Miami Heat (14-5 SU, 9-10 ATS)
The absence of Dwyane Wade coupled with a power outage on the boards has led to the Heat's first potential three-game losing streak in two years. But if Wade can rejoin his team and inject this team with a much needed spark then Miami will return to its winning ways. If Wade cannot go then expect to see Norris Cole suit up in his place. Coles has averaged 10 points during Wade's absence.
Perhaps as daunting a prospect it is for the Heat to be without their All-World point guard is the dearth of rebounding on the team. Miami has been waxed on the boards all season which places them 30th amongst all NBA teams. The dire need for a greater rebounding presence was never more evident than in their last two games, not so coincidentally both losses, when they were out rebounded by an average of 17 boards per contest. That is an enormous disparity but in fairness, the Heat were without a key big man in Chris Andersen in their last game against the Bulls where they were drilled 107-87 at the United Center.
Minnesota Timberwolves (9-10 SU, 10-9 ATS)
Unlike their talented opponents tonight, the T-Wolves rebound very well and they score a fair bit too averaging almost 106 points per game and over 45 boards per contest. Kevin Love is the big question mark for Minnesota tonight as well as the oddsmakers trying to deal a line for this game in their NBA odds. Some say, you can't hurry Love (actually it was Phil Collins but I digress) but he is out on a personal matter with the death of his maternal grandmother. If he does return, his presence changes the entire complexion of the game but according to reports he will most likely be out of action Saturday night.
Minnesota's last game was a heartbreaker for them and a gut wrenching loss for those who backed them in their NBA picks. The T-Wolves were living large and in charge throughout three quarters of basketball against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Heading into the fourth quarter the Wolves held an 83-78 advantage which had to make those backing them as 8 ½ point underdogs ready to count their cash. But a not so funny thing happened and the Thunder rolled (how many times has that tired expression been used since OKC entered the league yet I continue to use it unapologetically because it just sounds cool) to a 10 point victory, blowing the cover for all those hoping to cash a T-Wolves ticket.
Free NBA Pick:
We are going to assume that Love doesn't play. That essentially leaves Kevin Martin doing all the heavy lifting for the hosts. The only thing Minny has going it for it is the home court advantage and the fact that they have not played since last Sunday. Their game on Wednesday night against the Spurs was postponed. Therefore, they should be well rested while the Heat will be playing their third game since the Wolves have been resting. That could be a big deal here.
Miami is reeling and Wade is ailing. Sure Kevin Love probably won't be available to clean the boards and replacing his 13.6 rebounds per game won't be easy but this could be a good spot for betting Minnesota if the sportsbooks are generous enough.
Play the T-Wolves + the points at Bet365.com.