The Portland Trail Blazers will put their stellar home record back on the line when Miami Heat visit on Thursday evening, and it’s the home side that are favoured to win by a large margin. The Blazers are currently -8 favourites over Miami, which could potentially be asking too much of the home side.
Portland come in to this game having beaten the LA Lakers by four. They were favoured by 12, but once trailed and never looked like covering the huge spread. Miami managed to stop the rot with a win over the Nets last time out, and they come in to this game well rested and looking to build.
So far, 54% of all bets have been placed on the Trail Blazers, whilst the line has remained at +8. The lack of movement suggests that the big money is evenly split on these two teams, who have been a little unpredictable at time.
Miami continues to struggle to score and they will do all season. There’s no replacing LeBron James no matter how much effort you give. Miami are playing at a slow pace this season, not scoring a lot of points, and relying heavily on defence to keep them competitive.
The Portland Trail Blazers are a particularly tough team for anyone to beat at home, and I don’t see Miami doing so this evening. However, asking Portland to win by nine points is simply too much for me. The home side are ranked second in points allowed in the NBA, so I think we’ll see a defensive battle.
Whilst Portland are far more likely to shut Miami down than vice-versa, I feel both sides will settle for a pace that’ll make it hard for Portland to really pull away. It’s going to take a really efficient offensive effort from Portland if they want to be winning this type of game by double digits.
Portland are just 1-4 straight up against the Heat and 2-3ATS in the previous five meetings, but that holds a lot less relevance now that LeBron has left Miami. Portland are currently 9-1SU at home and Miamia are 1-4SU on the road, but the Heat are actually 7-2ATS when playing on three or more days of rest, like today.
The additional rest period means Miami are getting a fit Dwayne Wade and a fit Dwayne Wade can make big contributons. Portland, however, are lacking in some areas. Wesley Matthews is unfit which hits the bench depth slightly, and the Blazers are missing two Centers in Robin Lopez and Joel Freeland.
With Bosh and Wade in the line-up, I think Miami will have just enough to cover this spread against a Portland side not quite playing at their best right now.
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