Free NBA Pick & Prediction for Heat vs. Wizards

David Lawrence

Monday, December 1, 2014 12:20 PM GMT

The Miami Heat are coming off a win on Sunday night as they beat the Knicks 86-79 in New York. Now they have a quick turnaround with a game in Washington and they’ll be a dog on the NBA betting lines.

The Miami Heat Can Win Because…
They will be glad to get back to the habit of playing basketball, which could give them a leg up on Washington. The Heat had one of those weird extended breaks in the schedule last week. Miami played on Wednesday, Nov. 26, and then did not play for three days. Then they played the Knicks last night and have a quick turnaround on a back-to-back.

Another very good reason to pick the Heat here is that Dwyane Wade returned to the lineup for Miami on Sunday night against New York. He led the way with 27 points, five rebounds and five assists, and gave the team a huge boost. He made 11 field goals while the rest of the team made just 20. That tells you how important he is.

One more reason to pick Miami? The Wizards, despite a solid 10-5 record, have a point differential of just 0.9. Teams that outscore opponents by an average of one point will not continue to win. The NBA odds will even out.

 

The Washington Wizards Can Win Because…
They're a team that’s learning how to win ugly. Last May against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Washington’s offense ground to a halt, and the Wizards were unable to play a composed game when the structure of the game broke down. This season, Washington is winning more close games, and a perfect example came on Saturday against the New Orleans Pelicans. Washington scored only 83 points, but a determined and steady defensive effort won the game for the Wiz, 83-80. Washington scored under 20 points in two separate quarters, but it held New Orleans to 37-percent shooting. The Wizards allow under 97 points per game, a central reason they’re 10-5 and second in the Eastern Conference. With Miami averaging only 97 points per game on offense and coming off an effort where they only mustered 86 on the road, Washington should certainly be able to cool off the Heat in this game and get the stops they need in the fourth quarter.

 

Outlook
The game should be close, but Washington has younger stars with just enough veteran experience to matter. On top of that, you have the Heat in a back-to-back situation and they didn’t exactly look competent on offense last night. Now they face an even better team (and better defensive team) on a back-to-back on the road. That could be tough considering Washington is an impressive 6-2 at home.

The Wizards should also be able to punish Miami on the glass as the Heat are the lowest-ranked rebounding team in the NBA. Add it all up and it looks like the Wizards are the better choice for your NBA picks.

Free NBA Pick: Wizards at BetOnline