NBA Picks: Miami Heat at Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 12/2/2010
With college football season winding down, we start our weekly preview of the marquee Thursday night NBA game on TNT this week with possibly the most anticipated NBA regular-season game ever tonight when LeBron James returns to Cleveland for the first time since his “Decision” rocked the Cavaliers franchise and most of Northeast Ohio.
Heat at Cavaliers Betting Odds
The Heat are 5.5-point favorites with the total at 191, according to NBA odds. About 65 percent of the lean is on Miami. The line has moved as much as 1.5 points toward Miami since it opened at some books. The total has dropped two points at most books. The Heat are 2-5 on the road this year and 2-5 ATS. The Cavs are 4-5 at home overall and 4-5 ATS.
By far my two favorite props, however, are Bodog’s “Will LeBron James do his pregame chalk ritual?” and “Will LeBron James have a physical altercation with a fan?” Both offer only ‘yes’ options. James has said he would do the chalk thing, but that would so instigate Cavs fans that I would be a bit surprised. There’s no way he gets into it with a fan because then LeBron’s reputation would literally be destroyed forever.
How the Teams Enter
Miami has won two straight after losing four of five previously, but don’t just assume that things are all of a sudden fixed in South Beach. The Heat crushed the Wizards and Pistons, two of the Eastern Conference’s worst teams, at home in the past two games. Miami did hold Detroit to just 72 points last night, which was the Heat’s second-best defensive showing of the season, only bettered by holding Orlando to 70 points on Oct. 29. The Pistons shot just 36 percent. But, again, these are the Pistons.
Cleveland has lost five of seven games, the last being a 106-87 home blowout loss to Boston on Tuesday – so at least the Cavs should be better rested than Miami. The only team that the Cavs have beaten with a winning record was Boston, but that was the night after the Celtics played in their hyped opener against the Heat.
There are literally too many to mention surrounding LeBron. The NBA and Quicken Loans Arena officials are basically at DEFCON 1 tonight. All offensive LeBron gear (T-shirts, signs, etc.) will be confiscated. Dozens of extra police will be on hand. The Heat didn’t even release their travel itinerary, which is normally standard practice for the media outlets to cover them. Of course, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert will be in the stands; Gilbert infamously publicly ripped LeBron for bailing on the Cavs when he chose the Heat. Tonight could very well be the most negative reception any American athlete has ever seen.
Heat players admit tonight’s atmosphere will be like nothing they have experienced in their careers.
Several major Web sites are having live blogs from Cleveland already, and of course ESPN is covering it like it’s the Super Bowl. TNT is expecting its highest regular-season rating possibly ever. Many books saw their best NBA regular-season action ever on the Heat-Celtics opener; it will be interesting to see if this beats that one considering talent-wise the game shouldn’t be close.
As for the Cavs, players are no doubt going to be motivated tonight because many believe that LeBron left them in a lurch. Antawn Jamison was brought in specifically to compliment LeBron as was Mo Williams, who said he contemplated retirement after James bolted. Think those guys might be motivated to win tonight?
For what it’s worth, the Cavs have won three in a row in this series – frankly, that means nothing but I thought I would share it.
Heat at Cavaliers NBA Picks
I absolutely love the Cavaliers in this game. They will have one of the biggest home-court advantages in NBA history and the Heat simply have to be distracted. Plus, they played the night before. Take Cleveland and the ‘under’ in what should be an ugly defensive battle.
Allen Eastman was the Doc’s Sports Advisory Board leader for NBA picks last season, helping $100 bettors earn more than $5,000. His picks have already helped $100 bettors win $1000 so far this season.. Eastman has been in the sports betting business for decades and his NBA handicapping system is a must for any NBA bettor that is serious about making money this season. Also, check our home page daily updated NBA lines, NBA betting articles and daily matchup reports.
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