NBA Picks: Grizzlies vs. Heat

Jeff Grant

Friday, March 1, 2013 12:58 PM GMT

The Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heat are two of the hotter teams in the league entering Friday night, as they get set to meet at AmericanAirlines Arena in South Beach. Where are we looking to place our NBA picks in this Easern Conference matchup?

Let’s take a closer look at the NBA betting odds for this non-conference affair that’s scheduled to tip at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Don’t call it a comeback

Memphis matched its biggest comeback in franchise history last time out, as it overcame a 25-point deficit to earn a 90-84 victory over the Dallas Mavericks as 7.5-point home favorites Wednesday night.

The Grizzlies are 0-3 against the spread after three straight wins by six points or less the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 2-1 in that situation. 

Hottest team in the league 

Miami has won 12 games in a row, including a 141-129 double-overtime win over the Sacramento Kings as 15.5-point home favorites Tuesday night, while going OVER the total for a third consecutive contest. 

LeBron James has really been the main storyline during the winning streak, as the Heat forward has averaged 29.8 points on 65 percent shooting in that span. 

Relying on its defense

NBA handicappers may find the Grizzlies as an attractive option for their sports picks tonight, considering they haven’t tipped off as road underdogs of 6.5 to 9 points this season. 

Memphis has held 48 of 56 opponents to under 100 points this season, but it faces an opponent that averages 108.6 points per game on its home floor.  

It’s important to note that the squad is 0-4 straight up and against the spread as a road underdog when allowing foes to eclipse the century mark—failing to cover those games by an average of 13.2 points. 

Home-court advantage 

Since James’ arrival in South Beach before the start of the 2010-11 campaign, the Heat have compiled a dominating 83-19 home record, which is second-best mark in the league behind only the San Antonio Spurs. They continue to be the odds favorites to win the NBA Championship this season, and if looks like there are very two teams who could give them a run in a seven game series.

Miami is 8-2 straight up and 6-4 against the spread as home favorites of 6.5 to 9 points this year, with the UNDER going 6-4 in that situation.

[gameodds]5/219709/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to back the Heat as one of my NBA picks against the spread, as they’ve covered the number in all four games this year after scoring 105 or more points in their previous three contests. 

Miami gains revenge from one of its more humiliating losses of the season, as it dropped a 104-86 decision to Memphis as 1.5-point road favorites on Nov. 11.

NBA Pick:  Miami Heat -8 at Pinnacle