NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Heat Odds and Betting Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 12/25/2012
It will be a Holiday treat in the NBA this Tuesday afternoon when the Oklahoma City Thunder clash with the Miami Heat at the American Airlines Arena in a rematch of last season’s NBA Finals. The game is set to tip at 5:30 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on ABC.
The Thunder’s 12-game winning streak came to an end this past Thursday with a 99-93 loss to Milwaukee as two-point road favorites. The loss dropped their overall record to 21-5 on the year and to 7-3 straight up on the road. Oklahoma City has gone 16-9-1 against the spread in its first 26 games and 6-3-1 ATS on the road this season. The total has stayed “under” in four of its last five games.
The Heat extended their current winning streak to four games with a 105-89 rout of Utah as 7.5-point home favorites this past Saturday. They are now 18-6 SU on the year, and, after covering in six of their last seven games, 13-11 ATS. The total has stayed under in five of their last six games and they are 13-2 SU (9-6 ATS) at home.
Thunder vs. Heat Betting Storylines
Oklahoma City is ranked second in the NBA in scoring with an average of 105.1 points a game. Everyone knows how prolific the duo of Kevin Durant and Michael Westbrook has been, and they have picked up where they left off last season with an incredible combined total of 49.3 points a game. When you add in Kevin Martin and Serge Ibaka’s 29.9 points, this foursome has produced over 75 percent of the team’s points this season. One injury concern for this game could be Martin’s leg as he remains questionable at this time.
The Thunder, as a team, are ranked second in the NBA in shooting with a field goal percentage of 48.1. They have also been deadly from three-point range in converting on 40.2 percent of their shots. Defensively, Oklahoma City is giving up 96.2 points a game while pulling down a total of 42.8 rebounds. It is ranked first in the league in blocked shots with 7.62 a game.
Miami comes into this showdown as the top shooting team in the NBA. LeBron James has led the way with 25.4 points a game while hitting 54.2 percent of his shots from the field and 44.2 percent from beyond the arc. He also leads the Heat in rebounds (8.5) and assists (6.8). The overall team is shooting 49.8 percent from the floor and 41.1 from three-point range. Dwyane Wade (19.7 points) and Chris Bosh (7.9 rebounds) continue to also play at a high level, but the addition of Ray Allen off the bench as been a huge plus for an already extremely talented squad. He is averaging 25.8 minutes a game and has established himself as Miami’s fourth leading scorer with 11.9 points.
The Heat are ranked fourth in the league in scoring with 103.5 points a game, but they have actually struggled at times on the defensive side of the ball. They are ranked near the bottom of the NBA in rebounds with 38.7 and are giving up an average of 97.4 points a game to their opponents.
Thunder vs. Heat Betting Odds and Trends
The opening line on BetOnline has the Heat as three-point home favorites with a total line set at 204.5.
The Thunder are 5-0 ATS in their last five games against the Eastern Conference and 4-1 ATS in their last five games on the road. The total has gone “over” in five of their last six games following an ATS loss.
The Heat are 5-1 ATS in their last six games at home and 7-1 ATS in their last eight games against the Northwest Division. The total has stayed under in four of their last five games following a SU win.
Head-to-head including last season’s NBA Finals, the home team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings and the total has gone over in three of the last five games. Oklahoma City has failed to cover in its last four games played in Miami.
Thunder vs. Heat Predictions
Look for a fast-paced, high-scoring affair in this contest as each side knows it could take a significant amount of points to claim a win. The current form of both teams remains high, but stick with the recent trends in this matchup to hold true once again this Tuesday afternoon as the Heat come away with a the victory while covering the three points.
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