NBA Picks for Heat vs. Nuggets

Jeff Grant

Monday, December 30, 2013 3:07 PM GMT

Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 3:07 PM GMT

The Miami Heat may be without LeBron James for a second consecutive game, as they prepare to take on the Denver Nuggets Monday night.

Let’s take a closer look at the NBA betting lines for this non-conference affair at the Pepsi Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET.

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Closing out its road trip

Miami has won two of three on its four-game road trip that will end Monday, including a 108-107 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers as seven-point road underdogs last Saturday, while going OVER the betting total for the seventh time in eight affairs.

The Heat will likely play without star LeBron James for a second consecutive affair, as he’s listed as doubtful on the latest injury reports.  He has averaged 32.2 points and 8.8 assists over his last six games in this series.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the Heat are 7-1 SU and 5-3 ATS off an upset win as an underdog.

Running bad

Denver is 0-6 SUATS over its last six games, as it comes off a 120-99 setback to the Memphis Grizzlies as three-point road underdogs last Saturday, while going OVER the betting total for the first time in 10 contests.

The Nuggets have an opportunity of ending their losing streak, considering they’ve compiled a 7-6 SU record at this venue, including a perfect 3-0 mark versus Eastern Conference opponents.

NBA handicappers will find that the franchise is 8-5 SU and 3-10 ATS after three or more consecutive losses the last two-plus seasons.

Quite a run

Everyone is aware that the Heat have captured the last two NBA championships, but it’s important to point out that the team is about to finish with a .500 or better winning percentage for a 24th consecutive month.

Miami is capable of winning without its biggest star, as it has gone 8-7 SU without James on the floor, while center Chris Bosh’s 2012-13 season-high of 40 points came against Denver.

The Law-son

Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson is one of six players in the league that’s averaging at least 17 points and seven assists per game—scoring in double figures in 25 of 27 contests this season.

Denver relies heavily on him and a bench that ranks third in points and first in rebounds.

It’s important to keep an eye on forward Kenneth Faried’s status, as he’s listed as day-to-day with a ankle sprain.

Outlook

I’m going to recommend that readers take a look at the underdog when the market opens for this affair for their NBA picks, as the team getting points has covered the number in the last four meetings in this series.

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