Grab The Points With The Heat As They Can Upset Celtics

Miami Heat Players

Sunday, December 18, 2016 3:32 PM GMT

The Miami Heat have really struggled this season and today they battle a Boston team that has started to improve over the past month. Odds makers have come out making the visiting Celtics a small favorite, but can Miami take this game to the wire?

Boston Celtics

Boston comes in averaging 104 points per game and shooting 44.7% from the field which ranks 15th and 16th in the league respectively. Most people thought at the beginning of the season this team could be in contention to win the East but so far it has not look that way. On the defensive side, they have struggled and they've not pushed tempo nor have they been as efficient as they were last year. It is still early in the season though and this team has plenty of time to turn things around, however, I like the way Miami matches up with them and believe they can keep the Celtics in check for most of the game. Statistically, there is not a lot to love about laying points with Boston considering they been pedestrian numbers wise on both sides of the ball. Boston ranks 12th in the NBA in opponent shooting efficiency as well as ranking in the middle of the league in opponent points in the paint and opponent assist per game. They simply have not been very sharp and although they have played better over the past few weeks, in their past 10 games they're just playing .500 ball which I believe puts the good value on grabbing some points with a well-coached Miami team.

Miami Heat

Prior to their loss to the Los Angeles Clippers Miami had won two games in a row, but there is not been much to celebrate in South Beach. Offensively there been atrocious as they rank 28th and 30th in the NBA in effective field-goal percentage and shooting efficiency. There is just not a lot they do well in scoring the basketball. On the other side of the ball, however, they have been solid ranking in the top part of the league in most defensive categories. Miami ranks fourth in the NBA in opponent fast-break points per game which tells me they're getting back and stopping transition which will be crucial tonight against a Boston team that can get up and down the floor. As well, they rank first in opponent three-pointers attempted and made per game. Statistically, unlike their offense, there is a lot to like about this Miami team and grabbing points with them at home is the way to go. Don't let their losing record for you this is actually a pretty decent heat team that should take this game to the wire.

NBA Odds

Oddsmakers have Miami is a plus for underdog across the board. For my NBA pick, I will gladly grab the points with the Heat and look for them to not only hang with Boston but possibly pull the minor upset.

Free NBA Picks: Heat +4.5

Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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