Lakers vs. Heat Line – January 19, 2012

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Jan/19/2012
Lakers vs. Heat Line – January 19, 2012

Carrie Stroup here with your Lakers vs. Heat line for Thursday night’s double header.  I also have the line on the Mavs vs. Jazz.  Be sure to place that bet at Sportsbook.com and tell them Carrie sent you.  Get up to $250 FREE CASH based on your initial deposit (10 percent of that deposit becomes FREE CASH).  BET THIS GAME LIVE!!!!

LOS ANGELES LAKERS (10-5) at MIAMI HEAT (9-4)

Sportsbook.com Line & Total: Miami -5.5 & 191.5

Opening Line & Total: Heat -5.5 & 191

Miami looks for a third straight win over Kobe Bryant’s Lakers when two of the NBA’s premier teams go head to head in South Beach Thursday night.

The Heat got the better of L.A. in both their meetings last season, SU and ATS. Miami put the clamps down defensively in those games, holding the Lakers to 84.0 PPG on 40.3% shooting. One of the NBA’s elite defensive teams for a second straight season (43.0% FG defense, 9th in league), Miami should be able to put up a similar defensive effort. The Heat will be without Dwyane Wade (ankle) again, but it hasn’t mattered. They’re 4-0 (SU and ATS) in games Wade has missed this season, including Tuesday night’s 120-98 dismantling of San Antonio. LeBron James has been battling flu-like symptoms and is listed as probable to play. The Lakers are just 1-4 SU and ATS on the road this season, and their one win and cover came in overtime at Utah.

L.A. has played some outstanding defense of its own this season, holding opponents to 89.4 PPG and 40.9% FG, both marks among the top-5 in the NBA. On Monday, they held Dallas to 70 points on 35.0% shooting in an ugly, 73-70 win. SG Kobe Bryant (NBA-best 30.8 PPG) has carried the offense all year, but had just 14 points on 7-for-22 shooting in the home win over Dallas, ending his streak of four straight 40-point efforts. Bryant torched the Heat for 36.0 PPG (50.9% FG) in 2009-10, but was held to 20.5 PPG (37.8% FG) in the two losses last year.

The Lakers haven’t been quite as effective defensively on the road, where they’re allowing 99.0 PPG and 43.6% shooting.

L.A.’s big advantage will be down low. The first time the teams met last season on Christmas day, C Andrew Bynum (16.5 PPG, 13.9 RPG) playd just 18 minutes off the bench while he was coming back from a knee injury. In the second matchup at Miami, he logged 37 minutes and finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

The Heat haven’t played many home games this year, going 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS in South Beach. This includes blowout wins over San Antonio and Indiana in their past two home games.

SF LeBron James (29.8 PPG on 57.7% shooting, 7.9 RPG, 7.6 APG) will likely continue his MVP campaign, but the difference in last year’s Lakers series was PF Chris Bosh’s excellent play. Bosh (20.0 PPG, 8.1 RPG) averaged 24.0 PPG on 61.8% shooting and 11.0 RPG in the two wins over L.A., posting a total plus/minus of +19. He was outstanding in Tuesday’s win over the Spurs, scoring 30 points on 14-for-22 shooting, while pitching in eight boards, five assists and four steals.

 

DALLAS MAVERICKS (8-7) at UTAH JAZZ (9-4)

 

Sportsbook.com Line & Total: Utah -2.5 & 184

Opening Line & Total: Jazz -2 & 184.5

 

After losing to both L.A. teams on last-second three-pointers, Dallas is eager to get back in the win column visiting a red-hot Utah team on Thursday.

 

The Jazz started the season 1-3 (SU and ATS), but since turning the calendar to 2012, they have the NBA’s best record at 8-1 SU (7-2 ATS). But before dropping two nailbiters in L.A. by a combined five points, the Mavericks were also on fire, winning five straight and seven of eight (both SU and ATS).Dallas’ defense has been extremely stingy in the past seven games, limiting opponents to 78.9 PPG on 38.5% FG (28.6% threes). Although the Mavericks just played Wednesday night, they have shown a remarkable ability to win on zero days rest, going 17-9 ATS (18-8 SU) since the start of last season. And although the Jazz have historically been a tremendous home team, the Mavs won by 12 points and 17 points at EnergySolutions Arena last season.

 

The Mavericks have been tremendous defensively, but their offense continues to sputter.

Dirk Nowitzki (17.9 PPG, 46% FG, 25% threes) is averaging just 14.1 PPG (43% FG) in his past eight games, reaching 20 points just once in this span. He’s coming off a horrible 6-of-18 shooting night against the Clippers, but a date with Utah could be just what he needs to bust out of his slump. In last year’s four-game series sweep of the Jazz, Nowitzki averaged 24.8 PPG on 63% FG and grabbed 8.5 RPG.

 

SG Delonte West scored a season-high 17 points in the loss to the Clippers and made 3-of-5 from downtown. This was a great sign considering he entered the game 3-of-18 from three-point range. PG Jason Kidd hasn’t shot the ball well either since his return from injury (5-of-17 FG, 1-of-13 threes), but he did dish out 10 assists against the Clippers, eight more than he had against the Lakers on Monday. Since returning to Dallas in 2007-08, Kidd has 115 assists and 34 turnovers (3.4 ratio) in 13 games versus Utah.

 

Unlike the Mavs who gear much of their offense around Dirk Nowitzki, the Jazz are happy to share the wealth. Seven players are averaging more than eight points per game led by Al Jefferson (18.0 PPG, 9.3 RPG) and Paul Millsap (15.9 PPG, 8.4 RPG), the team’s top two scorers and rebounders. This duo has been largely responsible for the team’s 50.0 PPG in the paint this month, the second-highest total in the NBA. However, Dallas has allowed just 32.4 PPG in the paint in January, which is the lowest total in the league.

 

Utah also has two potent scorers off the bench in Josh Howard (10.7 PPG) and C.J. Miles (8.2 PPG). Howard could miss his third straight game on Thursday due to a quadriceps injury, but Miles has 36 points and 11 rebounds spanning just 47 minutes in his past two home games. PG Devin Harris will be going up against his former team in this matchup. Harris has shot the ball terribly this season, posting a career-worst 34.1% FG. But he’s starting to find his rhythm, scoring 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting in the past two games.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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