Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs Preview and Pick

NBA Betting Preview
Miami Heat (16-12) at San Antonio Spurs (18-11)
Thursday December 31st, 7:00PM Eastern betting line – TBA

The San Antonio Spurs host the Miami Heat Thursday night in one of the final games before the New Year. The Spurs are playing well having won 6 of their last 7 games and coming off an impressive victory over Minnesota on Tuesday 117-99. The Heat will embark on back to back road games that will be capped off with their trip to San Antonio. The Heat will actually battle New Orleans tonight before meeting up with the streaky Spurs on Thursday. On the season, Miami is coming on strong as well. The Heat jumped out to 4-6 start before rallying back well above the .500 mark at 16-12. Miami has also put together a nice run winning 5 of their last 6 games. Considering both teams have been playing very well, it should be a rather interesting out of conference battle that takes place this Thursday night.

Miami shooting guard and superstar Dwayne Wade is off to another terrific season. Wade led the NBA scoring last season, and ranks 5th early on this year averaging 26.8 points per game. Wade has scored at least 25 points in each of the last 5 games and 10 of the last 11 games as well. However, youngster Michael Beasley is really coming along to become a big threat. Beasley numbers have really improved over the past few weeks and he scored 16 points in just 26 minutes of the Heat’s blowout 114-80 victory over the Pacers on Sunday night. Beasley posted 15 points and 12 rebounds to score the first double-double of his career in a rare meeting with the Spurs one year ago and it will be interesting to see how the rising star performs this Thursday night.

San Antonio made things look very easy against Minnesota on Tuesday night. Manu Ginobili was one rebound short of a triple-double finishing the game with 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 10 assists. Ginobili had a number of impressive passes on fast breaks allowing opportunities for rookie DeJuan Blair and Spurs newcomer Richard Jefferson. Blair ended with 11 points while Jefferson led the team knocking down 24 points. It was a boost of confidence for Jefferson who has not posted the big numbers most would have expected him to thus far early in the season. However, if Jefferson gets hot it will make the Spurs even tougher to beat considering how well the rest of the team has been playing behind Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. Duncan leads the team averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds while Parker is close behind averaging 16.4 points per game.

Breaking down what to expect Thursday night, it definitely looks like the Spurs may have the most weapons if they can get Jefferson and Ginobili to get involved early. Of course the Spurs must try to contain Miami’s Wade to the best of their ability and not allow any huge numbers. However, Miami ranks 6th in the NBA holding opponents to just 96 points per game. If they can keep the scoring down it will better their chances at scoring the win. Looking at some of the trends entering Thursday night’s game, the Spurs have performed really well outside of the Western Conference with a record of 8-2, while the Heat have not been near as stellar against Western Conference teams with a record of 5-7. However, the Heat has beaten the betting lines in 5 of their last 6 games. Miami has also gone under the total in 4 of their last 5 games for noticeable trends. San Antonio is also on impressive run against the spread winning 4 of their last 5 games. The question is which impressive run will come to an end.

Pick – San Antonio

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