Thursday is the last regular season game between the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers, aka LeBron vs. his old team, but that doesn’t mean it’s the last time they’ll play this season. The Cavs are close to being locked into the 2-seed, while the Heat have a battle for the 6th, 7th and 8th seeds. There’s plenty of turmoil surrounding the Cavs, including a one-point win against the 76ers in their last game in which they didn’t score in the final four minutes. Will they pick up their game against Dwayne Wade and the Heat?
Here are today’s picks:
Miami Heat (+11) at Cleveland Cavaliers (o/u 200)
The Heat have showed up whenever LeBron and company travelled down to Miami, but it was a different case when they met in Cleveland in February with the Cavs winning by 20. The Heat are still competing for a playoff spot, but have really struggled against above average teams on the road. However, the Cavaliers haven’t really showed up in their last couple home games, barely getting by the Pacers and 76ers.
That should change with LeBron facing his former team. There are plenty of questions about the Cavs and their chemistry, but after a couple days of rest, should be ready to support LeBron and take down the Heat by a decent margin. The rest should also help Kevin Love, who is a game-time decision. And as of Thursday morning, Kyrie Irving and Wade were questionable due to illness. Keep an eye on their status.
The Pick: Cavaliers -11
Houston Rockets (+2.5) at Dallas Mavericks
Things aren’t getting any easier for the Mavericks with the Warriors next on the slate. They were on a bit of a losing streak, but scored 135 points in Oklahoma City last night and got a big road win. They’re back at home on Thursday. In the same situation a month ago (Dallas on back-to-back coming off road loss at OKC), the Mavs won 111-100 against Houston. Of course, Dwight Howard didn’t play in that game.
The Mavericks may have gotten that big win last night, but still have only covered in two of their last eight games and have a losing ATS record at home this season. James Harden dropped a ridiculous 51 points last night in a win against the Kings without Dwight Howard. Expect Howard to be back after a night off, giving the Rockets an edge.
The Pick: Rockets +2.5
Phoenix Suns (+12.5) at Golden State Warriors (o/u 209.5)
The Warriors are the best home team in the league and they are on a 10-game winning streak, so of course this line is huge. There isn’t much going right for the Suns at the moment, as they have lost four straight, including a home game to Sacramento. The Suns are actually 19-15 ATS on the road, but that doesn’t compare to Golden State’s 25-10 ATS at home. The Warriors have won four straight home games by at least 15 points, meaning this line could be even higher. Not a lot of people will be taking Phoenix in this one.
The Pick: Warriors -12.5