NBA Picks: Clippers vs. Heat

Jeff Grant

Friday, February 8, 2013 3:56 PM GMT

Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 3:56 PM GMT

The Los Angeles Clippers have a laundry list of injuries heading into one of the more highly-anticipated games on the 2012-13 NBA schedule, as they prepare to meet the Miami Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena on Friday night.


Trouble scoring 

 

Los Angeles has dropped seven of its last 10 games, but does come off an 86-76 victory over the Orlando Magic as five-point road favorites Wednesday night, while going UNDER the posted total of 184.5. The Clippers have managed to score 100 or more points just four times in their last 16 contests.

Heating up

Miami has won three games in a row, as they continue to lead the NBA's Eastern Conference into the All-Star Break. Their most recent win came in the form of a 114-108 victory over the Houston Astros as 7.5-point home favorites last time out, while going OVER the total for the first time in three contests. The Heat have been known to play their best basketball this time of year the last two-plus seasons, as they’ve posted a combined 23-6 record in the month of February in that span.

Containing James

LeBron James is averaging 23.4 points on 42 percent shooting from the field in his career against the Clippers, which happens to be his lowest scoring average and field goal percentage versus any NBA team. It’s important to note that James has scored 30-plus points during Miami’s current win streak, while entering with a career-best 55.6 shooting percentage for the 2012-13 campaign.

Laundry list of injuries

NBA handicappers must monitor Friday’s injury report if they plan on backing the Clippers as road underdogs, as Chauncey Billups, Jamal Crawford, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are all listed as game-time decisions. The last three players in that group finished with 58 combined points in a 107-100 victory over the Heat as one-point home underdogs in the first series meeting this year.

Home dominance

The Heat are definitely one of the top home teams in the NBA, considering they’ve won 20 of 23 games in South Beach this year, while going 17-2 versus Western Conference opponents at this facility dating back to the 2011-12 campaign. 

Miami may receive a good amount of action in the betting market at this particular number, considering the host has gone 13-3-1 ATS in the last 17 meetings in this series.

[gameodds]5/217462/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total with their NBA picks in this affair, but definitely proceed with caution due to the number of injuries for the visitor. Los Angeles has gone OVER the total in 10 of 13 games versus teams that average 99-plus points this season, while its entire roster should be motivated to land on the court in front of a nationally-televised audience on ESPN.

NBA Pick: Over 195 at Sports Interaction

Also check out our NBA Picks: Friday Night Value Plays for more free additions to your betting ticket.

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