NBA Pick: NBA Playoff Play of the Day Sunday

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, April 20, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

Sunday, Apr. 20, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

Every day during the NBA Playoffs, LT Profits Sports seeks that one single playoff play that has the best chance of cashing. Here is their Playoff Play of the Day Sunday.

The defending NBA Champions open up their 2014 playoff season Sunday when the upstart Charlotte Bobcats (43-39, 18-23 away) pay a visit to those Champion Miami Heat (54-28, 32-9 home) at American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL at 3:35 ET in a game televised nationally on ABC.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Charlotte as a large underdog for this contest with the current line at +10 with odds of -105.

The Heat have been waiting for these playoffs to start all season while going 37-43-2 ATS during the regular season. If history has taught us one thing though, it is that Miami has the ability to flip the switch and take things to another level once the playoffs start, as they are an even .500 ATS during the regular season at 166-166-3 since LeBron James arrived four years ago yet have gone to three straight NBA Finals and have won two straight championships.

The Bobcats set an NBA record for the worst NBA winning percentage of all time at 7-59, .106 two years ago, but they made positive strides last season and have now improved enough to make the playoffs as a seven-seed this year for their second playoff appearance in franchise history. Their first playoff appearance ended in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Orlando Magic in 2010 following the 2009-10 season with the legendary Larry Brown as head coach.

Now make no mistake, the Heat are the better team and should prevail rather easily in this series, especially if they turn the intensity up a notch. However, Dwayne Wade is not yet at full health after playing in only 54 games this season while nursing a hamstring injury and other nagging ailments, and the Heat know that they are the better team here and may put off that “pulling of the switch” until they have to.

Miami does not exactly have great momentum entering the playoffs either, as they had control of their own destiny when it came to claiming the top seed in the East after beating the Indiana Pacers on April 11th, but they then proceeded to lose their final three games while resting starters in the last two contests, which should give you an idea of what little regard they had for getting that top seed.

The Bobcats on the other hand enter on a roll going 20-9 after the All-Star break and winning eight of their last nine games. They ended the season by beating two playoff teams, first winning on the road vs. the Atlanta Hawks and then ending with a home overtime win over the Chicago Bulls. That left Charlotte four games over .500 with 43 wins this season, which is 15 wins more than it had with 28 over the last two seasons combined.

The Cats can do some damage here with Al Jefferson, who averaged 21.8 points and 10.8 rebounds while posting 42 double-doubles this year. And that was after a relatively slow start while Jefferson was nursing an ankle injury and even missed some time, as he then scored at least 20 points in 37 of his last 47 games.

The Charlotte defense is also good enough to hang around as that units finished fourth in the regular season in points allowed at 97.1 per game and sixth in field goal percentage allowed at 44.2 percent.

No, that does not mean that the Bobcats will win this game, or even win a single game in this series. Still, we do expect the Heat to still be a tad indifferent about this series opener and for Charlotte to cover the double-digit spread in Miami in Game 1 on Sunday.

[gameodds]5/264164/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Bobcats +10 (-105)

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