NBA Picks: Bet Streaking Clippers -5 Against Banged Up Heat

Jay Pryce

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 1:27 PM GMT

The Clippers are sporting a nine-game win streak and look to avenge a loss to the Heat last time out. Both teams are injury-riddled, check out our NBA pick and analysis here.

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NBA Pick: Clippers -5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Miami shocked the Clippers 104-90 as a 10-point underdog in its last trip to L.A. Since Lebron James departed for the Cavaliers, the Heat are 5-2 SU, 6-1 ATS against the Pacific division while visiting the West Coast. They’ll hope to continue the trend and slow down the streaking Clippers, winners of nine straight, on Wednesday night (10:30 p.m. ET)

 

Miami Heat (22-16 SU, 19-19 ATS)
Coach Erik Spoelestra’s squad is defense-first, ranking sixth in the NBA with a 47.6 opponent effective field goal rate. It will not let teams pick up easy points in transition and plays from the rim out in its half court set. The defense tops the league in allowing the fewest fastbreak points (9.1) and blocks (6.7) per game. C Hassan Whiteside leads all players with 3.81 swats a contest, 1.3 more than his closest competitor Pelicans star Anthony Davis, 2.53. The Clippers only score 36.8 per contest in the paint, so the seven-footer may be in for a quiet night defensively if he plays. Whiteside sat out of Monday's 111-103 defeat to the Warriors with a sore knee. Superstar Dwyane Wade is feeling the pain too, playing through a slightly strained left shoulder.

In addition to its stout defense, Miami plays at slow pace. Its 79.7 field goal attempts per game are fewest in the league. The combination have helped make the Heat the most profitable UNDER team in the NBA to date, going 25-13 below the total. Oddsmakers are catching up though. They went 16-4 below the total to begin the year, yet are 9-9 through the last 18 games played. 

To possibly find value in the UNDER with Miami, one may zero in on matchups with other slow teams. When the Heat square off against foes averaging less than 84.6 field goal attempts per game, the UNDER is 16-3 on the season and 7-2 in the last 18 contests. L.A. comes in averaging 82.5 per game, but has upped this number to 84.3 over its last 10 games. 

Offensively, the Heat shoot 46.1 percent from the field, picking up 43.4 points a game from inside the free throw line. PF Chris Bosh is the main force down low, posting 19.1 points in 33.7 minutes per contest. He lit up the Clip for 34 points in the last meeting.

 

Los Angeles Clippers (25-13 SU, 19-18-1 ATS)
What is perhaps most impressive about the Clippers nine-game win streak (in addition to going 7-2 against the NBA odds) is the fact six victories came on the road, and without their leading scorer Blake Griffin (quad). Tipping off the third of a five-game homestand, L.A. enter the Heat matchup well rested, last playing in Sunday’s 114-111 overtime triumph against the Pelicans.

No one area is driving the Clippers winning streak. They are playing above expectations all over the court. Coach Doc Rivers’ squad is shooting 48.5 percent from the field, while holding opponents to 42.5. It is draining 10.9 three-pointers, slightly above the team’s 8.7 season average. 

 

Final Analysis
Both teams are suffering through injuries. L.A.'s DeAndre Jordan, is the latest uncertainty for the meeting, suffering with flu-like symptoms and in danger of snapping his 360 consecutive games played streak. He's torched the Heat's current roster, going 23 for 29 from the field lifetime. With his status unknown, oddsmakers have yet to set a number. I'll wager the Clip at -6 or less, but stay away from a higher number. Keep it small if you do play the side with so many key players at less than 100 percent. Take the Clippers at the NBA pick.