LeBron James' Miami Heat Ride 1-12 ATS Streak in Return to Cleveland

Mark CrystelContributor IIIDecember 1, 2010

Michael Jordan has 6 NBA championship rings.  Prior to this season, LeBron, Wade and Bosh had 1 ring.  Total.
Michael Jordan has 6 NBA championship rings. Prior to this season, LeBron, Wade and Bosh had 1 ring. Total.Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

In 1995, Michael Jackson was coming out with a new multi-disc album, HIStory, which was supposed to be the biggest thing to hit music stores since the compact disc was invented. Movie theaters were showing trailers for it, promotions were plentiful and record stores all over the country were erecting large cardboard display cases for it in the front of their stores.

There was only one problem: The new songs, they just weren’t very good. It wasn’t 1984 anymore. It wasn’t Thriller.

The new roster on the Miami Heat was supposed to be the biggest thing to happen to the NBA in recent history.

LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade joining forces on the same team.

There was only one problem with all the unwarranted hype. There was one NBA championship between the three of them combined. As a matter of fact, LeBron James had only been to the NBA Finals once and his Cavaliers got swept in four games.

This wasn’t the 1990’s anymore. This wasn’t Michael Jordan joining forces with Larry Bird and Isiah Thomas.

We know LeBron James is a great player. We know Dwayne Wade is a star. And we know Chris Bosh was, well, pretty good, even though he couldn’t get his Toronto Raptors to the playoffs last season.

Each season the casinos in Las Vegas issue odds on the NBA teams to win the championship. This season it was the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers and the field.

The NBA was perceived to be so top-heavy with two talented teams, especially the Heat, that Las Vegas odds-makers didn’t bother issuing odds for any of the other teams individually.

Unfortunately for the NBA, we are over one-fifth through the NBA season and the Heat already have eight losses against 10 wins. Nobody really cares anymore. Unless something starts to happen. The music needs to get better. Especially in time for the big Christmas showdown with the Lakers.

Anyone who thought it would be wise to make money wagering on Miami’s games this season would have gotten off to a great start in Miami‘s first five games. Unfortunately, it wouldn‘t last long. According to the Las Vegas Hilton’s closing line, the Heat have failed to cover the point spread in 12 of the last 13 games leading up to the start of December. Even odds makers will tell you that, statistically speaking, that’s actually hard to do.

There have been many other "duds" in sports history. Most recently the Dallas Cowboys, who were the favorites to win the NFC and were getting extra hype since the Super Bowl was to be hosted in Jerry Jones’ new billion dollar stadium.

On Thursday Night, the Heat will be making their first trip to Cleveland with LeBron James in a different uniform and Miami is listed as about a 4 point favorite. Coming in at 1-12 against the spread in their last 13 games through November 30 and having lost five straight road games, not only are the Heat due for a road win, they are due for a spread cover.

Much has been said in and around Cleveland about James and his decision to arrive at Miami with so much media hype, but at least they won’t have to stick around Ohio too long. Having to play the Pistons the night before, the team plane won’t be landing in Cleveland until early in the morning on Thursday.

Emotions will be high and the crowd will be loud, but it didn’t phase Brett Favre or Donovan McNabb. In Farve’s first trip to Green Bay with a different team, he defeated the Packers on the same field where he led them to so many wins over the years. Donovan McNabb recently returned to Philadelphia and defeated the Eagles after a decade with his old team.

And when Michael Jordan returned to Chicago for the first time in a different uniform in early 2002, his Wizards defeated the Bulls.

Jordan was embraced by Chicago fans in that game, quite the contrary to what LeBron is expecting, as the trendy behavior here will be rowdiness and heckling.  However, I've never met a competitive athlete who didn't fuel off criticism.

In lieu of a sixth straight road loss, just as Jordan's Wizards came back and defeated the Bulls, expect LeBron James and the Miami Heat to do the same.