Free NBA Picks: Heat Home Cover Over Wizards

Jordan Sharp

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 5:40 PM GMT

The first game the Heat have to play without Lebron James is tonight as they play host to the Wizards. The NBA Odds are actually favoring the Heat at -4, with a total of 188 ½, but without the King, could the Wizards cover here?

Depleted Rosters
Even though they lost Lebron James, the Heat still have a stacked roster worthy of playoff contention, and with the addition of Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts and others, the Heat are still going to be a tough team to beat. Chris Bosh is going to take over the number one scoring option down south, and even with Dwyane Wade likely having plenty of rest days throughout the early parts of the season, this team still has the depth to compete in their division.

The only issue is the up and coming Washington Wizards, who are favored to win this division this season. Washington has one of the better defensive rosters in the entire NBA, and that will serve them well in this game and for the season. However even with their huge stable of big men, the Wizards are dealing with an injury to one of their better players.

Bradley Beal will miss roughly the first month of the season, and without him John Wall and this backcourt takes a big step back. Wall’s breakout season last year was in part due to the respect that Beal gets on the outside. Now without him, and with a young shooting guard combo to compliment him, Wall, and subsequently the Wizards might take a step back. Even though it might not be as noticeable in this game due to the Miami Heat not having a strong backcourt outside of Wade, it will still be an issue until Washington’s best outside shooter is able to come back. Remember, Trevor Ariza is now in Houston, so the Wizards might struggle from three-point range until Beal’s return.

 

The Sharp Pick
Tonight the matchup to watch will be between Bosh and the stable of Washington big men. If Bosh has a huge game against Marcin Gortat, then the Wizards will likely not cover this game. Also to note is that Washington will be without Nene in this game, who is suspended for the first few games of the season.

While the Heat didn’t fair too well ATS in the NBA Finals, they were slightly overvalued during the playoffs. This season with no Lebron, they likely might be undervalued, and while this won’t be an easy game, due to the lack of personnel from Washington, the Heat are my play here.

The Wizards are 4-1 ATS in their last five games as underdogs between +1/2 and +5, but of course that was probably with two of their starters. Now down two starters, I’m not sure they have the offense to keep up with the Heat. Wall will likely struggle against Mario Chalmers, and even if he does have a big game, I’m not sure anyone else on the Wizards will be able to produce enough scoring to help them cover this game.

For our free NBA picks I see the remaining members of the now Big Two to play well enough to get the win and cover against the Wizards.

Free NBA Picks: Heat -3 ½ at Pinnacle   

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