Grizzlies at Heat Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 3/1/2013
This is about as good as a game can get at this time of year in the NBA. The Heat are scorching hot. They have won 12 straight, and LeBron James is shooting a preposterously good 65 percent during that stretch while averaging just short of 30 points a game. It’s the best that the Heat have played in the Big Three era — and that’s saying something. That’s a lot for any opponent to face, but Memphis could be up to the challenge. They have won eight in a row, and they are the hottest team outside of South Beach. It’s a battle of the titans to welcome in March.
It’s not just a normal winning streak for both teams. It seems like there has been some divine inspiration going on. In their last game on Wednesday the Grizzlies matched their biggest comeback in franchise history when they overcame a 25-point second-quarter hole to win by six. It’s the third time the team has managed an eight-game winning streak. Interestingly, the second time came in November of this season. Miami needed a miracle, too, to win their last game on Tuesday. Theirs came in the way of a career-high 16 assists from James to lift the team over the lowly Kings in double overtime. Both teams seem incapable of losing, so there are sure to be fireworks here.
Grizzlies at Heat Betting Storylines
The Heat will be focused on revenge on top of everything else in this game. The last time these teams met was in November during the first eight-game Memphis winning streak, and the Grizzlies dominated at home. The final score was 104-86, and, if anything, it wasn’t even that close. Memphis has the distinction of being the only team all year to hold the Heat below 40 percent shooting from the field. It’s a very different Memphis team this time around, though. Wayne Ellington and Rudy Gay were the two stars for Memphis that night, combining for 46 points. Now Gay is in Toronto and Ellington in Cleveland, so at least Miami doesn’t need to worry about getting burned by those two again. They do need to reverse history, though — the Grizzlies have won seven of the last 10 meetings between the teams and three of four since the James era began. The only time the Heat did win, though, Gay was out with an injury, so his absence could be a big factor.
Memphis could have a claim geographically that they belong in the Eastern Conference. Given their record, they probably wish they could move over. Memphis is a very impressive 18-5 against the East compared to just 20-13 against the West.
While Memphis is far from a potent offensive team right now, their defense is certainly in form. They are the top defenders in the West and have allowed an average of just 80 points per game in their last four. The Heat lead the East with 103.9 points per game — 14 more than the Grizzlies allow — and have averaged 111.2 in their last 10 (though that is skewed somewhat by the overtime marathon last time). It’s strength against strength in this one, so something has to give.
The most important player in this game for either team is Zach Randolph. The big man has earned a double-double in his last five games overall and in four of his last five against Miami. He and Marc Gasol are going to have to own the inside in this one to keep Miami in check and to be able to produce the points they need. Really, you opinion on this game depends on your opinion of how Randolph will be able to perform.
Grizzlies at Heat NBA Odds and Betting Trends
The Grizzlies have gone “under” in each of their last four. Eight of the last 10 meetings between the teams have gone under. The Grizzlies are 2-7 ATS in their last nine in Miami. Memphis bounces back well — they are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games following an ATS loss.
Grizzlies at Heat Predictions and NBA Picks
The play here is the “over”. This is the lowest total that these teams have seen against each other in a long time. The Heat are going to challenge the Grizzlies early on, and they have the better chance to set the tempo in this one. Last time they met, Memphis showed that they are willing to push it against the Heat if they can get away with it. Miami isn’t going to shoot as poorly as they did last time, either. There is a good chance this one goes over reasonably comfortably.
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