Blazers/Heat NBA Picks: Back Better Team on Short Point Spread

Darin Zank

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 11:45 AM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 18, 2015 11:45 AM UTC

Could Wednesday's night's Miami Heat vs. Portland Blazers game in Miami be a good spot for a “reversal of fortunes” play in NBA odds? After an emotional victory over LeBron and the Cavs, could the underdogs cover?

Portland Trailblazers vs. Miami Heat Betting Odds
Most of the NBA odds market opened this game with Portland favored by two points, the total proffered at right around 200. In the early betting many books bumped the Blazers to -2.5, and the total to 201.


Blazers-Heat: Game Set-Up
Miami is 8-6 since the All-Star break, after beating Cleveland Monday 106-92. The Heat led by 25 midway through the third quarter, and closed out the Cavs from there, winning straight-up as five-point home dogs.

Last Thursday Miami lost at Toronto 102-92, while just before that the Heat beat Brooklyn 104-98.

At 30-36 Miami is tied with Indiana and Boston for the seven-eight-nine spots in the Eastern Conference, with only 16 games to go.

Portland, meanwhile, had won three in a row, and eight of its previous nine, but lost Monday at Washington 105-97. The Blazers fell behind by 25 early in the second half, rallied to within three points with about nine minutes to go, but could not complete the comeback.

Portland shot only 40 percent from the floor Monday, while allowing the Wizards to shoot 50 percent.

Just before that the Blazers had won three in a row both SU and ATS, over Houston and slumping Detroit and Toronto.

At 44-21 Portland is basically tied with Houston for the three-four spots in the Western Conference.

Portland took the first meeting between these teams this season back in January 99-83, covering as an eight-point home favorite. The Blazers led that game by five points at the half, then used a 17-3 run out of the locker room to take control. Portland only shot 42 percent from the floor that night, but held the Heat to just 38 percent shooting.

With both teams shooting so poorly that game played UNDER its total of 196.

Prior to that Miami had taken five of the previous seven meetings with Portland, but that was done during the King James era with the Heat.

Check out our Profitable Money Line Pick for Celtics vs. Thunder

Blazers-Heat, By the Numbers
Portland ranks 18th in the league in FG shooting at just under 45 percent, first in FT shooting at 80 percent, and sixth in FG defense, holding opponents to 43.5 percent FG shooting.

Miami ranks 10th in FG shooting at just under 46 percent, 21st in FG defense, allowing foes to shoot 45 percent.

Also, the Blazers rank ninth in rebounding at +1.2 per game, while the Heat rank 22nd at -1.5 per game.


Blazers-Heat Betting Trends
Miami is 15-18 SU, 12-18-3 ATS at home this season.

Portland is 16-15 SU, 15-16 ATS on the road.

Miami is skewing toward the UNDERS this season by a 38-28 margin, as Heat games are averaging 192 points, among the lowest in the league.

Portland is tilting toward the UNDERS 34-30, even though Blazers games are averaging 200 points.

Miami is 22-26 SU, 21-26 ATS this season with Wade, 8-10 SU, 8-8 ATS without him.


Injury Update
Miami is slugging on without F Chris Bosh, who's gone for the year with a serious health issue. The Heat are 11-11 SU, 10-10 ATS without Bosh this season. On the other side of the scorers' table Portland is now without G Wesley Matthews (16 PPG), who recently went down with a torn Achilles. So far the Blazers are 3-2 both SU and ATS without him.


Blazers-Heat Free Pick
This looks like a good spot for a “reversal of fortunes” NBA Pick; we're thinking “fade” on Miami, after its big performance last time out against LeBron and the Cavs, and expect a bounce-back effort from Portland, after its poor performance Monday night. So we'll back the Blazes, the better team at the short spread.

Free NBA Pick: Portland -2.5 at Pinnacle

comment here