This was supposed to be one of the marquee match-ups on December 25th— LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat visiting Los Angeles Lakers to take on Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol. Rather, two of those six stars are out with various injuries and the visitors are favored by nine points to win— just a recipe for a Christmas Day massacre in Hollywood.
Eight other teams are set to take the court Wednesday including the Houston Rockets’ visit to Texas rivals San Antonio Spurs. Like the Heat, the Spurs are favored to win big going into the game (7-point favorites against the spread) and if the Rockets do not bring their A-game this could be an ugly blowout as well.
Miami Heat (-9) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (O/U: 207.0)
Game time: 8:00 a.m. AEDT
Without a real point guard (injuries to Nash, Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake) the Lakers’ D’Antoni offense has struggled to find consistency the entire year. They overachieved in the early part of the year but have fallen back to earth recently losing seven of their last 10 games including back-to-back games via blowout losses-- 102-to-83 at Golden State and 117-to-90 at Phoenix—in their last two outings.
Meanwhile, the Heat are bringing a five-game winning streak entering the match-up with L.A. It was actually almost snapped the last game but LeBron's 38 points saved them in the game against the Atlanta Hawks which they beat in overtime, 121-to-119.
Miami Heat Trends
- Heat are 4-0 ATS in their last games vs. West teams
- Heat are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games on the road
- Heat are 46-22-1 ATS in their last 69 games vs. Pacific division teams
Los Angeles Lakers Trends
- Lakers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games vs. East teams
- Lakers are 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 games after a loss
- Lakers are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. teams with winning road records
Picks: Heat ATS, Over 207.0
Houston Rockets (+7) vs. San Antonio Spurs (O/U: 212.5)
Game time: 11:00 AEDT
The Rockets have missed the services of James Harden because of a sprained ankle. In lieu of the superstar guard, Dwight Howard has stepped up on offense leading the team to a split in the last two games. He had 29 points and 14 rebounds in a loss to the Mavericks and 35 points and 19 rebounds in a win versus the Pistons. Harden is a game time decision on Christmas Day, so D12 must be prepared to take the scoring cudgels once again.
The Spurs are winners of three of their last four games but Houston has won two of the last three match-ups versus the San Antonio; they’ve also covered the spread in all three games. Tony Parker had 26 points and 8 assists in their most recent game—a blowout win, 112-to-99 over the Toronto Raptors last Monday.
Houston Rockets Trends
- Rockets are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after a loss
- Rockets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after an ATS loss
- Rockets are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. West teams
San Antonio Spurs Trends
- Spurs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. Southwest division teams
- Spurs are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games after an ATS win
- Spurs are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games at home
Picks: Houston ATS, Over 212.5
Los Angeles Clippers (+2.5) vs. Golden State Warriors (O/U: 205.5)
Game time: 1:30 p.m. AEDT
Los Angeles Clippers Trends
- Clippers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. West teams
- Clippers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after an ATS loss
- Clippers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games
Golden State Warriors Trends
- Warriors are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games at home
- Warriors are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after a win
- Warriors are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. Pacific division teams
Picks: Golden State ATS, Under 205.5
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