NBA Picks: Spurs To Continue Home Streak Against Burnt Out Heat

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 12:34 PM GMT

Could Spurs & Golden State Warriors both finish unbeaten at home this season? The Spurs have a legitimate challenge there on Wedns when Miami visits. San Antonio is -11.5 on the NBA odds. 

Heat Thriving Sans Bosh
Miami is trying to hang on to the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference and avoid favored Cleveland until the conference finals. The Heat currently have a half-game lead over Atlanta, Boston and Charlotte for that No. 3. Getting the No. 2 seed isn't possible.

The Heat won a second straight game Tuesday night, 113-99 at injury-ravaged New Orleans. Hassan Whiteside, who is going to get a maximum contract offer from several teams this summer and probably can't stay in Miami because the team doesn't have Bird rights on him, had 24 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. It was his 14th double-double in the past 16 games. Dwyane Wade added 25 points and Goran Dragic 21. Dragic did  have a sore ankle after the game following a third-quarter collision with referee Bill Kennedy but it's not expected to keep him out.

The Heat have scored at least 100 points in 11 straight games -- that will end here. They are somehow playing better without All-Star Chris Bosh, who remains out with his blood clot issue. The addition of Joe Johnson has done wonders as the team is 8-3 with Johnson, who chose  to sign with Miami over Cleveland and  a few other teams.

Miami is 37-32-1 against the spread on the NBA odds boards this season and 30-39-1 'over/under.'

 

Spurs Let One Get Away Monday
It's human nature to perhaps suffer an emotional letdown following a huge accomplishment. And that surely seems to be what happened to the Spurs on Monday. Of course they beat visiting Golden State on Saturday in the  NBA game of the year to improve the Spurs to 35-0 at home this season (won 44 straight regular-season games there overall).

On Monday, the Spurs went to Charlotte and jumped out to a 23-point lead but then ran out of gas in a 91-88 loss to end San Antonio's six-game overall winning streak. The Spurs had a shot to tie the game on their final possession, but Patty Mills and Danny Green missed 3-pointers and then Mills made a bad pass as the clock hit zeroes. Tony Parker led the Spurs with 19 points and seven assists. LaMarcus Aldridge had in 18 points and 12 rebounds and Tim Duncan 16 points and 10 boards. Green was 0-for-7 from the field for 2 points.

Monday could have been a huge day for the Spurs to have any shot at overtaking the Warriors for the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs. But San Antonio blew that lead and Golden State rallied for a win in Minnesota. The Warriors now lead the Spurs by four games so in reality San Antonio has very little to play for the rest of the way other than staying unbeaten at home. The Spurs are going to finish with the West's second seed regardless. Coach Gregg Popovich might start resting some of his guys soon, although more likely in road games.

The Spurs continue to lead the NBA in point differential at plus-12.0 and in scoring defense, allowing 92.3 points per game. They are 41-29 ATS on NBA picks this season and 30-38-2 O/U.

 

First Meeting
On Feb. 9 in south Florida, San Antonio was a 6.5-point favorite with a total of 196 and won 119-101. The Spurs actually had a seven-point possession in that game, which has to be some sort of record. They led 87-80 with just under 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Spurs backup guard Mills  hit a 3-pointer and was fouled by  Miami's Beno Udrih. Mills made that free throw, but during that the Heat's Whiteside was called for a flagrant foul -- and ejected -- on San Antonio's Boban Marjanovic as they tussled for a possible rebound.

Marjanovic made his free throw and the Spurs kept possession, which led to a Kawhi Leonard basket. Just like that it was a 14-point game and over. Aldridge had 28 points and Leonard 23 points as the Spurs, who played without an injured Duncan, won their sixth straight vs. Miami dating to the 2014 Finals when the Heat still had LeBron James. Wade had 20 in this loss for the Heat, who had just a single offensive rebound in the game.

NBA Free Picks: Give the points, go 'under.' I probably wouldn't give that many points to the Heat if they weren't on the second of a back-to-back. The Spurs are 8-1 ATS in their past nine Wednesday games. The 'under' is 5-0 in their past five home games vs. teams with a winning road record. The Heat are 0-6 ATS in the past six meetings. The 'under' is 4-1 in the past five. 

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NBA Pick: Under 195.
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes