NBA Pick on Miami to Turn Up the Heat in Phoenix

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 5:27 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014 5:27 PM UTC

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 Tuesday.


Even though LeBron James is now playing in Cleveland, it does not mean that his old team is not a dangerous underdog Tuesday night when those Miami Heat (9-11, 5-5 away) pay a visit to the potentially tired Phoenix Suns (12-10, 6-4 home) at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, AZ at 9:00 ET in a game available on Sun Sports.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Miami as a road underdog for this contest with the current line at +4½ with odds of -108.

Tough Scheduling Spot for Suns
This is not the best of spots for the Suns after being involved in a fast-paced overtime game last night on the road where they lost to the Los Angeles Clippers at the buzzer 121-120 on a fortuitous three-point shot by Blake Griffin that hit the front of the rim and bounced in. Besides needing overtime last night, that game wrapped up a difficult three-game road trip for the Suns after previously visiting Dallas and Houston, so they could be a bit spent tonight.

The Heat may not be as good as they were with James and they are in fact two games below .500 at the moment, but at least they had a day off after losing 103-87 at Memphis to the Grizzlies on Sunday, making Miami the losing NBA pick in four straight games now. The bright side for the Heat is that they are actually 5-5 straight up in the road compared to a losing 4-6 at home.

1-4 This Season on Back-to-Back
The schedule-makers have not been kind to the Suns this early season as this is already the sixth time Phoenix has been asked to play a back-to-back. And the results were not good on the first five occasions with the Suns going just 1-4 straight up while averaging 98.0 points and allowing 104.6 points. Comparatively, they average 105.9 points and allow 103.9 overall. And on none of the first five occasions did the front end go to overtime.

The Suns love to play at a fast tempo and oftentimes their high scoring games are as much a function of playing at that phrenetic pace as they are due to great shooting or poor defense. In fact Phoenix is in the middle of the pack in both areas, ranking 15th in field goal percentage offensively at 45.7 percent and 13th in field goal percentage allowed at 44.9 percent.

Thus it is understandable that the Suns would struggle in back-to-backs since they rely on their tempo so much ranking fourth in the NBA in Pace Rating at 99.2 possessions per game, and that pace obviously gets compromised by tired legs, with the overtime last night now adding a new wrinkle to that.

Wade and Bosh Still Performing Well
The Heat obviously miss James, but the other two members of the former Big Three have continued to play at high levels. Dwayne Wade recently missed seven games with a hamstring injury, but he has scored at least 20 points in all five games since he came back and that streak of consecutive 20-point games is actually nine straight going back to before the injury. Wade is averaging 22.0 points, 5.9 assists and leading the Heat in shooting percentage at 54.0 percent.

Meanwhile Chris Bosh is averaging 21.3 points and 8.4 rebounds, and he should be expected to bounce back strong after scoring a season-low 12 points in the loss in Memphis on Sunday. Bosh had topped 20 points in eight straight games prior to that.

While just that duo alone could be enough to keep this game close vs. a tired Phoenix defense, they have gotten solid support from Mario Chalmers and Luol Deng both averaging an identical 13.6 points, and Deng came back vs. Memphis after missing two games with a hand injury, promptly contributing 13 points and five rebounds in 27 minutes.

Yet to Lose Three Straight Games
One thing that the Suns have going for them is that they have yet to lose three straight games this young season, which would be the case with a loss here after losing in Houston Saturday prior to last night. However, this could be the most difficult scheduling spot for Phoenix thus far and besides there is also the added possibility of a non-covering straight up win,

With all of this in mind our recommendation is to take these points with the Miami Heat when they take on Phoenix in the desert on Tuesday.

NBA Pick: Heat +4½ (-108)

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