Inside the Paint - Friday
March 22, 2013
On Wednesday, Miami overcame a 27-point deficit in the third quarter and won their 24th consecutive game, beating Cleveland 98-95 on the road. Despite being down 21 at halftime, the Heat outscored the Cavaliers by 24 points (64-40) in the final two quarters and actually led by nine points late in the fourth. Cleveland made a late rally and had a chance to take the lead but they came up short. The Cavaliers covered as 11-point home ‘dogs but the Heat managed to lock up another second-half cover as 13 ½-point favorites.
It was the second straight game that Miami rallied from a halftime deficit after the club beat Boston 105-103 at TD Garden on Monday. Even though the Heat didn’t cover the point-spread (5.5) in Monday’s win either, they still own a 14-10 record versus the number during this win streak.
Offshore sportsbook Bovada.lv has released updated Heat props on their current winning streak.
The current ‘over/under’ on the streak is set at 29, with bettors laying -120 on either option.
Miami will play its next two at home, against Detroit on Friday and Charlotte on Sunday.
After the short homestand and assuming the Heat don’t get shocked, the streak will be up to 26 and play four straight on the road starting Monday at Orlando. The Magic are very young and they don’t play a lick of defense but they score bunches and Miami will be playing on no rest. However, make a note that Miami is 11-1 SU and 5-7 ATS when facing back-to-back spots this season.
After Orlando, a tough road test is on tap for Wednesday at Chicago. If they beat the Bulls, they head to New Orleans and a victory over the Hornets would extend the streak to 29, which takes us back to the prop at Bovada.lv.
Bettors would be gearing up for a Mar. 31 battle at San Antonio, who are currently the top seed in the Western Conference. A road win over the Spurs would push the streak to 30 and closer to the NBA record of 33 straight wins set by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1971-72 season.
Those believing Miami will top that number can get down at Bovada.lv as well. The offshore outfit has 6/1 odds (Bet $100 to win $600) on the Heat that they will set the NBA record of 34 straight wins.
After the Spurs, Miami hosts the Knicks, visits Charlotte and hosts Philadelphia and Milwaukee - the Bucks game would be No. 34.
"The Heat are always a heavily bet team and due to their current streak, their spreads are reflecting this. I wouldn't say they are more heavily bet on a daily basis on the spread. However, even at 11/10, they are still seeing the highest volume of money wagered on them to win the title," said Bovada Sportsbook manager Kevin Bradley said.
If they beat the Bucks at home on Apr. 9 and break the record, the Heat will only have five regular season games remaining. Bovada.lv has odds of 10/1 (Bet $100 to win $1,000) that Miami will close the season with 39 consecutive wins and if you look at the schedule, it’s very doable.
The Heat opened as a 16-point home favorite over Detroit on Friday and you could argue that the number is too low. The Pistons enter this contest with nine straight wins and the average loss has been by 17.5 points per game during this skid. Detroit did beat Miami 109-99 on Dec. 28 but the Heat have won eight of the last 10 meetings.
Along with this game, there are 10 other contests on Friday’s board and the majority of them are meaningless but you can still wager on them. With that being said, here’s my quick handicap on the entire card.
I personally like to play totals in the NBA and after watching the ‘under’ go 11-3 the past two nights, I’m looking for things to balance out tonight. Not to mention, the ‘under’ went 11-5 in Thursday’s NCAA Tournament action too.
New York at Toronto: Revenge game for the Knicks, who have dropped all three meetings against the Raptors this season. Still, New York lacks depth right now and is a tough team to back.
Milwaukee at Indiana: This is the only matchup tonight that features two playoff teams going head-to-head. Home team has won and covered the first three encounters this season.
Oklahoma City at Orlando: The Thunder have dropped two in a row so losing three would be surprising. OKC just beat Orlando 117-104 last Friday at home but didn’t cover the heavy wood (-17.5). Including that loss, Magic have dropped five straight. Little hesitant to back the ‘over’ here even though last week’s game was a wire-to-wire shootout.
Portland at Atlanta: Nice road win by the Trail Blazers last night at Chicago (99-89). With Portland playing on no rest and knowing the ‘under’ has cashed in five straight between the pair, makes you lean ‘under’ here tonight but an opener of 200 seems high for a reason.
Memphis at New Orleans: Possible home ‘dog look with the Hornets, who just surprised the Celtics on Wednesday. The Grizzlies are much better than New Orleans and another ugly win seems likely here.
Cleveland at Houston: I never back teams off bad losses and the Cavaliers left it all on the line Wednesday against the Heat. Ever since the trade, the Rockets attack is sluggish and total players have seen the ‘under’ cash in four straight and seven of the last 10. The pace is still high but losing Douglas, Morris and Patterson has hurt the outside shooting. It’s not smart to lay double digits with Houston, who is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games.
Boston at Dallas: After watching the Celtics lose to the Hornets on Wednesday, it’s hard to back this team on the road (12-21 SU, 12-19 ATS). Dallas has dropped two in a row at home and will be looking to avenge a 117-115 overtime loss at Boston earlier this season.
Utah at San Antonio: No early number because the Spurs point guard Tony Parker (ankle) could return. The Jazz are in a tailspin right now and they just can’t score consistently. In the last 10, the club is 3-7 and two of the losses came against the Pistons and Bobcats.
Minnesota at Phoenix: You would expect both teams to roll the ball out here and just run up and down the court. The Timberwolves playing are playing on no rest after losing to Sacramento (97-100) last night. Phoenix is off a humbling loss to Washington after beating the L.A. Lakers two nights earlier. Honestly, you shouldn’t bet on this game.
Washington at L.A. Lakers: No overnight line due to the Lakers’ health issues. Kobe Bryant (ankle) is expected to play and Pau Gasol (foot) might return as well. Lakers have been a bully at home recently and anything but a win would be surprising for them.