PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (36-27)
at MIAMI HEAT (43-20)
Tip-off: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EDT
Line: Miami -8.5, Total: 189.5
The surging Trail Blazers are coming into Tuesday night winners of three in a row to face the “crying” Heat who have dropped four straight games.
Fighting through injuries all year, the Portland Trail Blazers find themselves in sixth place in the tough Western Conference with a 36-27 record. The Blazers have won 10 of 13 and are coming off a nice win at Orlando. In the 89-85 victory Monday against the Magic, Portland was fortunate that Dwight Howard had to sit out due to a suspension. LaMarcus Aldridge (22.3 PPG) took advantage of the giant absence, (pun intended) and scored 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting. The last time Portland met Miami, Aldridge dropped 31 points and 14 rebounds, but the Heat prevailed in overtime. Aldridge should have another big game Tuesday with the weak frontcourt of the guard-heavy Heat. Basketball scores.
The Heat are ready to get back on the floor after suffering an 87-86 defeat Sunday to Chicago where afterwards coach Eric Spoelstra stated that some players were crying in the locker room. The tears may be due to their NBA-worst 1-for-16 shooting with a chance to tie or win in the final seconds or their 1-9 record versus the top five teams in the NBA. With all that being said, the Heat still are third in the Eastern Conference and have two of the top four scorers (LeBron James 26.2 PPG & Dwyane Wade 25.4 PPG) in the NBA. Playing Portland may get James back on track, where he has averaged 34.1 PPG in his past seven meetings with the Blazers and won all seven. The last time these teams met, James had 44 points and 13 rebounds, alongside Wade’s 34 points in a 107-100 overtime victory. That kind of effort from the two stars is exactly what the Heat hoped for when they signed James in the offseason. Basketball odds.
Portland has been under .500 on the road going 15-17 SU and 14-14 ATS and it is also subpar against teams with a winning record (11-14 ATS). The Blazers have fared well in Miami, going 7-2 ATS in their past nine meetings at the American Airlines Arena. Portland also has been good revenging a loss against an opponent going 6-2 ATS. Miami is 10-19 ATS in home games, 10-15 ATS against teams with winning records and 4-10 ATS coming off an upset loss. With virtually no trends heading the Heat’s direction, I think Miami will win at home, but Portland will cover getting a bundle of points. The FoxSheets also like the Blazers to cover with these two trends.
PORTLAND is 14-3 ATS (82.4%, +10.7 Units) in road games versus poor passing teams, averaging <=20 assists/game over the last 2 seasons. The average score was PORTLAND 97.6, OPPONENT 92.5 – (Rating = 2*).
PORTLAND is 15-4 ATS (78.9%, +10.6 Units) when playing their 2nd road game in 2 days over the last 2 seasons. The average score was PORTLAND 96.3, OPPONENT 92.1 – (Rating = 1*).
Nine of the past 13 series meetings in Miami have finished Over the total and the FoxSheets also expect this game to finish Over the total. Basketball spreads.
PORTLAND is 22-8 OVER (73.3%, +13.2 Units) in road games versus poor passing teams, averaging <=20 assists/game over the last 3 seasons. The average score was PORTLAND 99.0, OPPONENT 93.8 – (Rating = 1*).