NBA Pick: NBA Playoff Play of the Day Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, April 23, 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 Wednesday.

The defending NBA Champions barely covered in Game 1 of their NBA Playoffs opening round series, and they should have an even closer battle on their hands Wednesday when the scrappy Charlotte Bobcats (43-40, 18-24 away) again pay a visit to the Miami Heat (55-28, 33-9 home) at American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL at 7:05 ET in a game televised nationally on TNT.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Charlotte as a double-digit underdog for this contest with the current line at +10½ with odds of -106.

The Bobcats very quietly went 20-9 straight up after the All-Star break this season leading to the second playoff appearance in the 10-year existence of the franchise Charlotte has yet to win a playoff game though, as it was swept out of the first round of the 2010 playoffs by Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic and then lost Game 1 of this series on Sunday.

The Heat cruised through the regular season like they have always done since the arrival of LeBron James, going just 37-43-2 ATS overall. The fact that Miami finished as the two-seed in the Eastern Conference and could have easily been the one-seed if it cared enough despite hardly ever showing up should give you an idea of just how great this team is once it steps up the intensity.

With that being said, that probably will not happen tonight with the Heat holding a 1-0 series lead and may not happen at all this series with Miami knowing that it can beat Charlotte with just a minimal effort. After all, the Heat are now a perfect 15-0 straight up vs. the Bobcats since the arrival of LeBron at South Beach, a streak that includes a 61-point game by King James in the last regular season game this year, which took place here in Miami.

That lack of intensity resulted in the Heat just barely covering as 10-point favorites 99-88 in the series opener with James (27) and Dwayne Wade (23) combining for 50 points on 18-for-32 shooting, while the rest of the Miami team scored just 49 points while shooting a dismal 17-for-44, 38.6 percent from the floor. The Heat could be in for a real battle tonight if either of those two superstars has some slippage tonight.

That is because the Charlotte defense against the rest of the Miami lineup was not an anomaly for a Bobcats’ team that finished the regular season fourth in the NBA in points allowed at just 97.1 per game and sixth in field goal percentage allowed at 44.2 percent.

Perhaps best of all from the perspective of Charlotte backers, the Bobcats came within one point of covering Game 1 despite Al Jefferson obviously slowed by a foot injury sustained early in the game. Jefferson finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds while basically playing on one foot, and he should be better tonight following treatment and rest, especially since Sunday was an afternoon game, giving him even a few more hours of rest.

Jefferson averaged 21.8 points and 10.8 rebounds over the entire regular season while scoring 20 or more points in 37 of his last 45 games, and it was apparent in Game 1 that he is capable of dominating Miami inside when healthy.

With all of this in mind, take the double-digit points with Charlotte and expect an even closer game in Game 2 in Miami on Wednesday.

[gameodds]5/264172/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Bobcats +10½ (-106)