The Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat open tonight's NBA on TNT doubleheader with a showdown at the AmericanAirlines Arena in South Florida. This evening's inter-conference meeting between the L.A. and Miami is scheduled to tip off at 8:00pm ET. Thursday's opening NBA Odds have the hosting Heat favored at -11.5 against the spread; the game total is set at 208.5 points.
The Lakers ended their six game skid last Friday night with a 107-104 road win over the Celtics and they even got a rare follow up win on Sunday when they upended the Atlantic leading Raptors 112-106 in Toronto. However, Los Angeles did not take long to return to its losing ways.
The Lakers faced the Bulls at the United Center on Monday night and while they managed to force overtime, they still lost the game 100-102. The setback dropped L.A.'s record to 16-26 and it marked the team's 15th loss in 23 road outings.
Those numbers figure to get worse this evening with the defending champion Heat on tap. Miami has not quite been itself of late, losing four of its last seven games, but it did play all seven of those games on the road.
The Heat returned home on Tuesday night where they bounced back from a 114-121 loss at Atlanta with a 93-86 win over the Celtics. Miami, which was favored by nine in the game, did job **** an 18 point lead, but 11 fourth quarter points from LeBron James, who finished the night with a game high 29, helped the Heat secure the victory.
Miami continued its recent dominance over the Lakers when the two teams met on Christmas Day at the STAPLES Center. The Heat topped L.A. 101-95 to give them their sixth win in their last seven meetings with the Lakers.
Notable Trends: Miami is 8-2 straight up but 2-8 against the spread in its last 10 games as a home favorite with a total between 205 and 210 points.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Miami Heat NBA Odds:
Los Angeles Lakers +11.5 (-110), Over 208.5 (-110), +575 (Moneyline)
Miami Heat -11.5 (-110), Under 208.5 (-110), -800 (Moneyline)
Handicapping Tips: Basketball Specialization
Steve Fezzik, from Pregame.com, discusses how specialization in basketball can aid you in your handicapping.
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