Big Al, Not So Big
With Al Jefferson dealing with a painful foot injury, the Bobcats are just not the same. The NBA Odds are taking that into account, as they have the Heat as -6 ½ road favorites. However there aren’t an odds for the total right now, but once they come out, I can guess it will be similar to the total of Game 3 around 187 points.
The Heat know they can get some much-needed rest with a win here against the Cats, and I think they will be plenty motivated to come out strong on the road like they did in Game 3. It probably won’t be as easy for Miami, but even with the Cats backed against the wall, I think Miami has their number. The Heat have now beaten the Bobcats almost 20 straight times SU, and I think Charlotte is almost convinced they can’t beat the Heat.
Charlotte is absolutely no match without Jefferson playing at his peak, and even though he had 20 points in Game 3, the Cats need more than 20 points from Jefferson to beat Miami, even at home.
One of the other parts of Jefferson’s game that has been hurt more than his offense has bee his rebounding and defense. He can barely get off the ground as it is, but with his foot ailing, his rebounding has been almost eliminated. He only had five rebounds in 30 minutes of action in Game 3, and if he doesn’t have at least double that in Game 4, the Cats are in trouble.
The Sharp Pick
The Heat have now covered four of her last five games against the Bobcats, and along with their huge SU winning streak against the Bobcats, they know they have the advantage on Monday, even on the road. The should be motivated to take this game like Game 3, where they out-scored the Bobcats by over 20 points through three quarters.
With Dwyane Wade playing good basketball, and knowing that he is the one that really needs the time off in between the first and second round, I see the Heat covering this game on the road for our NBA picks, and putting Charlotte out of their misery.
In the Big Three era in Miami, one of the trends that has gone somewhat overlooked by different handicappers is the fact that Miami has actually been pretty good ATS when playing as a road favorite. Almost every season they have played together in Miami, they have been a positive team ATS when playing as favorites away from home. Combined through their four season together, the Heat are 79-67 ATS as road favorites.
Charlotte will still have no answer for Lebron James once again, and I expect the Heat to cover easily in Game 4.My Pick: Heat -6 ½