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Heat at Kings Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Dave Schwab - 1/12/2013

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DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings

The Miami Heat will remain on the West Coast this Saturday night for the third game of an extended six-game road trip with a matchup against the Sacramento Kings at the Sleep Train Arena. This inter-conference contest is slated to get underway at 10 p.m. (ET), and the game will be available on NBA League Pass.

Miami may have the best record in the Eastern Conference at 23-11 straight up (16-18 against the spread), but it is off to a 0-2 start on this road trip after falling to Portland 92-90 this past Thursday night as a 3.5-point favorite. The Heat are now just 7-8 SU on the road this season and a costly 5-10 ATS. The total has stayed “under” in their last four games.

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The Kings current losing streak reached three games with a 117-112 overtime loss to Dallas on Thursday night as 2.5-point home favorites. This followed a respectable 6-3 record in their previous nine games in which they covered in eight of those contests. Sacramento is 13-23 SU overall and 16-19-1 ATS. The total has gone “over” in nine of its last 10 games.

Heat at Kings Betting Storylines

The Heat headed into this road trip as healthy as they have been all season with the exception of Shane Battier, who remains questionable for Saturday night. As good as this team is at home, it has really struggled on the road as a favorite with a 0-5 record ATS in its last five outings. Miami is shooting 48.7 percent from the field this season but it shot 41.2 percent in last Tuesday’s 10-point loss to Indiana on the road and 45.5 percent on Thursday night.

LeBron James continues to lead the Heat across the board with 26 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists, but he was pretty much a non-factor on the scoreboard against Portland with 15 points. Look for this to change on Saturday night, as it was the first time all season long that he scored less than 20 points. Another thing to keep in mind is that Miami has never lost three games in a row this year.

Sacramento has been lighting it up at home over its last five games with an average of 105 points, and it is 3-2 both SU and ATS. Overall it is ranked 13th in the NBA in scoring with 96.9 points a game while shooting only 43.9 percent from the floor. Defensively, the Kings are giving up an average of 102.5 points a game, which is ranked near the bottom of the league.

This is a talented but very youthful team, with DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans leading the way with a combined 32.5 points a game. Cousins also leads the team in rebounds (10.2) and steals (1.4). Altogether, Sacramento has six different players scoring in double figures and a bench that has been chipping in over 40 points a game. The problem with having such a youthful team is the inconsistency that goes along with the lack of experience. Another concern for this matchup is Cousins’ playing status for Saturday night after committing a flagrant foul in Thursday’s game against the Mavericks that could possibly draw a one-game suspension from the league.

Heat vs. Kings NBA Betting Odds and Trends

The opening line on BetOnline has Miami as a seven-point road favorite with the over/under line set at 201.5.

The Heat are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games against the Pacific Division and 0-5 ATS in their last five road games. The total has stayed under in five of their last seven games against the West.

The Kings are 5-1 ATS in their last six games against the East and 7-1 ATS in their last eight games on one day’s rest. The total has gone over in 10 of their last 11 games against the Southeast Division.

Head-to-head, the favorite is 7-1 ATS in the last eight meetings and the total has gone over in four of the last six games. Miami has won the last seven meetings SU and the last five by double-digits.

Heat vs. Kings Picks and Betting Predictions

It is hard to see Miami losing three straight, but another lopsided victory over the Kings is not in the cards this time around. Sacramento is playing well at home, and the Heat are a completely different team on the road. Unless Cousins is suspended, stick with the youthful Kings to put up a valiant battle against the road-weary Heat on Saturday night to keep this game closer than the spread.

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