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Heat vs Clippers: Predictions, Picks and Game Preview

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The Miami Heat (7-4 SU, 7-4 ATS) will continue their West Coast road trip with the second leg of a back-to-back at Staples Center as they face the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday (6-4 SU, 6-4 ATS).

After starting the season 7-2, the Heat have lost their last two games while failing to cover the spread in both contests. The Clippers have won five straight games, covering the spread in four of five of those wins. So, will the Heat snap their short losing skid on no rest or will the Clippers add on to their five-game win streak?

Miami Heat vs Los Angeles Clippers Betting Odds and Lines

The below lines are taken from BetUS.

 

ATS: Clippers -4.5

O/U: 211.5

Moneyline: Clippers -190 / Heat +165

Miami Heat vs Los Angeles Clippers Injury Report

For the Heat, Max Strus and Jimmy Butler are listed as question marks while Markieff Morris is inactive following his scuffle with Nikola Jokic on Monday Night. Jimmy Butler’s questionable designation comes after he sprained his right ankle in Wednesday night’s loss to the Lakers.

The Clippers, on the other hand, are fully healthy for this matchup. Kawhi Leanard, Marcus Morris, and Serge Ibaka are all out for extended time.

Projected starting lineup

Heat: PG Kyle Lowry | SG P.J Tucker | F Jimmy Butler | F Duncan Robinson | C Bam Adebayo

Clippers: PG Reggie Jackson | SG Terance Mann| SF Paul George| PF Nicolas Batum | C Ivica Zubac

Miami Heat vs Los Angeles Clippers preview

As mentioned, Jimmy Butler played 12 minutes last night before spraining his right ankle to end his night. From there, it was up to Miami’s role players to try to lock down a road win on the front end of a back-to-back. The Heat shot terribly from three-point range (10-37), and Duncan Robinson’s shooting struggles continued as he went 3-13 from beyond the arc in 45 minutes. Kyle Lowry was also abysmal from three, going 3-10. The Heat were paced by nice games from Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro. Adebayo put up 28 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists before fouling out, while Herro poured in 27 points on 11-22 shooting from the field, including 5-8 from three.

The Clippers last game came on Tuesday night against the Portland Trailblazers, a game they won 117-109 at home. Paul George has been pacing the Clippers, averaging 26.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.5 steals this season. He has also scored 30 points in four games. Things were no different on Tuesday, as George put up 24 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists in the win. The Clippers also shot 16-30 from beyond the arc in that game thanks to improvements in shooting from Nic Batum and Luke Kennard.

Miami Heat vs Los Angeles Clippers Prediction

The Clippers are coming into this game feeling pretty good. They’ve won five straight games and are shooting the ball very well of late. In three of their last four games they’ve had an eFG% above 56%, according to Cleaning the Glass. The Clippers are in the midst of an extended home stand and seem well rested and poised to keep stacking wins.

On the other hand, there’s no denying that the Heat are a very good basketball team. According to Dunks and Threes, they are second in adjusted net rating. But tonight is a bad spot for them given the context. They are fresh off an overtime loss in which Duncan Robinson and Kyle Lowry (who is nursing an ankle injury) both played more than 45 minutes. P.J Tucker logged 38 minutes and Tyler Herro logged 42. Bam Adebayo would have logged plenty more than 34 if he didn’t foul out.

It’s more likely than not that the Heat will have tired legs tonight, which won’t help with improving their three-point shooting. Miami will get right eventually, but it probably won’t be tonight, especially if Butler doesn’t play. They will need to rely on the same group that carried a heavy load last night, and the Clippers will outlast them.

Look for the Clippers to come out as the fresher team tonight and take care of business on their home floor. I could see a double-digit win for the Clippers tonight, so play the Clippers -4.5. 

Born and raised in New York, Robert's (@rcoles0206) fandom lies with the Brooklyn Nets, New York Jets and New York Yankees. He graduated from Colgate University with a degree in History and Political Science, and has taken the research skills honed from writing long history papers into finding an edge in the betting markets.

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