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Thunder Heat Betting – Heat Turn Up Defense, Stop Thunder In Miami

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/6/2014 2:31:26 AM

Sports betting players will tell you that offense is fun to watch, and is extremely entertaining, but defense wins championships, and that is the difference between being a great team and a title contender. Miami has been under the microscope all season, but their defense has been generally some of the best in the league, and they’ll use that to claim a big win over Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

  • What: NBA Betting
  • When: Wednesday, March 15th, 8:00 PM ET
  • Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
  • Pick: Miami Heat

Why Bet On Thunder (43-23)

The Thunder have won seven of their last eight games, and as usual they’ll powered by the duo of Kevin Durant (28.0 points, 7.2 rebounds) and Russell Westbrook (22.2 points, 8.5 assists). Having this duo means that the Thunder are never out of any game simply because they can put up boatloads of points in a matter of minutes. But the Thunder have been trying to work on their defense and has kept their last three opponents to 95 points or less, and that is going to the factor that puts them in the Western Conference finals. In Monday’s 116-89 romp over Washington, Kendrick Perkins (7.2 points, 8.2 rebounds) made his debut since being traded from Boston, and he gives the Thunder a legitimate big man in the middle to deal with the Los Angeles big men. But he’ll also add something for this game as the Heat perimeter players won’t be able to roll through the lane whenever they want, even though Perkins won’t be at 100%. With all due respect to Serge Ibaka (9.4 rebounds, 2.3 blocks), Oklahoma City needs more inside.

Last year’s run through the playoffs was led by defense, but the Thunder have regressed at that end of the court this year. The Thunder have given up 100 points or more in 40 games, going 22-18, but that record would be much improved if they could bring that average down, which was their reasoning for picking up Perkins. Although, maybe it doesn’t matter if the Thunder can score 100 points or more: they’re 35-9 when they hit the century mark.

Why Bet On Heat (46-21)

Well, it looks like no tears are being shed in Miami anymore as the Heat have won three in a row, all at home, against the Lakers, Memphis, and then they spanked San Antonio by 30 points on Monday as payback for a beating they took in San Antonio. During that three-game streak, the Heat haven’t allowed more than 88 points, and they’ve scored 110 or more over the last two, so that is a good way to get past all those late-game execution problems. LeBron James (26.1 points, 7.5 rebounds) and Dwyane Wade (25.6 points, 6.7 rebounds) are making an honest effort to get Chris Bosh (18.4 points, 8.2 rebounds) more involved, and when he is going, Bosh spaces out the floor for the Heat. The Heat are 31-4 when they score 100 points or more, and that also usually means they’ve gotten a contribution from someone outside of their Big Three. For example, in the Memphis game, Mike Bibby stepped up with 17 points. Against the Spurs, Mario Chalmers dropped 11 points.

Of course, Miami’s NBA betting odds are directly tied to the Big Three, but they need more secondary scoring because you can’t win a title with just three guys. We understand that James and Wade are the leaders on both ends of the floor, but the role players are going to be a massive factor in whether the Heat bring a title to Miami in their first year.

How The Game Will Play Out

NBA betting odds should favor the Heat at home, where they are 1-1 SU and 0-2 ATS against the Thunder since they’ve moved to Oklahoma City. The Heat are 13-20-1 ATS at home, and the Thunder are 18-16 ATS on the road, and we expect the Thunder to keep it close after falling 108-103 at home on January 30th. Wade had 32 points for the Heat, while Durant hit 33 points for the Thunder, and defense will be the key for this game because there are too many offensive weapons on the floor for both teams to be kept quiet. Miami’s defense has been on top of its game lately, and Perkins still has to work his way into game shape after playing only 12 games this season. Also, Miami is a team that has lived on streaks all season, and right now they’re starting to get their act together. Take the Heat in your online betting picks.

Thunder Heat Betting Pick: Miami Heat


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