Lakers vs. Heat Odds
|Lakers Odds||+8.5 (-115)|
|Heat Odds||-8.5 (-105)|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Lakers finally picked up a win on Tuesday to end their four-game slide, but now a tough matchup with the Heat waits around the corner on the second night of a back-to-back.
With Miami dropping two of its last three and entering this game with some serious injury concerns, could the door be open for another promising night for the Lakers? Let’s comb through this one.
Los Angeles Lakers
Life’s been pretty bleak for the Lakers ever since Anthony Davis went down with a foot injury 12 days ago. They’re now 1-5 against the spread and 2-4 in the games they’ve played without him despite some admirable play from Thomas Bryant in his absence.
Once again on Tuesday, Bryant dominated with 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting with 10 rebounds and even a 3-pointer for good measure.
L.A. continues to seriously struggle at shooting the 3 and on the defensive side of things. It ranks 26th in the NBA with a 33.8% success rate from deep and in the bottom five on defense.
While Bryant has looked inspired on offense and on the glass, the Lakers are allowing 116.1 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor. Unsurprisingly, the Lakers are losing just over five points per 100 possessions with Davis off the court.
The impact of the big man is certainly being felt here, and we have to question how much longer LeBron James can survive carrying the team on his back. He looked a bit sluggish on Tuesday, missing all seven of his attempts from downtown and turning the ball over four times despite scoring 28 points.
While there’s no injury report out, we’d have to once again expect him to pop up on the injury report on the second night of a back-to-back. It would not be the most surprising thing in the world to see him rest.
Speaking of the injury report, there are so many unknowns here with the Heat.
Jimmy Butler, who has missed a couple of games recently, is once again listed as questionable with an ankle sprain. Bam Adebayo is also questionable with a right shoulder injury, while Kyle Lowry missed practice on Tuesday due to personal reasons.
While Lowry is expected to play and isn’t even on the injury report ahead of Wednesday’s tilt, the Heat may not exactly be in any rush to get their two best players on the floor.
The matchup here is a soft one, and it’s clear Butler’s ankle is giving him some issues. It’s never a good idea to play doctor, but there are certainly a couple of landmines here if you’re going to be laying eight points with the Heat given they could easily be without one or both of their stars.
The Heat have not rebounded the ball well all year, and that hasn’t changed here in the month of December. They remain in the bottom five of the NBA with just 48.3% of available rebounds collected, which is actually 0.4% lower than their season average.
Offensively, they’ve been the worst team in the NBA this month with 109.2 points per 100 possessions. They’ve struggled all year here, but that’s a new low.
So, let me get this straight. The two biggest weaknesses of the Lakers are defense and rebounding, and the Heat have somehow been even worse than L.A. in those categories.
While the loss of Davis does nothing to help the Lakers on the defensive end, it seems Bryant has carried the freight on the glass and can steal an advantage away from Miami here, particularly with Adebayo on the injury report.
As I noted above, you’re playing with fire here opting to take a side before the injury reports come out, but I think the wise move here is grabbing the points with the Lakers. We may be doomed if James sits, but there’s a far greater chance that either Butler or Adebayo misses this one.
The Lakers can score the ball, and the Heat really can’t. I think that will shine through here on Wednesday.
Pick: Lakers +8