NBA Betting: Heat vs Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are on a long and grueling road trip, but they are showing some signs of playing better, as NBA bettors who are paying close attention are well aware. On Thursday they travel into south Florida (CHILLY south Florida, that is) for a date with the Miami Heat, in action that is set to begin at 8:05 PM ET at the American Airlines Arena.
The Lakers are well out of the Western Conference playoff race, with a record of 16-26 straight-up; however, they have a 23-17 mark against the points. The Heat are kind of the opposite, in that they are 30-12 straight-up and in second place in the Eastern Conference, as they pursue their third consecutive championship. And they are certainly on the minus side on the pointspread ledger, checking in with an 18-24 record.
The Lakers are still suffering significant injury losses as they continue to try to adjust accordingly. They are trying their best, and actually producing results lately for basketball handicappers who have thrown money their way.
Miami Heat -12
Los Angeles Lakers +12
Over 210 points -110
Under 210 points -110
The Heat have some catching up to do when it comes to the possibility of home court advantage throughout the East playoffs. The Indiana Pacers appear intent on capturing that edge, which they feel was the difference between winning and losing an NBA title last year, and they are out to a 3.5-game lead over Miami. The Heat has not helped its cause by losing four of its last seven games (going just 2-5 against the NBA odds over that period), but did return from a six-game road trip with a 93-86 win over the Boston Celtics two nights ago. In that game they hit 51% of their shots. They are 50.6% accurate for the season, which is extraordinary for this league.
If there is any “race” the Lakers have been involved with, it’s the race to stay out of the cellar; they are battling it out with the Utah Jazz, New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings to determine who will finish last in the West. This is not the race they expected to be in at the start of the season, but you can’t lose as many players as they have and still be expected to compete at a high level. At this moment they are hoping that Kobe Bryant can get back into action sometime after the All-Star break, as he continues to heal his knee, but VietBet customers recognize that with two big injuries in less than a year (the Achilles was suffered in the latter stages of last season) they really don’t know what they are going to see when he gets back.
Without the likes of Steve Nash and Steve Nash, coach Mike D’Antoni really doesn’t have any hope of running a fast-break offense the way he did in Phoenix with any kind of efficiency. Yes, we used the term “efficiency,” and that may have some resonance with basketball bettors as a subtle but meaningful factor. Although the Lakers have had the third most possessions per game in the league, which would reflect D’Antoni’s desire to run at an accelerated pace, they are just 22nd in the NBA in offensive efficiency (converting those possessions into real points). And that is what has hurt them.
Their bench, which could normally be a source for points and the continuation of an up-tempo work product, is a whole lot thinner without the services of Jordan Farmar and Xavier Henry. There is certainly some speculation among NBA bettors as to what this team is going to do, if anything, before the trade deadline, but it would seem certain that they are in the process of figuring out who could be part of their future. Nick Young, who had 29 points off the bench as this team beat the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, is somebody they will obviously want to keep, because they would love to have his offensive ability alongside Bryant at “two” and “three” positions. But most nights the Lakers are putting people like Ryan Kelly, Wesley Johnson and Kendall Marshall into the starting lineup, so while they are going to have some exuberance, they are also going to have some inexperience in there.
The Lakers have covered five games in a row against the basketball betting lines, and one of them was that win at Toronto, in which they came back from 19 points down. This is the fifth game in a seven-game road swing.
If you are interested in additional technical betting trends that are associated with this matchup, the Lakers are on a streak of five straight “overs” in the NBA odds, and Miami has habitually been overpriced by the linemaker, compiling just a 7-13 mark against the number as a home team.
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