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The Miami Heat have continued to work their way towards the top of the Eastern Conference standings. The Heat are coming off an impressive road win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs have continued to struggle to find their footing this season, falling below the .500 mark. The Spurs are heading into the contest after a disappointing loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
Heat looking to continue to roll on the roadThroughout much of the season, the Heat have flown under the radar, holding one of the best records in the league. They have been one of the most balanced teams behind their collective play on the court that has helped fuel their strong start to the year. They have had a strong mixture of young and proven talent that has helped push them forward on the court. They have been able to remain one of the top teams in the NBA with their production that they have had some strong offensive play that has also flown a bit under the radar as it ranks among the best in franchise history. They have notched at least a 20-point lead in the first quarter five times this year.
bUt jiMMy oNLy hAs 12 pOiNts tOniGHt pic.twitter.com/FZGVo9A5ie— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 18, 2020
Miami has scored has also scored least 70 first-half points five times this season, which is also the most for them in any season in franchise history. They have scored 4,577 points so far this season, the most through the first 41 games of a season in franchise history. They also hold a 26-2 record this season when out-rebounding their opponents. They have had tremendous balance that has allowed for them to continue on this pace that should be the case against a struggling Spurs team that isn't anywhere near the type of teams that they have possessed over the years. It will be a balanced scoring attack led by All-Star forward Jimmy Butler that should push them to a win on the rado.
Spurs off to unfamaliar startIt has been nothing short of a surprising season for the Spurs that has been unlike any other in recent memory as they are under the .500 mark beyond the midway point of the season. There hasn't been this type of struggle that they have existed head coach Gregg Popovich as each of his teams have moved towards the playoffs. This year has been a bit different as they have many issues in finding their footing on the court in any consistent capacity. Instead, they have looked more vulnerable in years past, their star power in LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan has struggled to show that they can play with any reliable nature on a nightly basis.
LA is out here getting buckets tonight, y'all.— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) January 18, 2020
26 PTS and counting! pic.twitter.com/EfmDNSsJzL
That said, Aldridge has been their most consistent scoring punch on the court behind his play as he has been one of the most productive frontcourt players in the league as he's averaging 19.5 points on 50.7 percent shooting from the floor and 43.7 percent from beyond the arc. His shooting efficiency has been quite impressive as it's arguably the most efficient scoring that he has had in his career. He's coming off a 30-point outing in the loss to the Hawks, which the team will need him to replicate a similarly strong scoring outing for them to have a chance on the road. Ultimately, the manner in which they are playing at this point, having dropped three out of their last four games, makes it hard to trust them.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Oddsshark.com, are:N/A
- Miami is 4-2 ATS in their last six games.
- Miami is 16-2-1 ATS in their last 19 games against an opponent in the Southwest division.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Spurs may have a reputation for being one of the top teams in the Western Conference, it's certainly not the case this season as they have struggled to find any sort of rhythm this season. They have had much trouble moving in the right direction, which has seen a lack of reliable play beyond their star power in DeRozan and Aldridge. Meanwhile, the Heat have continued to prove that they are one of the better teams in the league and will prove that once again on the road against a reeling Spurs team that is just a few days removed from losing to Miami.
Prediction: Miami -1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
At the same time, the Spurs have a notable weakness defensively that has been near the root of their issues this season. They are currently allowing 114.9 points per contest, including giving up more than 110 three times, with the latest being 121 points to the Hawks on their home floor. The Heat have shown that they can step up with their scoring averaging 111.6 points per contest. That has seen them tally at least 115 points in four out of their last five contests heading into Saturday's game. All of that only speaks to this being a higher-scoring affair than the 206 combined points the last time these two squads played each other.
Prediction: Over 221