallas as a 5.5-point road favorite on Thursday night with the total going over the 203-point line. The Heat have now won five of their last six games to move to 17-6 SU (12-11 ATS) on the year. They are 12-2 SU (8-6 ATS) in 14 home games this season, and the total has stayed under in four of their last five games overall.

Jazz vs. Heat Betting Storylines

Utah has done a great job at spreading the ball around this season with seven different players averaging over nine points a game, but to have any shot at upending the Heat the Jazz will need a huge night from Al Jefferson and Mo Williams. Jefferson leads the team with 16.8 points and 10.2 rebounds, and Williams is chipping in 13.2 points while dishing out team-high 6.8 assists. Another key to this game for the Jazz will be the play of Paul Millsap, who is second on the team in scoring with 14.7 points a game.

As a whole, Utah is ranked 11th in the NBA in scoring with 99 points a game and shooting 44.6 percent from the field. It has done a great job under the boards with an average of 43.7 rebounds a game, but its overall defense is ranked 19th in points allowed in giving up an average of 99 points a game.

Miami has set the early pace in the Southeast Division and is second in the Eastern Conference behind New York. As good as this team is, it still has had some off nights this year. However, most of them have come on the road. The Heat have covered in four of their last five home games, winning by an average margin of 16.5 points. They are ranked fourth in the league in scoring with 103.4 points a game and holding opponents to 97.7 points on defense.

The Big Three continue to dominate the lineup, but the addition of Ray Allen coming off the bench has been a huge plus. LeBron James leads the team across the board in points (25.2), rebounds (8.5) and assists (6.8), but Allen is the team’s fourth-leading scorer with 11.8 points while averaging 25.9 minutes a game. Dwyane Wade is second in scoring with 19.7 points and Chris Bosh is averaging 18 points and 7.9 rebounds a game. Miami is ranked first in the league in shooting with a field goal percentage of 49.7 and is hitting 40.9 percent of its shots from three-point range.

Jazz vs. Heat Betting Odds and Trends

The opening line on BookMaker has the Heat favored at home by 9.5 points with a total line set at 201.5.

The Jazz are 5-12-1 ATS in their last 18 road games and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games against a team with a winning record at home. The total has gone over in 15 of their last 24 games against the Eastern Conference.

The Heat are 13-4 ATS in their last 17 games on one-day’s rest and 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against the Northwest Division. The total has stayed under in their last four home games.

Head-to-head, Utah is 3-11 ATS in the last 14 meetings and 1-5 ATS in their last six trips to Miami. The total has gone over in six of the last eight meetings there.

NBA Picks: Jazz vs. Heat Betting Predictions

Both teams come into this matchup well-rested and in good health, which is bad news for the Jazz. The past trends are definitely not in their favor, and a huge edge in current form clearly goes to the Heat. LeBron and Co. should be able to score at will, and as long as they do not fall asleep in the second half should easily cover the large spread at home.

Doc’s Sports is offering $60 worth of member’s picks absolutely free – no obligation, no sales people – you don’t even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please on any of our top NBA handicappers. Click here for more details and take advantage of this free $60 picks credit today.

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