Lakers vs. Heat Pick
According to oddsmakers at YouWager, the Heat are listed as a 5-point favorite on the spread line. The total is set at 216 points.
The spread opened at 5- in favor of Miami, while the total has dropped a point from 217. Shopping around can find you a line of -4.5 and also a total as high as 218.
As of Thursday afternoon, 55 percent of public bets have sided with the host Heat. Online wager info also shows that 52 percent of bets are coming in on the over.
INJURY TO WATCH
Lakers shooting guard Josh Hart suffered a fractured hand and there is no timetable for his return. For the Heat, Tyler Johnson is battling an injured quadriceps and is questionable for tonight. Teammate Wayne Ellington has a quadriceps contusion and has been ruled out.
One thing I like seeing from the Heat since the All-Star Break is more minutes given to center Hassan Whiteside as head coach Erik Spoelstra has allowed him to work through mistakes and be a difference maker on the court. He talled 15 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and three assists in Miami's 102-101 thriller victory over Philadelphia last game. Dwyane Wade hit an emotional game-winner in the closing seconds. This is the first meeting this season between these two squads. The home team won each matchup last season and covered the spread. I think the same will go down tonight. This is the Lakers' sixth game in their last seven that has been on the road. Although LA has won three in a row, I don't think they match up particularly well in what will be a pace-down game for them. Miami should find easy buckets, while the Lakers will work hard for them and fatigue will eventually catch up.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: MIAMI HEAT -5