NBA Picks: Grab Heat Behind Effective Defense vs. Grizzlies Sunday

Steven Suarez

Sunday, December 13, 2015 2:44 PM GMT

Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015 2:44 PM GMT

Two veteran teams will meet up in South Beach, with the Heat looking to avoid a fourth straight loss. Let's examine the odds on offer and come up with our top NBA pick.

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NBA Pick: Miami Heat ATS
Best Odds Offered: -3 (-105) at 5Dimes

Odds Overview
The Heat have been struggling, but they're still being classified as favorites on the NBA Odds board for this evening's home game against Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and the Grizzlies. Currently, Miami is laying four points at most of the top sportsbooks.

Want to take a crack at beating the total? The O/U is down at 189.5 points, which is the lowest number on Sunday's slate. Both teams can bring it on the defensive end, so we're not surprised by the low total on the board right now.

 

Miami Heat
Three straight losses have seen the Heat fall to 12-9 overall, which puts them second in the division behind only Charlotte. Miami has fallen to Washington, Charlotte and Indiana during the losing streak, and now they'll return home looking to get back on track.

So far, the Heat have managed to stay relatively healthy, this after an injury-ravaged 2014 season which saw them lose Chris Bosh for a huge chunk of the season, with Dwyane Wade also banged up for large stretches. Both have been able to stay on the court so far this season, with Bosh averaging 17.2 points and 8.6 rebounds and Wade putting up 18.7 points, 4.6 assists and 3.7 rebounds a contest. Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic and Gerald Green are also averaging in double figures.

Losing by double digits in each of their three recent defeats, we can expect the Heat to come out with a sense of urgency this evening. They're not going to want to let down their fans again, so we should see a very determined effort on both ends of the floor.

 

Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies have recovered after a very shaky start to their season, as they're now 13-11 overall, putting them in a tie for second in the division. They've been playing much better basketball lately, and they'll certainly need to be near their best to have a chance of upsetting the Heat on the road.

Memphis was off yesterday after a bad home loss to Charlotte on Friday. The Grizzlies were favored at home, but they were a big letdown in a 123-99 defeat. They shot just 40.0 percent from the floor and allowed the Hornets to shoot a clean 50.0 percent, so it was clearly a performance they'll want to forget sooner rather than later. The good thing is they quickly get a chance to bounce back in a game they'll be getting up for versus a good Miami team.

We can, of course, expect to see Memphis trying to establish Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph inside, although it should be noted that this isn't a great matchup up against an athletic frontcourt that features Bosh and Whiteside. It should be a great battle inside in Miami.

 

NBA Pick
It's been a rough week or so for the Heat, but we think they'll end the losing run with a victory at home over the Grizzlies tonight.

Miami is one of the few teams in the NBA that matches up well all over the court with Memphis, and the Heat have actually been the stronger defensive team this season. They're second in the league in scoring defense and have been much better on that end of the court than have the Grizzlies, who are all the way down in 18th, a far cry from where we've seen them in recent seasons.

With that edge defensively, along with home-court advantage and a strong duo in Wade and Bosh to lead the way, we're liking Miami's chances of not only winning but covering the smal number too. We'll be backing the Heat with our NBA Pick against the spread in this one.

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