When we glance over the NBA odds, we see Miami is giving away seven points to the Nets tonight. So far in 2013/14, the Heat are 40-44-2 ATS and the Nets are 46-42-1 ATS.
Wanting to look at the total for your NBA picks instead? You can find the O/U at either 191.5 or 192 at the moment.
The Nets advanced over the Raptors in seven games, winning 104-103 on the road in Game 7 to stamp out their place in the conference semis. They ended up covering the NBA betting lines in the final three games of the series and were 4-2-1 ATS overall.
Joe Johnson did most of the heavy lifting for the team, at least offensively. He averaged 21.9 PPG on 52.3 percent shooting and hit numerous clutch shots against Toronto.
He was joined by Deron Williams (16.9 PPG) and Paul Pierce (13.4 PPG) as the only players to average in double figures through the first round. Jason Kidd also made a late adjustment in the series, shifting Alan Anderson into the starting lineup ahead of Shaun Livingston to open up the spacing on the floor. It worked, so let's see if he keeps things the same against the Heat.
Looking ahead, some focus has been drawn to Brooklyn's major success against Miami in the regular season. After all, they did win all four meetings (both straight up and against the spread), including two road victories by a combined two points.
Still, we can't realistically expect the Nets to give the Heat too much trouble here in the playoffs. The intensity level will be completely different now and you have to think Miami will be more motivated than ever. Of course, it doesn't help that this veteran Brooklyn group just had to go through a tough seven-game series in the first round.
While every other top seed had to scratch and claw their way through the first round, the Heat wrapped up their first-round series in style, sweeping the Bobcats in four games.
That means Miami's been off for over a week now, which is a perfect rest stop for a team that's vying for a third straight title. Dwyane Wade in particular has been banged up all season long and is surely loving this extra time to recover.
Against Charlotte, LeBron James was a man possessed. He had averages of 30.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 6.0 APG and shot 55.7 percent from the field overall. Wade put up 17.5 points per game and Chris Bosh went for 14.5 PPG and 5.3 RPG while connecting on a ridiculous 69.2 percent of his threes.
The Heat have clearly found their rhythm and it couldn't have come at a better time. The ball is moving and Miami looks as locked in as ever on the defensive end, something that's plagued them throughout the regular season.
Simply put, LeBron and company know what's at stake. They're on the verge of something special and we don't expect them to coast whatsoever, no matter what the situation is throughout the rest of the playoffs.
Jordan Sharp has broken down tonight's game and is taking the Heat to win rather comfortably. We have to agree with his sports picks for this battle.
The Heat are incredibly well-rested and have probably been chomping at the bit to get out there and compete again. They were tested by the Nets throughout the regular season, but the playoffs are a whole different ballgame and we expect Miami to come out extremely focused in order to prove who the superior team is.
Some may shy away from taking on so much chalk, especially with how crazy this year's edition of the playoffs has been so far, but we're going with the defending champions make a statement in Game 1.Pick: Heat -7