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Teams that squared off in the 2020 NBA Finals collide for the second time this season when the Los Angeles Lakers visit the Miami Heat on Thursday. The reigning champion Lakers (32-19) appeared primed for a return trip to the Finals until injuries sidelined superstars LeBron James (ankle) and Anthony Davis (calf). Winners of four of six, Los Angeles continues a seven-game road trip with a chance to avenge a 96-94 home loss to Miami (26-25) on Feb. 20.
Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. ET at AmericanAirlines Arena. William Hill Sportsbook lists Miami as a nine-point favorite while the over-under for total points scored is 205 in the Lakers vs. Heat odds. Before finalizing any Heat vs. Lakers picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it has returned almost $8,900 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up almost $900 on its top-rated picks this season, and dating back to last year, it entered Week 16 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 93-59 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Lakers vs. Heat. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Now, here are several NBA odds and betting trends for Heat vs. Lakers:
While Los Angeles is without James and Davis, reinforcements are expected in the lineup Thursday. Center Andre Drummond, who suffered a toe injury in his Lakers debut on March 31 that forced him to miss the past three games, is expected back along with another newly signed player in Ben McLemore. Drummond averaged 17.5 points and 13.5 boards this season for Cleveland before the Cavaliers shut him down while trying to work out a trade.
McLemore, who was released by Houston last week, is a career 36.3 percent shooter from behind the arc and fills a need for a team that ranks 24th in the league in 3-point shooting percentage. Forward Montrezl Harrell, ejected in the first quarter of Tuesday’s win at Toronto, scored at least 18 points in eight of the previous nine contests. The Lakers also can lean on a defense that ranks No. 2 in the NBA in fewest points allowed (105.8).
Forward Jimmy Butler and center Bam Adebayo are averaging a combined 40.6 points, 17.0 rebounds and 12.7 assists, ranking 1-2 on the team in all three categories. A third offensive option may be emerging in recently acquired Victor Oladipo, who had his best outing with 16 points Tuesday in his third game with Miami since he was acquired in a trade from Houston. Oladipo averaged 21.2 points with the Rockets and 20.0 with Indiana this season.
The Heat’s perimeter shooting has picked up over the past seven games behind guards Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson. Herro snapped out of a slump and is averaging 18.0 points while shooting 48.9 percent overall and 40.9 from behind the arc in that span. Robinson is averaging 17.0 points during the same stretch while lighting it up from the 3-point line, connecting on 34 of 62 overall (54.8 percent) and hitting at least four in each game.
SportsLine’s model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 200 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits well over 60 percent of the time. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Heat vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread hits well over 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is on a 93-59 roll on NBA picks.
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