NBA Primetime Preview – Clippers v Heat

These two sides might play in different conferences, but the similarities between the pair are almost uncanny.

Now at 35-15, the Clippers prepare to host the 34-15 Heat on Thursday as Miami begins its five-game road trip.  

Los Angeles is playing on a day’s rest after coming from behind to beat the Spurs on Tuesday, while the Heat are also fresh following their 31-point beatdown over the Sixers.

The Clippers and Heat have been two of the most profitable betting sides against the spread in the NBA this year, so here’s a look at what to expect on Thursday.

Head to Head

The Clippers handed the Heat a very rare five-point loss at home on the 25th of January thanks to Kawhi Leonard’s 33-point triple-double. Miami also had some trouble defending the perimeter allowing Leonard and Landry Shamet to combine for 10 three-pointers.

Judging by those numbers you might think the Heat have struggled against good three-point shooting teams, but that typically hasn’t been the case. Miami has allowed the lowest three-point shooting percentage against this year, so this game could look a little different to how their previous meeting turned out.

That being said, there’s no getting around the 6.5-points the Clippers are laying – which has everything to do with how average the Heat have played on the road and nothing to do with how Los Angeles has played in recent weeks.

Miami is 12-12 away from home this year and 11-12-1 against the spread. The Clippers, meanwhile, have looked a little flaky over the last fortnight losing to the Kings last Friday before Tuesday’s close call against the Spurs.  

I don’t often tip the Margin Market, but this is one of the rare occasions where it could be profitable.

Going back to my earlier point about the similarities, it’s worth noting the Clippers have averaged 115 points over their last 10-games, while the Heat rank only one spot below with 114.

Los Angeles is still one of the teams to beat in the West, but with the recent inclusion of Paul George back into the side, it’s obvious they are having some trouble building any chemistry.

Considering the Clippers also trailed the Spurs for three quarters earlier in the week, don’t be surprised if they just get over the top of the Heat late in the game.

Tip: Back the Clippers 1-10 @ $2.68

Total

Again, the similarities.

The Clippers have allowed 108 points-per-game to opponents at home this year – the same number the Heat have averaged on the road offensively.

Miami has averaged only 100 points in their last 10-games against the Clippers, which explains why eight of those 10 meetings have gone Under the Total.

The Heat are one of the best teams in the league at home, but their troubles on the road are well documented. As far as road trips to Staples to face the Clippers go, however, the Total on the Heat has also gone Under in four of their last five.

Tip: Heat Under 108.5 Total Points @ $1.88

Player Performance

Kawhi Leonard Over the Points Total: there are few teams Kawhi has enjoyed playing more than Miami.

In 13 career starts against the Heat, Kawhi has averaged 23.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists to go along with a 47% field-goal percentage.

The Heat have struggled all year against dominant forwards, averaging the sixth-most points allowed. After putting up a triple-double against Miami in January, it only seems sensible to back the Over on Kawhi.

Bam Adebayo to Have a Double-Double: Adebayo quietly had a good game against the Clippers last time out racking up eight boards and 18 points.

Miami’s big man has recorded 28 double-doubles this year – his most recent of which came against the Sixers on Tuesday. The Clippers have struggled to defend the paint this year allowing the fourth-most rebounds to opposing centres and the fifth-most points, so take Adebayo to have another big game.

Tips, recommendations and commentary are for entertainment only. We provide no warranty about accuracy or completeness. You should make your own assessment before placing a bet.