Bet of the Day – Miami Heat at Utah Jazz, Dec. 8, 2010

Miami Heat (+1) at Utah Jazz (-1), Over/Under 189

Yesterday’s bet, Memphis vs. Kansas, was a winner.  Back to the NBA tonight for the Heat and Jazz rematch.  The Jazz overcame a 19-point deficit to win the game.  Tougher spot for the Heat in Utah.

Miami (14-8) has reeled off 5 straight wins.  But those wins haven’t come against the toughest competition.  The Heat average 47.1% shooting with 49 rebounds and 7 steals per game on offense.  On defense, they allow 42.9% shooting with 50 rebounds and 6 steals per game.  Miami is an excellent shooting team and decent on defense.  They face an equally good shooting team in Utah; their defense will need to improve for a road win.

Utah (16-6) is playing well.  They won 8 of their last 9 games.  In that loss against Dallas, they were completely flat.  They have only played once since Friday.  Expect a rested and motivated team tonight.  The Jazz average 46.4% shooting with 49 rebounds and 8 steals per game on offense.  On defense, they allow 42.9% shooting with 51 rebounds and 7 steals per game.  Utah is slightly more efficient than Miami.  They will need to control the ball and avoid turnovers to win.

The Sagarin Ratings have Utah 94.93 and Miami 94.43.  With the 3.04 home advantage, the fair line is Utah -3.54.  According to pregame.com, 85% of spread bets are on Miami and 78% of the total bets are on the Over.  The point spread has moved from Utah -2 to -1.  The Total opened at 189 and is teetering between 189 and 188.5.

My NBA model predicts Utah 94.7 and Miami 93.1 for 187.8 total points.  Miami is a slightly better shooting team.  Utah gets more attempts.  On defense, they are nearly identical but Utah is slightly more efficient.  The key variance contributors are each team’s shooting efficiency.  Miami will need to shoot above their mean percentage to win the game.

Tonight, I am going against the public and taking the Jazz.  Here’s why.  Utah is playing well and rested.  Utah is very good at home; Miami hasn’t proven they can win big games on the road.  These teams are very even statistically, home court gives Utah an advantage and the betting value.  Bet on the Utah Jazz -1.

Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

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