Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers - 1/23/14
Los Angeles Lakers (16-26) at Miami Heat (30-12)
NBA Basketball: Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 8:00 pm (AmericanAirlines Arena)
The Line: Miami Heat -12.5 -- Over/Under: 210.5 See the Latest Odds
Lebron James and the Miami Heat collide with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday from South Beach.
Head to head, the Lakers are 2-9 ATS in the last 11 meetings and 0-5 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Miami while the home team is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings and the underdog is 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings. The Heat are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games, 3-9 ATS in their last 12 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400 and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Lakers on the other hand are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games, but just 19-41 ATS in their last 60 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600 and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
The Miami Heat come into tonight's showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers having been victorious in three of their past four outings, but there play in 2014 so far hasn't been up to their dominant standards. The Heat started their recent six-game road trip off with three straight losses by an average of 12 points per contest, something that is rare for this Miami squad. While they did bounce back with a 15-point win over Philly in their next game, they then need overtime to take down Charlotte and ended up the trip by losing in Atlanta, allowing the Hawks to pour in 121 points. In their first game back in South Beach, the Heat trailled the short-handed Celtics 86-84 with three minutes remaining before scoring the last nine points of the match to secure the win.
Speaking of road trips, the Los Angeles Lakers are currently in the midst of a seven-game swing, having gone 2-1 thus far. They are unlucky to be a perfect 3-0 after they nearly defeated the Chicago Bulls, losing in overtime by a single bucket on Monday night. That came after wins in Boston and Toronto after opening their trip in Phoenix were they fell 121-114, which isn't that bad considering what the Suns did to the Indiana Pacers tonight. A big part of their improved play has to be attributed to the play of Pau Gasol who has averaged 22 points and 12.4 boards while shooting 53 percent over a five-game stretch.
Given the form both teams are in at the moment, the Lakers have to be the play here right? As I discussed, the Heat have been just another team lately and while they are now settled back at home, Wade is questionable to play and they have only covered the spread in half of their home games this season. The Lakers hung around in Phoenix and could very well be coming into tonight's game off three straight wins cause that Bulls game could have gone either way. Gasol and Young are hot at the moment and Xavier Henry might return tonight to boost their bench. The Lakers also played the Heat tough at their place on Christmas day for what it's worth....
Dan’s Pick: Los Angeles +12.5
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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports