NBA Special Picks: Bet 'Under' On Miami Heat TeamTotal

Jay Pryce

Sunday, February 7, 2016 12:19 PM GMT

Get primed up for your Super Bowl betting with this early NBA pick. Expect the Heat and Clippers to engage in a defensive tussle with Miami staying UNDER the total. Play and analyisis here.

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NBA Pick: Heat Team Total Under 99
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

L.A. Clippers (33-17 SU, 26-23-1 ATS)
L.A. Bested the disappearing Magic last night 107-93, making it six covers in the Clips last eight trips to the Sunshine State.

No Blake Griffin. No Problem. Since the All-Star forward last suited up on Christmas Day, the Clippers are 16-4 straight up and 14-6 against the number, the most in the NBA behind the Nuggets' 15 covers in this span. L.A.'s current configuration seems to play better with Griffin out of the lineup. It's point differential jumped from +1.5 prior to +7.9 since. In fact, in his career, the team's point differential remains steady when he is out of the lineup. Trade bait anyone?

The Clippers defense comes alive against opponents creating few extra scoring chances on the season. Miami is 26th in the NBA in forcing turnovers (13.1 per game) and near the bottom gathering offensive rebounds with 9.1 per game (23rd). This translates to -1.4 extra scoring chances per game (23rd). When L.A. faces foes compiling less than 24 forced turnovers and offensive rebounds a night, it is holding them to 96.3 points per game in 16 versus 102.2 with more. In those 16 contests, its opponents failed to reach their team total in 12 of them.

Don't expect DeAndre Jordan to be Hack-a-Shaqued in this game. In addition to Commissioner Adam Silver's recent comments threatening to put a stop to the practice, Miami sends opponents to the line 19.7 times per game, second fewest in the NBA (Nets).

 

Miami Heat (29-22 SU, 25-25-1 ATS)
The Heat are 6-1 SU and 5-1-1 against the NBA odds over their last seven games, picking up steam following a rash of injuries and ailments that doomed them to a 2-8 SU and 3-7 ATS run prior. Dwyane Wade and company shooed away the Hornets 98-95 in Charlotte on Friday night. Center Hassan Whiteside took care of business down low, posting his third triple-double of the season with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and a whopping 10 blocks. He is the league's No. 1 shotblocker by a wide margin, swatting 4.02 shots per game (Anthony Davis, 2.37 is second).

We mentioned the Clippers elite defensive performances against teams that generate few extra scoring chances. For Miami, good ball control teams like L.A. are a killer offensively. When Miami tips off against an opponent gifting fewer than 14.5 turnovers a night, the Heat have failed to reach their team total in 19 of 26 games (93.8 ppg) with the UNDER going 21-3-1. Against teams gifting more, the market is more consistent. Miami scores above their team total in 12 of 25. Playing at a tortoise's pace, the Heat often require a few extra possessions to crack the century mark on any given night.

 

Final Analysis
The Heat started the year 13-3 to the UNDER with oddsmakers scrambling to adjust the number. The totals have leveled out some, but Miami continues to cash tickets with low-scoring affairs. If Miami takes this, it will be with a quality defensive effort with Whiteside back controlling the paint. The value here may lie in the Miami team total staying low. We'll go with Heat UNDER 99 points total as the NBA pick.