Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat Early NBA Pick, Odds, Prediction
Miami Heat (0-0) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (0-0)
NBA Basketball: Thursday, December 25, 2014 at 5:00 pm (AmericanAirlines Arena)
The Line: Cleveland Cavaliers -4 See the Latest Odds
The most anticipated regular season NBA game of the 2014 schedule is when the Cleveland Cavaliers play the Miami Heat on Christmas Day. It will be LeBron James’ first game against his former team since leaving the Heat in free agency.
And although this game is still months away from taking place, it hasn’t stopped oddmakers from taking bets. Right now, the Cleveland Cavaliers are -4 point favorites to win this game. The line originally opened up a week ago at -5 in the Cavs favor. There’s no question that with James, Kyrie Irving and likely Kevin Love, the Cavaliers are the better team on paper than the Heat. So, this line seems pretty accurate.
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If you’re one who can’t wait for the game to get here and want to put some money down now, how do you attack this game?
Personally, I’m taking the Heat and as many points as I can get. I may actually want to take the four points now because there’s a decent chance the Cavaliers don’t get off to the best of starts and this line is closer to a pick em once Christmas arrives. As we saw with the Miami Heat four years ago, they had some serious hiccups throughout the season due to guys not knowing how to play together. That’s with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron already having playing experience together in the Olympics. A trio of LeBron, Irving and Love have never played together, so there’s certainly going to be growing pains early on.
The Miami Heat, meanwhile, still have a solid team led by a slimmer Wade, talented Bosh and a group of decent role players including Josh McRoberts, Luol Deng, Danny Granger and Chris Anderson. In fact, while the loss of LeBron is irreplaceable, I think the Heat are a more balanced team than they were with LeBron. There’s more depth and the team is a bit younger than it was previous seasons. There are more guys on the Heat now who can contribute rather than a team being so focused on just four guys and living and dying by the sword.
Then we have the motivation factor.
While everybody from the Heat are playing nice with the media, deep down they feel a certain type of way about LeBron leaving. While LeBron had every right to return home, his decision was made easier because he felt the Heat were starting to fall apart and it was getting tougher to win. In short, LeBron enjoyed the moment when everything came easy but when things looked a little shaky he bailed again for an all-star team that gives him the better chance to win. You can bet American Airlines Arena is going to be packed and the Heat will be ready for this game to make a statement to LeBron and the rest of the NBA world.
It’s going to be must-see TV for all basketball fans. And while we’re still a ways away from enjoying this contest, take the Heat and the points if you’re already looking at the odds.
The NBA season can’t get here any quicker.