Lakers vs. Heat Prediction: Lebron Returns to Miami

Getty Lakers star LeBron James.

Lebron James is returning to South Beach. The Los Angeles Lakers stroll into town as one of the hottest team’s in the NBA as they take on the Miami Heat on Friday night at American Airlines Arena. It’s five years since Lebron left Miami after guiding the heat to two championships alongside Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. His new team is also looking like a title contender. The Lakers are the top team in the Western Conference and at 22-3, they share the league’s best record with the Milwaukee Bucks. Los Angeles is coming off a 96-87 win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday in the opening game of a five-game eastern conference road trip.

The Heat are coming off a wild 135-121 overtime win over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday where they came back from a six-point deficit in the final minute. Duncan Robinson tied a franchise record with 10 3-pointers in the game. Three players scored at least 30 points for the Heat. Kendrick Nunn led the way with 36 points. Miami is 11-0 at home and has the second-best record in the Eastern Conference at 18-6 overall.

ESPN’s FPI gives the Heat a 50.7% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Friday’s matchup between the Lakers and Heat.

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Lakers vs. Heat Game Details

Date: Friday, December 13
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: American Airlines Arena (Miami, Florida)
Lakers -5
Total: N/A

*All lines, odds, and trends are courtesy of Covers & The Action Network

Line Movement

This line opened at Lakers -4.5 and has been bet up slightly to Lakers -5 with the majority of the bets and money on Los Angeles. This line is correlated with the action and is moving with the market.

Betting Trends

  • Lakers are 22-3 SU and 16-9 ATS this season
  • Heat are 18-6 SU and 15-8-1 ATS this season

Analysis & Picks

Anthony Davis has been an absolute force and is fitting right in with Lebron in LA. Davis is averaging 29.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.0 assists over his last 10 games as the Lakers have jumped out to a healthy lead over the Clippers for the top spot in the west. This game presents a unique challenge for Lebron and AD. Miami is running a new motion offense with Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic which has tantalized opposing defenses this season. The Heat are also unbeaten at home and are beating the number over 65% of the time this season. Meanwhile, the Lakers are 12-1 on the road and have also covered the spread 16 times in their first 25 games. Lebron looks revitalized with AD in the fold. I’m not sure he can keep up this effort level for 82 games, but Lebron will be energized on Friday returning to the place where he won his first two titles. Expect another inspired performance tonight from Lebron and the Lakers, who will earn victory No. 23 of the season and extend their road winning streak to 13 straight.

PICK: Lakers -4.5

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Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith