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Miami Hasn’t Been Hot Against Tough Opposition

Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat are solid moneyline favorites in NBA betting odds for their game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.

The Heat (26-25 SU, 22-28-1 ATS) haven’t beaten a team with a winning record in nearly six weeks, a streak they’ll look to snap Thursday when they host the Lakers (32-19, 24-27) in a rematch of last summer’s NBA Finals. LA, which remains without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, opened as a 9-point underdog.

Los Angeles Lakers vs Miami Heat
  • Date/Time: April 8, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Arena: AmericanAirlines Arena
  • TV Coverage: TNT
  • Opening Odds: Heat -9 | O/U 206 (Line History)
  • Lakers vs Heat Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Early money has backed the Lakers in this matchup, driving the point spread down to as low as 7.5 at some sportsbooks by Wednesday night. The UNDER also saw some early support, dropping to 204.

Los Angeles News & Notes

Led by 17 points from Talen Horton-Tucker off the bench, seven different players scored in double figures for the Lakers on Tuesday in a 110-101 victory over the Raptors in Tampa.

The win wasn’t as close as the final score suggested, as LA led by 34 points in the second quarter and held a 90-70 advantage going into the fourth. The game ultimately snuck OVER the 208.5 total in the final minute, marking just the sixth time in the Lakers’ last 27 road games that they’ve eclipsed the number.

Markieff Morris has stepped up his offensive game recently in the absence of Anthony Davis, with his 15-point performance Tuesday being the sixth time in eight games he’s scored at least 10. Center Marc Gasol also enjoyed one of his finest outings of the campaign against the Raptors, collecting 13 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four blocks against his former team.

Gasol might not get as many minutes tonight if center Andre Drummond returns from a toe contusion that has forced him to sit out the last three games. Drummond took Gasol’s place in the starting lineup when he signed with the Lakers last month but played only one game before being forced to the sidelines with his injury.

Miami News & Notes

The Heat’s struggles against quality opposition continued Tuesday as their four-game winning streak was snapped with a 124-112 loss at home to Memphis. Miami allowed the Grizzlies to shoot 54 percent from the field and 41 percent from behind the arc en route to falling to 4-9 ATS in its last 13 games against teams with winning records. In fact, the Heat haven’t beaten a team with a winning record since a 109-99 win over Atlanta on February 28.

Miami has also shown a tendency to look past teams that are missing at least one of their top players, which the Lakers are tonight without James and Davis. In nine games this year against opponents that are without a player who has been named an all-star in the past four seasons, Miami is just 2-7 SU, including a home loss to the Russell Westbrook-less Wizards in early February.

Tonight will mark the Heat debut of veteran seven-foot center Dewayne Dedmon, who signed with Miami on Wednesday. Dedmon, who averaged 11.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per 36 minutes in 2019-20 with Sacramento and Atlanta, replaces the departed Kelly Olynyk as the only true backup center on Miami’s roster.

Betting Pick: UNDER 204

Taking the points with the Lakers looks extremely tempting, but the UNDER looks like the stronger play in a matchup of two of the top four defenses in the NBA.

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Shark Bites
  • The total has gone UNDER in 21 of LA’s last 27 road games.
  • Miami is 4-9 ATS in its last 13 vs teams with a winning record.
  • LA is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games vs Miami.