Free NBA Picks: Lock Heat -5.5 To Bounce Back Against Bucks

Charles Stark

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 12:54 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 12:54 PM GMT

After losing four of their five last five culminated by only scoring 74 points at Oklahoma, Miami finally gets back from a six Game road trip against the Bucks. Find our NBA pick inside.

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NBA Pick: Heat -5.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

NBA odds makers have made Miami a -5.5 favorite and a total around 192.5. Although this seems like a bit much to lay on a team that has not been playing very well and having some injuries, I like the Heat in this spot to handle a Bucks team that I'm simply not sold on yet. For my selection today I will take Miami minus the points to win this game close to double digits.

 

Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee is averaging 98.3 points per game while shooting 46% from the field, and allowing 103.3 points per game on 45.5% shooting from the field. They have been at about 50% against the spread going 22-20-1 overall and 12-12 on the road. They have been playing better basketball recently winning their last two games against Atlanta and Charlotte, and being competitive for the most part in their last several. Offensively they have been shooting the ball well in their percentages are not bad overall. Milwaukee currently ranks seventh in overall shooting percentage, 12th in shooting beyond the arc at 35.5%, and first in points in the paint at 48.8 per contest. Recently Kris Middleton has really stepped up averaging 22 points in his last five games, and they do have enough talent and scorers to hang with most teams. Defensively they are still struggling and rank in the bottom part of the league in most categories. The Bucks rank in the bottom 10 percentage wise in opponent three point shooting percentage, opponent shooting percentage, and opponent effective field-goal percentage. They also are second to last in the league and assists allowed per game at 24 opponent assist per contest. They try to control tempo, and I expect tonight for this to be a rather low-scoring game, but the main issue I believe will be that they have not faced this good of a defense that they will see tonight in their last several games.

 

Miami Heat
Miami is averaging 96.4 points per game while shooting 46.1% from the field, and allowing 95.5 points per game on 43.2% from the field.  Like Milwaukee they are right around 50% on the year against the spread going 20-20-1 overall and 11-11-1 at home. The issue I have with the line tonight is that Miami has some guys out for sure like Goran Dragic, and banged up players as well like Hasan Whiteside. Still, odds makers have seen fit to make the Heat a pretty solid home favorite against a team with five guys averaging double figures, makes me think they are putting a premium on the players available. Offensively the Heat are one of the most stagnant in the league as far as pace and only average 79.4 field goal attempts per game which ranks last in the NBA. However, they are decently efficient in making the shots they put up ranking sixth in overall shooting percentage and two point shooting percentage. Defense is the foundation of this team and they are one of the best in the league, and arguably the best in the Eastern Conference. They rank third in defensive scoring, sixth in opponent shooting percentage from the field, and fifth in opponent three point shooting percentage. Miami is also good at defending from the inside out allowing just 40.4 points in the paint per game, and 20.4 opponents assists per game.

Very interesting line has my radar up as I really thought Miami, with their injuries, would come out as a small favorite at home against a better playing Milwaukee team. The odds makers have put them as a solid favorite though and for my NBA pick I will back them minus the points to hold the Bucks to a lot of hard fought points. Heat by around double digits.

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