NBA Predictions - Heat vs. Trail Blazers Odd & Free Picks

Portland Trail Blazers guards C.J. McCollum (3) and Damian Lillard (0)

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, December 3, 2016 7:23 PM GMT

The Miami Heat have notched a pair of victories in their first two games of a three-game road swing. Tonight they will touch down in Portland where the NBA odds makers have installed them as underdogs against the Trailblazers.

Miami Heat vs Portland Trail Blazers  

The NBA season is a long, winding grind and early December is quite a distance from mid-April when the regular season draws to a close and the playoffs commence. But right now, at this moment in time, the Miami Heat are enjoying a small measure of success after stumbling out of the blocks with a 2-8 record to begin the 2016-2017 campaign. The Heat have won their last two games, defying the NBA odds makers as 6 ½ point road dogs in victories over Denver and Utah. They have also ratcheted up their scoring attack, averaging 107 PPG over their last four contests which are in stark contrast to their season average of 97.4 which ranks them 27th in the league. Defensively, Miami has been getting the job done, allowing 98.8 points per game which places them 7th in the NBA.

Portland takes the court tonight with a 10-10 straight up the mark on the year and 7-13 ATS (Against The Spread). While Miami is a team focused on defense the opposite is true for Portland which owns the third-highest scoring attack in the league (110.8) but has been woeful in defending, surrendering 113.5 points per game. But in their last game on Wednesday night the offense found an extra gear in their 131-109 dismantling of the Indiana Pacers. Damian Lillard led the way with 28 points and is currently 6th in the league in scoring.

Miami's seven-foot center Hassan Whiteside has come into his own and was a highly sought after commodity in the offseason before agreeing to return to Miami with a crisp, new $98 million maximum contracts over four years. But Whiteside cannot do it alone and the Heat will have to contend with an offensive juggernaut in Portland. The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings between these clubs and the last time they squared off, in April of last season, it was the Blazers that came away with an 110-93 victory and rewarded all of those who backed the 6 ½ point home chalk in their NBA picks.

As well as Miami has been playing they won't be able to outrun or outscore the prolific offense of the Trailblazers. Miami is 1-5 ATS over their last six Saturday contests versus Portland's 8-2 ATS mark over their last 10 Saturday games. The Blazers have averaged a whopping 120 points over their last six and though Miami is solid defensively, they are not elite and I can't see them containing the Blazers on their home court tonight. Lay it and play the home favorite here.

 Free NBA Pick: Portland -6 ½ Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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