The Heat are massive 11.5 to 12-point favorites at the sportsbooks for tonight's game, while the O/U is settling in at 209.
Miami holds a 30-12 SU and 18-24 ATS record, with Los Angeles sitting at 16-26 SU. However, the Lakers have been one of the more profitable teams to back with your sports picks, as they're 23-18-1 ATS for the season.
Los Angeles Lakers
All things considered, the Lakers have been doing a respectable job lately. They've been decimated by injuries more than any other team in the NBA, yet Mike D'Antoni still has these guys playing hard each and every night.
They've been extremely competitive over their last five contests, going 2-3 SU but a perfect 5-0 ATS. They lost by a combined 11 points to the Bulls, Suns and Cavaliers but were able to beat both Boston (107-104) and Toronto (112-106) on the road.
Against Chicago on Monday, Pau Gasol and Nick Young were tremendous.
Gasol, who continues to excel despite various ailments, went for 20 points, 19 rebounds, five blocks and three steals, while Young was 11-of-23 from the field for 31 points while adding five rebounds and two steals.
The loss to the Bulls moved Los Angeles to 8-15 SU on the road this season, though they're still above .500 against the spread at 12-11. With some time to rest, it'll be interesting to see how the Lakers perform tonight.
A tough couple of weeks has seen the Heat go 3-4 SU and 2-5 ATS in their last seven contests. All four losses (Knicks, Nets, Wizards, Hawks) came on the road
Miami was able to get back on track somewhat in a 93-86 home win over Boston two nights ago, though it was hardly a dominant game from the defending champions against one of the worst teams in the NBA.
It looked like the Heat were going to cruise after racing out to a 29-15 lead after one quarter, ut the Celtics hung around and made things interesting down the stretch.
With Dwayne Wade sitting again, LeBron James put up 29 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals, but Chris Bosh and Chris Andersen were the only other two players to hit double figures for Erik Spoelstra's team.
Wade has now missed three straight games, but we reckon he'll return for tonight's prime-time game. He's had almost a full week to rest up and should be good to go, which is no doubt a big boost to Miami's chances of a blowout tonight.
When these teams met back on Christmas Day, the Heat didn't play too well but still managed a 101-95 win inside Staples Center. The Lakers (+9.5 in NBA odds) cashed for backers though.
Tonight we see Miami finally putting together a consistent all-around effort, leading to a comfortable win, but that's not going to be our recommendation here in South Beach.
We actually like the OVER even more. Most of you know how terrible the Lakers have been defensively this season, but they've been even worse than normal lately, having given up 110.6 PPG over their previous five matchups. The Heat have been more porous than usual as well, allowing 100.6 PPG in their past five.
Let's back the OVER for our NBA pick in what should be a shootout in front of a national television audience.
Pick: OVER 209