MIAMI HEAT (6-3)
at DENVER NUGGETS (4-4)
Tip-off: Thursday, 10:35 p.m. ET
Line: Denver -3.5, Total: 201.5
Miami heads into Denver on Thursday night trying to get on the right track after a tough road loss to the Clippers on Wednesday.
The Heat didnít come out ready to play against L.A. on Wednesday night and looked tired from the three road games they played in the previous five nights. Now the Heat are going to be even more gassed playing a back-to-back in Denver's thin air on Thursday night, especially if Dwyane Wade is unable to play after aggravating his left foot injury in the defeat. The Nuggets are 2-0 (SU and ATS) at home this season, beating both Detroit (109-97) and Utah (104-84) by double-digits.
Can the tired Heat muster up enough energy to win in Denver? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. This season, the experts are a collective 47-39-4 ATS (55%) in NBA Best Bets. StatFox Scott was 2-0 ATS in his Wednesday Best Bets and is 63% ATS (12-7) for the year. StatFox Brian is 58% ATS (14-10-1) for the season, and StatFox Gary is at 56% ATS (5-4-1). As far as Totals go, StatFox Scott is an amazing 18-5 (78%) on Totals for the season after his Chicago/Phoenix Over pick on Wednesday eclipsed the total by 27 points.
The Heat are 6-3 on the year, but just 2-2 SU (1-3 ATS) on this six-game road trip so far. Miami looked awful in both Memphis and Los Angeles, and won their games against Houston and Atlanta by just 3 and 6 points, respectively. Outside of LeBron James and Chris Bosh, the Heat arenít getting consistent production. James has been spectacular this season, averaging 24.6 PPG, 9.4 RPG and 6.2 APG. Chris Bosh has been excellent as well, averaging 19.8 PPG and 7.6 RPG. The man missing has been Dwyane Wade who is averaging a paltry 11.0 PPG on 30% FG (13-of-43) in his past three games. He had just six points on 2-of-10 shooting against the Clippers and will need to get himself going to make the Heat the team they were in last year's playoffs. If he doesn't play, Ray Allen will likely get more minutes. Allen is draining 53.5% of his shots this season, including 54.1% from three-point range.
The Nuggets, on the other hand, are starting to heat up and have now won four of their past five games (SU and ATS). This team has success without one go to scoring option. The Nuggets roster has six current players averaging 10 or more points per game led by SG Andre Iguodala (15.4 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 4.1 APG) and double-double machine PF Kenneth Faried (13.9 PPG, 10.8 RPG). SF Danilo Gallinari has been bothered by a sore knee, which could be a big part of his 31% FG clip this season (22% 3-pt FG). He is just 5-of-22 (3-of-13 threes) in his two home games this year.