Wizards vs. Heat NBA Picks: Take Washington +2 At Miami

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, February 20, 2016 6:47 PM GMT

Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 6:47 PM GMT

The Wizards have returned from the break with two dominating performances while the Heat kicked off their post All-Star vacation with an impressive win over the Hawks. Let's review the NBA odds and cash a ticket tonight.

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NBA Pick: Wizards +2 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Washington Wizards (25-28 SU, 28-25 ATS)
A postponed game with the Jazz coupled with a scheduling quirk has forced the Wizards to play three games in three nights. So far, so good. The Wizards returned from the All-Star break well rested and throttled the Jazz 103-89 in DC. They then awaited Detroit to enter their lair where they handed the Pistons a 98-86 loss, installed as two-point home chalk. Now they must leave the friendly confines of the Verizon Center and travel to sunny South Beach where they take on the Heat to complete this exhausting trifecta. Washington will get a three-day respite before hosting the Pelicans on Tuesday night.

The Wizards got 22 points from John Wall and held their second opponent in as many nights to under 90 points. Focusing on defense has obviously been a key as they limited the Pistons to under 43 percent from the floor. The Wizards acquired a big body from the Suns at the trade deadline and Markieff Morris acquitted himself well enough after coming in cold to a new system and without the benefit of even one practice with his new teammates. Morris bucketed only six points and a pair of rebounds in his Washington debut but appeared to be a good fit for a team looking to add a little muscle up front. The Wizards outrebounded the Pistons 47-41 and shot 46.2 percent from the floor in the 12 point victory, climbing in the Eastern Conference standings.

 

Miami Heat (30-24 SU, 27-26-1 ATS)
The NBA odds makers had the wrong favorite last night as the Heat returned to action against Atlanta after a week off due to the All-Star break. Yet few could have anticipated the game effort put forth by the 10 ½ point road dogs coming in short-handed after it was announced All-Star Dwyane Wade would be sidelined due to soreness in the back of his leg and teammate Chris Bosh would sit after incurring a calf injury among other ailments. In the end none of it mattered as veteran Luol Deng picked up the slack and then some with a 30 point, 11 rebound performance en route to a 115-111 victory in Atlanta.

Based on the latest injury reports Wade will be out this game and perhaps the next while Bosh is sidelined indefinitely. It will be interesting to see if the Heat can come back from Atlanta tonight with the same resolve against a Wizards team that is buckling down on defense and has a legitimate superstar in John Wall enjoying one his best seasons ever.

 

Betting Analysis
If the Wizards come out flat in this one they can be excused after playing in their third contest in as many nights. But I don't believe they will as they are getting the Heat at the right time. Washington will not have to contend with All-Star caliber players Wade and Bosh while catching Miami in a back-to-back games themselves. Washington has prevailed in two of the three meetings between the clubs this season and decimated the Heat in their only appearance at the American Airlines Arena back in December by the score of 114-103.

Miami has played effective defense all season but they are significantly shorthanded and have been unable to generate much scoring even with Wade in the lineup as they rank 29th offensively averaging only 96.4 points per game. Meanwhile the Wizards are averaging over 102 points per game ranking them 10th in the league and their defense, though lowly ranked at 24th has been superb lately.

One quick note for all those inclined, as am I, to include Washington in their NBA picks tonight. The Wizards are 6-1 straight up when allowing less than 90 points and 15-5 when surrendering fewer than 100. I doubt the Heat are equipped to light it up two nights in a row especially on back-to-back games against a team clicking on all cylinders defensively.

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