While most of the general public focus on picking spread winners, we're going to examine all of the totals for tonight's NBA slate. Where's the best sports betting value hiding?
The Heat will welcome the Celtics to South Beach tonight, with the odds showing Miami as small favorites. For our purposes though, we're dealing with the total, which is listed at 199.5 right now. Injuries make selections for this game a little tricky, but we'll have to bite the bullet and try to find the right side anyway.
Thing is, Miami may be near the bottom in terms of average points scored per game, but the pace to their play as been trending upwards ever since Goran Dragic was brought on board. Coach Erik Spoelstra has stated that he wants to play at a higher tempo, which means we should be seeing more points out of the Heat on a game-by-game basis. That wasn't an issue on Saturday night when the Heat dropped 114 points at home against the Kings.
Then you consider the Celtics, who have been playing at a high tempo all season long, and you can see why the OVER is appealing. They're averaging 100.9 points per game, ranking them in the top half of the league, and they're tied for fourth in PACE, which measures how many possessions a team uses in the course of a game. Boston has no qualms about getting involved in shootouts.
So, when you add it all together, we think tonight's game has a good chance of ending over the relatively low posted number. Both teams should find success offensively in South Beach.
NBA Pick: OVER 199.5 at Pinnacle Sports
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Both the Timberwolves and Clippers are coming off losses their last time out, but one side will grab a win this evening. The Clippers will be at home and are huge favorites against the visiting Timberwolves, who have the worst record in the entire Western Conference.
Despite the poor overall mark, Minnesota has plenty of reason for optimism and they've been staying competitive on most nights too. It wasn't all that long ago that the Timberwolves gave the Clippers everything they could handle in an eventual five-point loss at home. Ricky Rubio, Andrew Wiggins and company will hope to make things difficult again this evening.
The Clippers have dropped two straight ahead of tonight, but the good news is they're close to getting star power forward Blake Griffin back in the mix. Doc Rivers has worked his magic to keep Los Angeles afloat in the heated conference race, but getting Griffin back to team up with Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan again is going to a huge lift. Rivers must be counting down the days until that becomes a reality.
For tonight, we don't expect to see much intensity on the defensive end of the floor. The Timberwolves have been awful defensively, allowing 105.6 points per game on average, the 29th-worst mark in the NBA. You better believe CP3 and friends will be licking their chops at the opportunity to go up against this Minnesota defense. That being said, it's not like Los Angeles has been doing well defensively either, as they're also allowing over 100 points a contest. Rubio has been doing some amazing things at the helm of the offense and this Minnesota squad has plenty of guys that can put the ball in the basket.
Once again we believe the OVER holds good value here and will wrap up our picks of the day in that fashion. Expect a very high-tempo throughout and a lot of offense overall - take the OVER.
NBA Pick: OVER 205.5