It matters little that the Heat are missing so many important players – they're still the favorites in the NBA odds for tonight's road encounter with Charlotte.
As of now Miami is favored by five points, while the total can be locked down at either 193.5 or 194 depending on what sportsbooks you use.
As if being without LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Mario Chalmers wasn't enough, Ray Allen has been added to the injury list.
All four players are expected to miss tonight's game. LeBron and Wade have both missed the last two games, while Chalmers has sat out the last three. Allen meanwhile picked up an ankle injury and is considered doubtful.
The absences of three starters proved to be too much to overcome for Miami in their 102-90 loss to New York on Tuesday.
Chris Bosh had 23 points, six rebounds and four assists and Mike Miller came up with 18 points, eight boards, four dimes, and two blocks, but the Heat had no one who could stop Carmelo Anthony (50 points).
Bosh will continue to carry the offensive load as much as possible, but there's only so much he can do. It's hard to see where the points are going to come from, with four key pieces now missing for the defending champions.
Returning home did the trick for Charlotte after losing all three of their road games (NY, PHI, MIL) last week. They got back on their own floor and took care of Philadelphia in a 88-83 win.
Individually, Kemba Walker came up big with 17 points, 10 assists, five rebuonds and four steals, while Gerald Henderson put up a 24/4/4 line on 10-of-18 shooting. Josh McRoberts, who's emerged as Charlotte's most effective big man, totaled 12 points, 16 rebounds, and four assists in the win.
It was the Bobcats' fifth win in their last six games at home, though we can't lose sight of the fact they're still 14-23 ATS in Charlotte and 27-47-1 ATS overall on the season.
Still, the Bobcats have been on a profitable run lately, covering in four of their previous five games heading into tonight.
Tonight they do battle with Miami, who have covered in four of the past five meetings between these polar opposite teams. Will the Bobcats be able to take advantage of a vastly weaker Heat squad?
These types of games are tricky to look at with your sports picks, given the number of injuries on both sides. At first glance, you like the points with the Bobcats against a completely undermanned Miami team, but then you realize this is Charlotte we're talking about.
The Bobcats are one of the few teams that we rarely make a play on, regardless of the circumstances, so we are going to focus on a total pick for this matchup.
With three starters out and now Allen on the sidelines too, we feel it's going to be hard for Miami to find consistent scoring out of anyone other than Bosh. The Heat will only be able to win this game if they buckle down on the defensive end like we've seen them do countless times before.
NBA Pick: UNDER 194
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