The Boston Celtics (25-15) will look to extend their winning streak to five games on Thursday when they visit the Miami Heat (19-20) as small road favorites at sportsbooks.
The Celtics are coming off a 135-108 rout of the Indiana Pacers as seven-point home favorites on Wednesday, and they have lost four of the last time five times playing the second game of a back-to-back situation.
NBA betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 110.0-107.0, Celtics (NBA picks on every game)
Why the Celtics can cover the spread
Even though Boston is 2-4 straight up and 1-5 against the spread in the second game of a back-to-back this season, the team is playing much better now and appears to be performing up to preseason expectations as one of the favorites to win the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics are a perfect 4-0 ATS during their current four-game winning streak, with each victory decided by 13 points or more.
Boston begins a relatively easy three-game road trip in Miami and has won five of the past six meetings there.
Why the Heat can cover the spread
The Heat are catching the Celtics in a great spot and have won the past two meetings in the series overall both SU and ATS.
Unlike Boston, Miami had a day off between games, last hosting the Denver Nuggets and losing 103-99 as two-point home favorites on Tuesday.
There is certainly no shame in that defeat considering the Nuggets currently have the best record in the Western Conference. The Heat simply need to start playing better at home, where they have two more games before hitting the road.
Smart betting pick
Miami will embark on a four-game road trip next Tuesday and would like to close out its current homestand with a pair of wins. First, the Heat must beat the Celtics, who were able to rest a lot of their players late against the Pacers, with only reserve guard Jaylen Brown logging more than 25 minutes.
Still, Boston's struggles in the second game of back-to-backs are real, as the team's last four losses in that situation were all decided by eight points or more.
Because of that trend, take Miami to win as a home underdog.
NBA betting trends
The total has gone over in eight of Boston's last 10 games.
Boston is 8-16 ATS in its last 24 games on the road.
Miami is 11-5 ATS in its last 16 games.
All NBA odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.