The Miami Heat host the Los Angeles Lakers in what used to be a marquee Christmas Day clash, but is nothing more than what appears to be a mismatch on paper now.
The Heat have won 17 of their 20 home games this season, while the Lakers have lost 15 of 23 games on the road. But the Lakers ride a 5-0 against-the-spread underdog streak into South Beach.
Miami opened as 12-point favorites and the line was sitting around -11 as of midday. The total was 208.5. (Line updates and matchup report trends)
Odds Shark Computer Prediction
Why the Lakers can cover the spread
As bad as Los Angeles (16-26 SU, 24-18 ATS) has been, it has remained competitive and has played to the level of competition. Tonight marks the fifth game of a seven-game road trip, so the Lakers have adjusted to this road trip.
Schematically speaking, it's conceivable they'll be more into this game than the Heat. They have also been tough on the road and tough as a dog lately, according to the trends.
Why the Heat can cover the spread
Though Miami (30-12 SU, 18-24 ATS) has lost four of seven, LeBron James is still the NBA’s best player, and he still takes certain games personally. Facing the Lakers—with or without Kobe Bryant—James will be out to flex his season averages: 26.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game.
These two did meet on Christmas Day, when the Lakers challenged Miami before they fell short, 101-95. And it's clear the Heat are having problems without Dwyane Wade right now.
The Lakers have been respectable on this road trip, beating the Celtics and Raptors and losing to Chicago in overtime. Take Los Angeles and the points.
- Heat is 9-2 ATS past 11 games vs Lakers
- Heat is 8-1 SU, 7-2 ATS past nine at home to Lakers
- Lakers are 5-0 ATS past five games as underdog
- Lakers on 4-0 ATS road run (all OVERs)