Heat to Rise in Orlando is Your NBA Pick for Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 6:52 PM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Wednesday.

 



The small road chalk should have the edge Wednesday night in a Florida in-state rivalry when those Miami Heat (24-31, 14-15 away) pay a visit to the Orlando Magic (19-39, 9-18 home) at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL at 7:05 ET in a game available on Sun Sports.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Miami as a modest road favorite for this contest with the current line at -3 with odds of -110.


Still in Playoff Position
The Heat may be seven games under .500 in their first season of the post-LeBron James era, but in the watered down Eastern Conference of the NBA, that is currently good enough to be the seventh seeds in the conference after beating the lowly Philadelphia 76ers Monday 119-108, leaving Miami one-half game ahead of eighth seeded Brooklyn and 1½ ahead of ninth seeded Charlotte in the East.

The Magic have now been the winning NBA picks in three straight games, their first three-game winning streak all season, but that has only gotten them to 20 games under .500 at 19-39, which is the third worst record in the East ahead of only the 76ers and New York Knicks. And even with those last three wins all coming here at home Orlando still is just 9-18 at the Amway Center this season.


Dragic the Missing Piece but Losing Bosh Hurts
There was a lot of euphoria surrounding the Heat when they acquired Goran Dragic at the trading deadline, as he is the play-making point guard that they were lacking and gave the team four legitimate perimeter threats along with Dwayne Wade, Luol Deng and Mario Chalmers, all of whom are averaging double-digits. Add in the size of Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside and the Heat suddenly seemed fortified for the playoffs.

However that euphoria quickly died down when Bosh was lost for the season with blood clots in his lung. That is not to say that the Heat are still not a threat to do some damage this post-season provided Whiteside continues his totally unexpected fine play. An unknown until about a month ago, Whiteside has averaged 10.2 points, 9.0 rebounds and an impressive 2.4 blocks, including an amazing triple-double vs. the Bulls January 25th that included 12 blocks!

Whiteside has raised his scoring average to 13.0 points and his rebounds to 13.3 per game over the last four games in his attempt to make up for the loss of Bosh, and Dragic had a double-double in his second game with the Heat Monday with 23 points and 10 assists. Dragic will only continue to get better as he learns the Miami system, so the Heat could be a tough team to handle the rest of the season.


Magic 4-2 Since Coaching Change
Thanks to the current three-game winning streak, Orlando is now 4-2 since firing former coach Jacque Vaughn and replacing him with former Vaughn assistant James Borrego on an interim basis. While the Magic’s play has improved, the competition must be taken into account also as two wins during the streak have come vs. the 76ers and Knicks, who as mentioned earlier are the only teams with worse records than Orlando in the East.

The third win looks like a good one on the surface over the New Orleans Pelicans, but that was with Anthony Davis playing at less than 100 percent. This game tonight could be seen as an acid test to see just where the Magic stand, and they had trouble containing Dragic the first time they faced him this season while he was with Phoenix when he had 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists as part of a three-guard Suns’ rotation.


Heat Love Visiting Orlando
Finally the Heat love staying in the state of Florida when they hit the road as they are now 4-0 ATS in the last four head-to-head meetings in Orlando. In fact, taking that one step further the road teams are 5-0-1 ATS in the last six meetings overall.

Look for that visitors’ pattern in this series to continue for one more game when the new-look Heat go into Orlando and cover as small road chalk on Wednesday.

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NBA Pick: Heat -3 (-110)