Heading in the wrong direction
Miami still leads the Southeast Division by 3.5 games over the Atlanta Hawks, but it has lost three of its last four games, including a 104-97 setback to the Utah Jazz as 2.5-point road favorites Monday night. The Heat may have a solid 24-12 straight-up record, but they’ve compiled a losing 17-19 (ATS) mark against the NBA betting lines.
Trying to avoid a January slump
Golden State has gone 14-21 in the month of January over the last two-plus seasons, as it looks to bounce back from a 116-105 setback to the Denver Nuggets as 6.5-point road underdogs last time out. The Warriors have lost three of five games since the calendar turned to 2013, with the OVER going 4-1 in those contests.
King James could be motivated
LeBron James needs just 18 points to reach 20,000 points for his career, which could motivate him to score 30-plus at the Oracle Arena. He has scored 18 or more points in 16 of 17 games against the Warriors—leading to a scoring average of 28.4 points per game when playing in this series.
Rebounding is the key
Sports bettors don’t spend enough time looking at certain statistics when making their sports picks on a daily basis, especially when it involves pounding the glass. Golden State ranks tied for fourth in the NBA in grabbing 45.2 rebounds per game, while the defending NBA champions are dead last in that particular category (38.6). The Warriors are 20-2 this season when out-rebounding their opponents, including a perfect 11-0 mark at home.
It will be very interesting to see the type of number that oddsmakers send out on this game due to the Warriors winning the last two games in this series in straight-up fashion, including a 97-95 victory as 8.5-point road underdogs on Dec. 12. It’s important to note that Golden State was playing its best basketball of the 2012-13 NBA season during that time, but the underdog is 6-1-1 ATS in the last eight meetings.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Warriors as one of their NBA picks, as long as the betting line comes out at +4 or higher. Golden State is 12-3-1 ATS following a straight-up loss, while Miami has failed to cover the spread in five straight games versus a team with a winning record.
NBA Pick: Golden State Warriors +4 or higher
Read another cappers take on this matchup in our NBA Picks of the day article.