Lakers vs. Heat Prediction

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Miami Heat NBA Predictions 12/22/16

Are the Heat a safe bet to cover against the Lakers as a slight home favorite tonight at 8:00PM ET?

According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Heat are 4.5-point home favorites versus the Lakers while the over/under currently sitting at 209 points. Miami opened as a 4-point favorite before the spread jumped a half-point, while the total opened at 208.5 before moving slightly up to 209.

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D'Angelo Russell went through a full practice on Wednesday and is probable to play tonight against the Heat. It's the first game of a back-to-back set for the Lakers so Russell will be able to test out his knee. Tarik Black did not practice on Wednesday and is questionable for tonight, while Larry Nance has been diagnosed with a left knee bone bruise and will be out indefinitely.

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Goran Dragic said he's dealing with minor eye pain but he did play 45 minutes on Tuesday night and has played 40.3 minutes per game over his last three contests, so the injury doesn't appear to be serious. The bigger problem might be with Hassan Whiteside, who voiced his displeasure with his general lack of touches during crunch time of Miami's 136-130 double-overtime loss to the Magic on Tuesday. "They say I'm the franchise player. I would think I should get more, but I don't know, man," Whiteside said.

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OUR PREDICTION: The Lakers are 5-11 against the spread in their last 16 games versus the Heat and are 2-6 against the number in their last eight games in Miami. The Lakers are also 1-7 against the spread in their last eight games playing on one day of rest, are 3-8 against the number in their last11 games overall, and are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games coming off a loss. The Heat are 11-3 against the spread in their last 14 home games versus a team with a losing road record.

THRUSDAY NBA PREDICTION: MIAMI HEAT -4.5

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