Take 'Over' 211 As Our Free NBA Pick In Heat vs. Suns Matchup

Jordan Sharp

Thursday, March 3, 2016 4:34 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 3, 2016 4:34 PM UTC

The first game of the evening will feature the Suns heading into Miami to play the Heat, and the NBA Odds have Miami as a huge -13 ½ favorite, with a total of 211 points. 

Miami Street Racing
Without Chris Bosh, the Heat have been playing a lot differently from how they started the season. Back in November, the Heat played at one of the slowest paces of any team in the league. They made you defend for all 24 seconds of the shot clock on most possessions, and by the end of the game teams were worn down from playing a lot of defense during the game.

However now without Bosh, possibly for the rest of the season, the Heat have been playing smaller, bringing Hassan Whiteside off the bench, and starting Luol Deng at the four spot. The result has been good so far for the Heat, and even though they have lost a few games they probably should have won, they have also been very good, if not better on offense since Bosh went down.

One factor that has been very evident is their pace. Miami’s pace has sped up tremendously since Bosh went down, and it was on display the other night against the Bulls, where the Heat played at a pace of 98.6, and went on to score 129 points with an Offensive Rating of 130.9 for the game.

Tonight against the lowly Suns, the Heat may look at this as an opportunity to play fast again. Phoenix has a pace of 98.1 this season, which is fifth in the league currently. Even in their first meeting this season when Miami was somewhat healthier, despite playing at a pace of only 91.5, the Heat were still able to score 103 points on the Suns.


The Sharp Pick
Tonight, with the Suns in full tank mode, the defensive pressure put up by Phoenix may be non-existent. Just look at some of their recent games. The Suns are giving up almost 118 points per game in their last eight games, and even if the Heat decide to slow things down some tonight, with how bad the Suns have been on defense since the calendar turned to February, there is little doubt in my mind that these two teams can still cash the over against one another.

The one problem is the sharps have already caught onto this. This total opened at 205 ½, on the NBA odds boards and has quickly been bet up to 211 points. The total is even going higher as we speak, as some shops have the line at 211 ½, and it might even hit 212 soon. While the total has had some of the value bet out of it, there is still enough room to bet the over on this one.

The Suns have now cashed the over in five of their last six games heading into tonight, while the Heat are 5-3 in their last eight games cashing the over.

However, the last two meetings between these two teams have gone over the total, and I expect tonight to be the third time in a row. In their last three games against one another, the Heat have averaged over 50 percent from the floor, and over 47 percent from beyond the arc. My NBA Pick would be another high scoring affair tonight.

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NBA Picks: Over 211
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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