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Heat Trail Blazers Betting – Miami Picks Up Where They Left Off, Roll Through Portland

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/10/2014 4:21:19 AM

Online betting players may be currently having a tough time talking themselves out of taking anyone other than Miami for the NBA title, and with their star power and disruptive defensive capabilities, they had entered the All-Star break as the league’s hottest team. Expect that to continue on Thursday night when they travel to Portland.

What: NBA Betting
When: Thursday, March 1st, 10:30 PM ET
Where: Rose Garden, Portland, OR
Pick: Miami Heat

Why Bet On Miami Heat (27-7 SU, 18-16 ATS)

The Heat are the prohibitive NBA betting favorite to win the title, and it should be no surprise why: in LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Miami has two of the league’s best five players, and James should be the frontrunner to win the MVP as he is having one of the best statistical seasons in NBA history. Chris Bosh is an excellent third option, and the Heat are getting consistent production from their role players, which didn’t always happen last season. Mike Milller, James Jones and Mario Chalmers are knocking down their three-pointers, rookie Norris Cole has been a solid point guard for the second unit and Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem add veteran know-how. The scary thing is, the Heat have only played defense sporadically as they’re 14th in the NBA in points allowed coming out of the All-Star break. When they want to lock you down, the Heat swarm you all over the court and it often leads to electrifying fast-break baskets. They’ve won their last eight games, and the lowest margin of victory was 12 points.

Miami is also healthy, which has helped throughout the first half and when they have a full crew, it’s tough to imagine anyone beating them. But the regular season doesn’t matter for this team, because everyone who knows anything about basketball knows that they’re a great squad. It’s all about the playoffs and specifically, the Finals after last year’s loss to Dallas. Is James ready to step up and assume the mantle of go-to guy from Wade? He is the most talented player in the world by a large margin, but as we saw again in the All-Star game, James doesn’t always want to take the big shot. 

Why Bet On Portland Trail Blazers (18-16 SU, 18-16 ATS)

The Trail Blazers will actually open up their second half in Denver on Wednesday, so fatigue could be a factor as they face the fresh Heat. They ended their first half with a 40-point romp of San Antonio, but the Spurs rested Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, so you have to take it with a grain of salt. It’s tough to put a finger on this Portland team, but one thing is for sure: LaMarcus Aldridge is an All-Star and he’s one of the top five power forwards in the NBA now. He would probably be even better if Greg Oden could manage to avoid knee surgery once in a while, but Aldridge now seems comfortable with being “The Man” on his team and that bodes well for the Trailblazers’ chances in the second half. Before the break, Jamal Crawford took over the starting point-guard role from Raymond Felton and he has been playing better, but Felton is an excellent option to have coming off the bench and he can really attack the opposition’s second unit. It’s just a shame that Portland is in the Western Conference, because they would be a top-four team in the East.

For once, the Trail Blazers don’t have any major injuries to report outside of Oden (knee), which is just assumed now and the big center may never play again; honestly, it’s probably in his best interest. The Trail Blazers are doing what they can with what they have, and there isn’t a lot to complain about when it comes to this team. While most teams are looking to pair up multiple stars, Dallas proved last year that you can win a title with one star and a group of solid players, but that means Aldridge would have to raise his game even more.

How It Will Play Out

Miami has been an NBA betting underdog just once this season, so they’ll probably be the favorites on Thursday night in the nightcap of the TNT doubleheader. They’re 3-2 SU and ATS in their last five trips to Portland with three of the last four going over the posted total, while the Heat are 9-8 ATS on the road and the Trailblazers are 12-6 ATS at home.

The Trail Blazers will give the Heat a good battle, but the Heat will eventually lock it down on defense and when they get in that mode, they’re almost impossible to beat. They may not get another double-digit victory, but the Heat will do enough to come away with the win in your sports betting book on Thursday night.

Heat Trailblazers Betting Pick: Miami Heat

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