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Sports news with a Vegas perspective.

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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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NBA Christmas Miami Heat vs Los Angeles Lakers Start Time, Odds, Free Pick

NBA action on Christmas day and we will see the Miami Heat travel to the west coast to take on the Los Angeles Lakers. The game has a start time of 5:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ESPN. Current odds have Miami listed as 8.5 point favorites, while the total sits at 205.5.

Analysis: Miami comes in at 21-5 over this year, and are a perfect 6-0 vs the Western Conference. LeBron James continues to be the best player in the NBA and has great numbers vs the Lakers in his career, scoring 28.2 ppg on 46.1% shooting, while grabbing 7.6 rpg, dishing out 7.1 apg, snagging 39 steals in 20 career games vs them. Dwayne Wade has also had a good career vs the Lakers, scoring 25.0 ppg on 45.4% shooting, with 6.5 apg and 4.2 rpg. in 19 games vs them. Ray Allen hasplayed the most games vs the Lakers (39 games) and has scored 19.5 ppg despite shooting an unusually low 36.4% from long range. Overall this year, Miami averages a solid 104.8 ppg, while it's defense has allowed 97 ppg overall, including 93.1 ppg on the road. Miami is 7-2 in Christmas Day games since coming into the league.

The Lakers find themselves scrambling to get back to the .500 mark after getting walloped 117-90 by Phoenix in their last game. The Lakers have had to find offense from many different sources this season with a spree of injuries to their veteran players, including kobe Bryant, who missed the early part of the season and is now out again for the nest 6 weeks. SF Nick Young has taken up much of that scoring (15.6 ppg) and has netted 13.4 ppg on 45.9%  shooting in 16 career games against the Heat. Pau Gasol did not be come the leader that the team needed this year, but he has had a nice career vs the Heat, scoring 16.2 ppg on 46.0% shooting, while grabbing 8.6 rpg in 23 games vs them. The Lakers have gone 7-6 SU at home this year and 8-4-1 ATS, and while they are 9-6-1 ATS on Christmas they are just 7-9 SU.

Pick: This has been an Under series of late, but today it should head the other way. The Lakers offense has been very good at home, where they have scored 102.2 ppg on the year. The allow 99.9 ppg at home and will be taking on a white hot Miami offense that has scored 110 points or more in 6 of their last 7 games, while averaging 114,2 in their last 5 games overall. I can see Miami putting up at least 110 in this one, mean all the lakers have to do is hit 96 points. I feel they can do that. This one has the feel of a 110-100 type game.

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