NBA Betting – Washington Wizards at Miami Heat
Zack GarrisonNo comments
Tonight, the Miami Heat (12-14) will meet the Washington Wizards (18-6) for the third time this season. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. Eastern at American Airlines Arena.
Washington and Miami were both able to hold serve on home court this year. Miami is at home tonight, but has been struggling lately, going just 3-7 in the month of December. Meanwhile, the Wizards are a solid 8-1 during the month. In addition, Miami hasn’t actually been a good home team this year – despite the earlier win over Washington – posting a 4-7 record on the season. The Wizards are one game over .500 on the road (5-4).
The Wizards success is thanks, in large part, to an improved defense. Washington is giving up just 96.5 points per game this year, almost three points fewer than in 2013-14.
Washington’s offense is averaging a solid 101 PPG (almost identical to last season) and is led by former N0. 1 overall pick John Wall. The former one-and-done Kentucky standout leads the team in scoring (17.8 PPG), assists (10.6 APG), and steals (2.2 SPG). Marcin Gortat is having another solid season, especially on defense, averaging 8.3 RPG and 1.4 BPG.
While Paul Pierce isn’t putting up the gaudy numbers he did in his younger days (13.2 PPG), the experience and leadership he has brought to the team can’t be quantified on the stat sheet.
Injuries are the main reason for the Heat’s struggles in the early going. When at full strength, Miami has showed that it can still compete with the best teams in the Eastern Conference. However, Dwyane Wade missed a large chunk of time due to injury, and the Heat really struggled without their floor captain, going 3-4 and only managing to beat sub-.500 teams (Orlando, Charlotte, and Brooklyn).
Wade is healthy at the moment, but leading scorer Chris Bosh is now sidelined with a calf injury. Since Bosh went down, the Heat are 1-2, with another win over Brooklyn and losses to Chicago and Utah.
With Bosh out again tonight, bet the Wizards to cover.