Clippers vs. Heat Prediction: Can Kawhi Carry Clips in Miami?

Getty Kawhi Leonard

The Los Angeles Clippers are 2.5-point favorites over the Miami Heat on Friday night at American Airlines Arena.

Los Angeles (31-14) is coming off one of their worst offensive performances of the season in a 102-96 loss to the Hawks on Monday. The Clippers blew a 21-point lead and shot just 4-of-21 from the 3-point line as they were without key starters Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Patrick Beverly. Of that trio, only Leonard is likely to suit up on Friday as George and Beverly will remain sidelined with injuries. Montrezl Harrell shined with 30 points in the loss to Atlanta. Harrell is averaging 22.4 points and is shooting 58.4% from the floor over his last 10 games.

Miami (31-13) almost blew a 21-point lead against the Wizard on Monday but rallied to win 134-129 in overtime. The Heat have now won four of their last five games and are a perfect 8-0 in overtime this season. Miami has the best home record in the NBA at 20-1 SU and 15-5-1 ATS. The Heat have a +10.7 scoring margin and are outscoring opponents by 225 points inside American Airlines Center.  Jimmy Butler and Kendrick Nunn are both questionable for the game due to injury.  Duncan Robinson is burying 42.9% of his 3-point attempts, the highest percentage for a player with at least 125 makes this season. 

ESPN’s FPI gives Los Angeles a 50.4% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Friday’s matchup between the Clippers and Heat. 

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Clippers vs. Heat Game Details

Date: Friday, January 24
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: American Airlines Arena (Miami, Florida)
TV: ESPN
Spread:
Clippers -2.5
Total: 221

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


Key Injuries

Clippers

  • PG Patrick Beverly (groin) doubtful
  • SG Paul George (hamstring) out

Heat

  • SG Kendrick Nunn (Achilles) questionable
  • SF Jimmy Butler (knee) questionable
  • PG Goran Dragic (calf) questionable
  • SF Justice Winslow (back) out

Betting Trends

  • Clippers are 31-14 SU and 24-21 ATS this season
  • Heat are 31-13 SU and 27-16-1 ATS this season
  • Under 23-21-1 in Clippers games this season
  • Over is 27-16-1 in Heat games this season

Analysis & Pick

This line is screaming at you to take the home underdog. Miami has the best home record in the NBA and is nearly unbeatable inside American Airlines Arena. Clearly, the injuries to Butler and Nunn is why Miami is getting points in this situation. However, the Clippers are also banged up and will be without Beverly and George, so both backcourts are banged up.

Kawhi Leonard likely returns to the lineup after sitting out the game against the Hawks due to rest. Leonard has scored at least 30 points in six straight games and was named a starter on the NBA All-Star Team on Thursday night. Harrell and Landry Shamet have been solid role players for LA in the absence of George and Beverly. Shamet has scored at least 10 points in five straight games, the longest streak of his career.

Despite the bench mob getting it done for the Clippers, the underdog is just calling my name in this spot. I will gamble on Butler suiting up this and the market pushing the line towards my favor before the game even starts. Take the points.

PICK: Heat +3.5


READ NEXTLakers vs. Nets Prediction: Lebron Continues Big Apple Tour


Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith


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