The Miami Heat have not lost four in a row in three years. They need the efficient LeBron James back if they want to avoid a skid that long when they face the Washington Wizards, winners of 8 of their last 9 games.
The Heat are mired in the longest losing streak of the season with losses to the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls in their last three games. The skid matches the losing streak they suffered in January when they lost to the Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets and the Wizards.
Washington beat Miami, 114-97 in that game and covered as 5.5 home underdogs. The Heat took the first meeting between the two this season, 103-03 but failed to cover the 12.5 spread.
LeBron James can blame the mask and the jersey sleeves but he can also point to his struggles from the field in the last three outings. He has averaged 19.3 points per game and shot a combined 23-of-59 (38.9 per cent) from the field in this stretch-- both figures way below his average for the season.
Against the Bulls, James also committed a crucial turnover at the end of regulation that led to the extra period.
Washington won over lowly teams Utah Jazz, 104-91 and Milwaukee Bucks, 114-107 in their last two. Still, their efforts have led them to the fifth spot in the weak East Conference with a respectable 33-29 record. Trevor Ariza led the Wiz in scoring in the Bucks win with 28 points behind five 3-pointers and Bradley Beal added 23 points. Star point guard John Wall only had 9 points but had 13 assists.
Watch the Wizards vs. Heat via NBA League Pass.
Betting Against the Spreads (ATS)
Washington Wizards Trends - The Wizards are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. East teams - The Wizards are 22-8 ATS in their last 30 games on the road - The Wizards are 20-7-3 ATS in their last 33 games vs. Southeast division teams - The Wizards are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games vs. the Heat in Miami
Miami Heat Trends - The Heat are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games - The Heat are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games at home - The Heat are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. East teams - The Heat are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. the Wizards in Miami